Electrolysis Horror Story - Any professional advice greatly appreciated

Hi everyone, thank you all so much for giving up your time to contribute to this amazing resource. I only wish I had found it sooner!
Apologies for the long post, it has been a wild ride and I will be eternally greatful for any professional advice I can get for my situation.
I am 37 yo female with PCOS and started electrolysis in July. I had several treatments over one week totalling 3.5 hours all up to clear the area of my chin and the sides on my cheeks leading up to my mouth. I’m not sure which method of electrolysis I had but I did not hold a rod and each hair was treated one at a time for about 5-6 seconds each hair, some a second or two less. Each hair was only treated once.

It was my first treatment so I didn’t know what to expect and followed the advice of my electrologist. It was the only electrologist in my area, claimed to be the best in the country, teaching electrology worldwide with 40+ years expereince so I thought I had made the right choice. Sadly, I had not… :frowning:

I don’t know if the machine was faulty or turned up way too high but I was seriously burned and have been left scarred everywhere treated. My electrologist kept reassuring me that it was healing beautifully, everything looked completely normal, 3rd degree burns are normal for electrolysis and it would heal without scarring. It was my first time so I trusted her ‘expertise’ and continued to let her finish clearing the area.

My hair was course and thick due to my hormones and I now know this was overtreatment and the area should have been thinned first, but when I asked her about this she said I was wrong and every hair must be treated together when it’s course and thick for the process to work quickly and effectively.
I will post some photos I took a few days after the treatments to show the inital damage and then some taken recently to show the pitting and scarring after 3 and a bit months.

My question isn’t about if it’s normal, I know it’s not and have reached out to a lawyer who has taken me on and is confident I have a good case. Unfortunately I have learned that the country I live in doesn’t have any regulations for electrolygists and I won’t know until things move forward if the buiness has public liability insurance either… so I don’t have my hopes up for any financial support yet and I may be facing this alone.

My Questions are:

  1. How best can I care for my skin moving forward? Would any more LED light treatments be effective after this long? I have seen my doctor and taken antibiotics and increased estrogen and am applying vitamin E daily as she recommened. Also completely staying out of the sun, only wearing make up when absolutely necessary, letting my skin breathe, keeping it clean and using 50+ suncreen and a facemask when I’m driving or outside. Plus lots of water and healthy diet.

  2. I see a dermatologist next week, it’s very expensive and I want to make the most out of it. Is there anything I should discuss besides what’s already mentioned? The Derm clinic also offers laser scar removal and we will make a plan for that. Is it too soon to have that kind of treatment yet? Also will it affect my case if I do a treatment and it improves the scarring a little? From what I can gather, I will likely need many…

  3. Will my skin ever be able to cope with any more electrolysis after this? I have done 2 full rounds of laser hair removal in the past, the results were minimal and didn’t last because the hair is hormonal. Elecrtrolysis really was my only option.

  4. Could it be something wrong with my skin that has caused this? I do have sensistive skin, it went very red and blotchy for a lot longer than usual following laser, everyone that treated me commented on the redness. But it always healed back to normal eventually. My skin also reacts to a lot of creams and soaps ect but is ok with most products for sensistive skin

Finally, am I safe legally speaking to have posted this here? I asked for a refund and she refused. Then she threatened to sue me if I show anyone photos of my face. Blamed everything on my PCOS, said that this is normal healing for such an ‘unsightly facial condition’ and if I show anyone it’s slander. Surely this can’t be true… it’s my face and I can do what I want with it, right?

Anyway, sorry for rambling on. I really appreciate your time and expertise. Thank you all so much <3 <3 <3

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Definitely overtreatment. And definitely NOT slander. Your electrologist does not have a leg to stand on … She is making idle legal threats in an effort to silence you. It’s good that you have secured legal counsel. You are on VERY safe legal ground showing your face. I’m sorry this happened to you. I’m glad I wasnt your electrologist I would be very embarrassed for one of my clients to get treatment like this.

