Concerns about marks

Yes, this is another “is this normal” post! Four days after treatment (flash) my cheeks look like this. I’ve seen some marks on this site that, to me, look like this, and have not had good long-term results, and I’m wondering how worried I should be, and whether I should pause treatment while this recovers. The electrologist says these always appear in her clients, and fade over a couple weeks.

I have tried two electrologists in my area so far, two hours with each. They both have 5-star reviews on Google that they have earned over a few years. The first one exclusively uses blend and managed to do about 1 hair every 30 seconds. With her, any redness and puffiness disappeared after a day or two. The second electrologist, with the results shown above, prefers using flash and seemed to average around 5 seconds per hair. Do you have any advice on which I should stick with (or whether I should keep on looking), and whether these marks merit a negative review? They’re alarming to me, but I would love help with being responsible when leaving a review.

Thank you so much!

WHAT? With blend, one never exceeds 20-seconds (and that’s a very unusual long time). Facial hairs should epilate in <6-8 seconds on average with blend. Technically, at 30-seconds this is NOT blend electrolysis … I’m guessing she’s really doing DC electrolysis only, and probably under-treating the follicles. (Having the HF so low, that nothing’s happening!)

Now … 5-seconds with “Flash?” … well, no way. “Flash” is, by definition, a split-second of current. 5-seconds would be considered manual thermolysis and indeed probably too much current. I would be concerned if I had left marks like this on a client. Something’s not right.

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Ahhhh, thank you so much for the reply. I didn’t feel any “tugging” from either provider, and in both cases, I was definitely left with less hair. The times, in each case, are times between starting one hair and starting another. The actual treatment times for each hair are much less. Your advice would be to not return to either of them? I wish it was easier to find a good electrologist, or that the existing Google reviews were more critical.

Do you have any advice for whether my skin needs a break, or experience on what the healing for this kind of damage looks like?

Well, I have seen much worse … your case will most probably be just fine. I don’t think I would necessarily change your electrologist. I would, however, talk about your concerns with your provider. Frankly, I don’t understand why clients are reluctant to openly discuss problems with their provider?

Indeed, nearly all the posts on this site are concerns that might better be solved by talking to the actual provider. Those of us here are, of course, at a disadvantage not seeing the work or the actual technique being used. We can only offer generalized suggestions.

I seriously wonder about client reluctance to ask important questions of their provider. I have, so far, never had this happen … I think I communicate well with my clients and I am NEVER defensive. I’m also ever-ready to take blame for any mistake. (I need to do a video on this subject!)

Here’s the point: clients don’t actually care about blaming the electrologist … clients care that the provider knows the subject well, and will be 100% willing … and able … to take care of any problem. I’m generally very critical of electrologists who, because of fear or lack of understanding, won’t discuss problems and try to BLAME the client. I really hate that aspect of electrology providers! And, the attitude is not rare! (Maybe I just answered my own question?)


Additionally, the statement: “Oh that is normal scabs and blisters and it will go away in a few weeks.” Frankly my dear … this is not acceptable.

I did discuss it with my provider, and wasn’t satisfied with her answer, which was basically, “this is how I do things” and wanted a second opinion. I appreciate you confirming that this isn’t an acceptable goal.

I’ll keep this updated with the recovery.

The correct response should go something like this:
“Thank you for the feedback. Let me make some changes to your recipe and maybe use a different size probe. What are you doing for aftercare?” .
I do flash thermolysis 99% of the time and most people do very well healing-wise. What I see on your skin can perhaps be toned down with some minor changes, but I don’t know what your electrologist is doing or seeing? It will heal fine. Do not pick at it or add all kinds of medicants. I prefer COLD aloe vera gel for three days, using it as liberally as you want.

Some practitioners lose their caring heart after many years of working.

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I reduced the saturation in your photo and sharpened it a bit. This probably is a better representation of what’s going on?

Thanks for doing that, Mike.

it will most likely heal fine with time, but should not be repeated.

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Absolutely Deedra!

Thank you, @Bono! That is clearer.

Here is what it looks after a week. I used a makeup light to get a clearer picture this time so hopefully you won’t need to edit it. It’s much less scary than it was 3 days ago, the lighting is just harsher here. It’s no longer really noticeable under foundation + concealer.

Two and a half weeks.

Oh yes … looking much better. Still, there is, actually, no reason that electrolysis ever has to produce such lesions; especially on the face. Body work nearly always yields tiny scabs (eschars) … but not the “large bloody” ones you have shown. Thanks again and it’s great to see the skin “pulling together.”

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Four and a half weeks. This is also with a makeup light, I’m not sure why the colour balance is so different. The redness is subsiding, but there are still fairly deep indents.

I do have one more mystery, that I would love some help with! After clearing my sides without really any marks, only swelling, my electrologist (not the same one as from the above pictures, of course :sweat_smile:) cleared my upper lip in about an hour using a blend method, leaving these marks:

3 days (when it was at its worst)

1 week

Again, this is all with makeup lighting, the marks in the 1 week picture aren’t all that noticeable otherwise. There are no indents this time that I can see/feel. There was much less swelling on my upper lip than on other areas she treated.

My new electrologist was shocked. She said she hasn’t left marks like that in years and apologized profusely. She said because of the risks of clearing the upper lip, she was paying very close attention to any signs of damage while clearing it and did not see anything at the time. I didn’t use any painkilling cream. I did take aspirin half an hour before.

My skin is dry and thin from HRT, and marks easily with shaving, overly aggressive kisses, etc. But my electrologist mainly works with trans clients, and so I imagine this is something she deals with often. My trans friend who also goes to her did not have this kind of reaction.

For the next session, she tried lowering the temperature when working on my chin, and cut the session short to see how it reacted. I had similar but less noticeable reactions on my chin. She says she’s going to try adjusting the settings some more, but is not entirely sure why I have such marks. Do any of you have advice for her or me?

Anyway thank you for reading this!

Simple answer: working on the upper lip for 1-hour (with blend). Why would any electrologist be “shocked” seeing this reaction? I’m assuming you have large “beard-type” hairs? … and, that would further explain why the 1-hour treatment yielded this reaction.

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That’s reassuring, thank you @Bono! My friend also had an hour of upper lip work on the same day and didn’t have any major reactions. Maybe most clients don’t complain and she doesn’t see them for a week? It sounds like you aren’t worried about this then? I’ll let her know if so.

I’ve never had a ton of hair on my upper lip, but I think the hair that is there is pretty typical for a trans woman.