Collateral damage?

I read a post here about something I believe was called “collateral damage” and it meant that the heat from the thermolysis probe spreads to neighbouring hair follicles and makes those hairs die of too. This is not too bad if you have a lot of hair, but doesn’t it also indicate that the heat from electrolysis is widely spread in the skin and maybe if there are no other hairs around, instead of killing neighbouring hair growring follciles, the heat can stimulate dormant follicles and wake them up resulting in new hair growth?
I have a few hairs on my neck that I want to get rid of, but can this happen and has it been observed clinically? I mean, could a start growing hairs around the treated follicles because of the spreading heat and then end up having to treat more hairs then a had to begin with? Or can electrolysis successfully kill of just four hairs in a otherwise hair free are?

The collateral damage effect would never cause additional hair growth. Electrolysis is the safest method to remove hair in areas where you have very little hair, because it can be so selective.

Hi Iranianboysweden,
I believe I was the person who posted about collateral damage. This was my post, from May 2004:…h=true#Post2437

I had extremely dense upper lip hair, veryvery close together. I doubt I had any stimulated hair growth, but even if any follicles got stimulated by neighboring energy, who would know, since I just kept up my treatments and we zapped anything that grew.

I think you are overworrying about stimulation of hair follicles. This isn’t like laser which blankets an entire region with the exact same level of energy. The heat distributed by electrolysis is very focused. Even if your worst nightmare came true, if you became an example case of new hair growth caused by electrolysis, you’d maybe be talking about an extra 2 or 3 hairs near the 4 you have. You won’t end up with a neck full of new hair. There just isn’t that much energy there in the needle.

Hehehe, thankyou for the reply VespaSusie. I do worry a lot, that is true. But hair has destroyed so much in my life that I can’t even believe it myself.

You say that you had very dense upper lip hair, how does it look now? Has your treatment worked?

I sometimes think that it is absolutely impossible to kill a hair once it has started to grow, I think of it as a curse, and therefore I am very scared of new hair growth becuase I think “once it’s there, it will always grow”. This may sound stupid as a abviously want to try electrolysis, but the human mind isn’t always rational.

Oh, I totally understand when you say that hair has destroyed so much in your life! Hiding my hair was a constant worry and everything I did to get rid of it was time-consuming and didn’t leave me looking fully clear and natural.

But those days are so far behind me, they are like a very, very bad dream. Once I reached my first clearance, I never worried about hair again. And I have been worry-free and so relieved and feel such freedom, I can’t even express it in words. The lip and chin are completely normal looking! I still have stragglers that grow in—they used to be superthick hairs that were like cables. They have thinned out over time and still grow in in this new, thin form. They’re not even noticeable, but they grow very long so I am still treating them. Plus I have started on my sideburns.

As far as your “irrational” thought, you must consider what electrology does: the needle goes down into your pore and causes [b]physical damage[/b] to the hair follicle with a spark of heat. A damaged follicle simply cannot function normally. If it was partially damaged, it’ll still grow a hair, but a much thinner one. If it gets damaged all the way, it cannot grow any hair at all. This is just a physical fact. If you have a good electrologist, you’ll damage the follicles all the way (and without harming your skin either).

Your body could still activate new follicles in neighboring, dormant pores, but that does not happen often and not in the same levels as the amount of hair you have now.

i hope this helps,
susie <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />

I am glad that you are getting good results with your treatment and I wish you even more success. And I do understand what you say about electrolysis causing an actual physical damage to hair follicles, and I appreciate your encouragement.
Do you mean that that your upper lip and chin are cleared of hair besides the few strugglers or do you have to undergo treatment frequently to maintain a “normal” appearance? Maybe the strugglers could be killed of by Blend or Galvanic?

No, my lip and chin are totally clear except for a few stragglers. I go in every 3 weeks for 15 mins to work on my sideburns and zap any stragglers. But the lip/chin area is done.

How long has it been since you had to undergo a full treatment on your upper lip and chin areas? (I mean besides zapping the few stragglers)
I mean, maybe sometimes it’s like laser where you can go hairless for 40 days and then much of it grows back although thinner.

Sorry for beeing so sceptical. hehe

I don’t understand what you mean by “a full treatment”?

I started out doing 1 hour/week (30 mins on lip/30 mins on chin). In the beginning, that wasn’t enough time to handle all the hair. (I had new hairs every 2-3 days!)

Around month 2-2.5, I had my first full clearance.

In month 3, I cut my time down to 45 mins/week.

In month 6, I was down to 30 mins/week.

In month 9, I was doing 15 mins/week.

Somewhere around month 11 or 12, I didn’t have enough hair to last a 15-minute treatment, so I started doing sideburns. I also switched to going every 2 weeks.

Now I go 15 mins every 3 weeks, doing hair on sideburns, cheeks, and any stragglers still showing up on lip and chin. Some visits, there are only 3 stragglers. They are definitely winding down.

In the beginning, we used to remove around 160 hairs in 30 mins on my lip. Now I have, like, 3. It’s been more than a year, so these results aren’t temporary.

And don’t worry about being skeptical. I understand you had bad results from laser and want to be cautious! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> No one method of hair removal is really perfect or ideal. That’s what really sucks. But you have to use what’s available in a smart way, or else learn to love that unwanted hair. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

Iranianboy…you really do worry a lot don’t you?
I would think that collateral damage and stimulating new hair growth would be mutually exclusive actions don’t you think?
As far as I’m concerned, collateral damage is a good thing as long as the skin is not being overtreated.

My chin story: I first started electrolysis on my chin about 18 months ago…I have PCOS so I always knew that I would be growing new hairs until the hormones were balanced. I got the hormones under control and was going weekly for treatment of medium size beard hairs that were very dark brown…I was so embarrassed because of them that I would always keep my chin pointing downwards.
I would say when I first started going for electrolysis…well actually I worked on myself for a while first…I spent about a half hour per week working on my chin…now after all that time my electrologist spends two to four minutes on my chin once a month…and it’s only because she’ll see a couple hairs when she’s working on my brows…not because I see any hairs…in fact I haven’t noticed a hair on my chin for about six months now…and I used to play with my chin, feeling around for hairs…talk about obsession…now I don’t even feel like I ever had a chin problem…the skin is smooth and looks great.

There is hope for you, just get at it and get the job going, the sooner you do the sooner it will be history.

That gives me hope. I do not have the thick hairs, just a bunch of fine ones from the laser. I think I worry A LOT too. I am so skeptical now and overanalyze everything from hair growth to collagen damage. So. . . thank you for the good news. I have read so many people are being helped by electrology. I just re-remind myself of the facts and stick to the plan. I can’t wait to post good news for myself, too.