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Every case is different and an intelligent electrologist will adjust her program and not simply do the same thing to everyone!

" … this was overtreatment and the area should have been thinned first, but when I asked her about this she said I was wrong and every hair must be treated together when it’s course and thick for the process to work quickly and effectively."

The “clear it all off every time” is an appropriate strategy, but NOT on large contiguous hairs. Like you say, the area should have been carefully thinned. And, were you my client, I would have done a 15-minute treatment first (thinned) then assess the area and move on when safe.

This is a classic case of a “brain dead” electrologist who shouldn’t be allowed to practice. What happened to you is horrific.


I recommend consulting with a dermatologist about short-term and long-term options for mitigating damage.

You may benefit from silicone sheets in addition to antibiotics.

I’m sorry this has happened to you.

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This is a clear case of overtreatment (too much energy) and operator incompetence. My advice is to consult a dermatologist and move forward with legal action. The electrologist that did this to you needs to be stopped before they hurt someone else. Please keep us updated on your situation.


Thank you Andrea, I have not heard of them but will order some now

I am so sorry this has happened to you and whoever did this should never go near anyone’s skin ever again.

The good news is that once fully healed any scarring can be improved using medical micro needling preferably with the Exceed Microneedling device. Also another advanced treatment device is the Bionik. In the meantime, SPF50 every single day, enzymatic peeling 1 x monthly, Dermaviduals Vitamin Lotion, plus a bespoke serum blend and Omega 3 supplements (confirm with your GP about Omega3 first) Try and find a skin clinic who specialises in Corneotherapy near you and who understands PCOS

If you lived near me I would help you out gratis. I wish you all the best and keep us updated. Good luck


Dermarolling the scars can help reduce their appearance. 0.25mm and 0.5mm generally used on the face.
Get exercise to encourage blood flow, eat many healthy foods with vitamins a, e, c and zinc, use Infadolan (dont go out in the sun with it), vitamin c serum, check out Owndoc.com for the guide and supplies and more info.

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Thank you all so much for the advice, I really apprecitate it.
I saw a team of dermatologists yesterday, they let me know that the hyperpigmentation will likely resolve in months or years but the scarring will not. They gave me a referral to the best Dermatoligist in my state with the appropriate laser for scar revision, but said the best possible outcome is not likely to improve the scarring by more than about 50% which was quite gutting tbh.
I have been looking at LED light therapy machines for home use as they seem to have a lot of positive reviews about improving scars. Do you have any thoughts on if this might be useful for my scars? And if so, is there any particular machine you would recommend?
Thanks again

I’ve been in searching for long time to find effective solution to advise my clients who have been badly treated by other therapists cause I feel them. I just recently came across this treatment which I have found the info useful and I wish to share.

Currently, not many places in the world can effectively treat scars causing by electrolysis and the one (dr.) I just came across is in Thailand. She has her surgery patented, and she also has trained other eligible doctors. I have contacted their receptionist via Facebook. This is what they has explained to me (see attached images):

For more info, please directly contact them,

Another important message that I’d like to share is that many medical professionals recently agree that no any current lasers or light therapies can effectively treat this type of scarring and laser treatments not only are waste of time and money, but also can create more complications., such as burns and long term pigmentation disorders. Generally, doctors or therapists who use light therapies to treat this scar type will recommend that many laser sessions will require if clients can see any improvements at all. Yet, their results look convincing and last upto first month post each laser treatment, but this phenomenon isn’t actual result but it is actually edema.

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I would not waste money on LED machines unless it’s recommended by your treating dermatologist as a supplement to medical procedures to mitigate your scarring. There are too many LED light products promising miracles but it’s mostly consumer gimmicks.

There is a dermatologist Davin Lim in Australia who is renowned expert on scar treatments. He has experience with multiple types of laser resurfacing systems and microneedling RF systems. It wouldn’t hurt to try getting a second opinion from him over emails or perhaps video call. It can help you narrow down which types of laser treatments to pursue so you don’t waste your time and money.

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