Electrolysis Warning and Recommendation

I am a darker skinned electrolysis client. After several very happy years of electrolysis on my face, I was down to one half hour visit per year. It never occurred to me that electrolysis could cause scarring to darker skinned people because everyone I’ve seen at electrolysis clinics are of darker skin (Greek, Italian, Middle Eastern, East Indian)and because of my positive experience with several electrolycists over the years. One year,I went to a young electrolycist in my area who left me with scarring that looks like a mustache and wrinkles in the upper lip area. There are also spots of hypo pigmentation. My understanding is that electrolysis works by damaging the reproductive part of the hair follicle, not the skin. The owner of the Spa tells me that my skin, because of the pigment, is prone to scarring and that it therefore is not her fault. I suppose darker skin may be more prone to scarring in the event of its damage, however, since no one ever damaged my skin in over 10 years of electrolysis, I wouldn’t know. The incident took place a year ago and although the pigmentation has faded by about 70%, doctors tell me that it will return with sun exposure. The wrinkles, which occurred in a period of two weeks of the 5th month after the treatment, are collagen damage, according to what I’ve read. My doctor says that the wrinkling will get worse and that there is nothing he can do about the wrinkles that have already occurred. (Laser, he said, for my wrinkles could be catastrophic because of the pigment in my skin.)
When doctors hear that these symptoms occurred after a botched electrolycis treatment, they rush me out of their offices for fear of being involved in a court case. One doctor went so far as to try to convince me that the wrinkling around my mouth was caused by age, even though the rest of my face is wrinkle free and even though these wrinkles showed up very suddenly as opposed to the gradual signs of aging that one would expect.
Despite my present ordeal, I would highly recommend electrolysis even for darker skinned people. The method that I was so happy with was “the blend.” And the reason I believe what happened happened to me, was because the technician had the current up too high for the fineness of the hairs on my upper lip. The current should be adjusted in accordance with the thickness of the hair which varies on different parts of the face. Until I’d met with this unfortunate circumstance, I did have ten years of being able to hold my head up with pride. My advice: Do Not go to a technician who looks young. Go to someone who you know has years of experience or who comes recommended by a doctor.
That said, I am hoping that someone will read my experience and help me find a medical source that either has pictures of electrolysis scars or something written by a doctor indicating that a botched electrolysis job can indeed cause pigmentation and rhytides (wrinkles). If not, if you are someone who got similar scars from electrolysis, please answer with a description or pics.
Thanks for reading my posting, looking forward to your reply

You are correct.

Botched electrolysis treatments in any modality can cause what you describe. If the overtreatment was bad enough, you might have a visible problem for years, or the rest of your life.

That being said, you know that well performed electrolysis can leave the skin hairless and looking as if it never grew hair. I only have to caution that doctors know little to nothing about electrolysis, so a doctor’s recommendation is not going to be worth much. I would also point out that a newly minted electrolysis worker with a good education and newer equipment is sometimes a better choice than the person with decades of experience. This is especially true when one believes in cranking up the treatment energy just because the client can physically tolerate the sensation.

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Most of my clients are women of color. There is no scarring, defined as pitting, keloid formation, wrinkles, etc. When these ladies (and gentlemen) present themselves, there is almost always signs of hyerpigmentation caused by their present form of removing hair (tweezing, waxing, depilatories, shaving). If these signs are present before electrolysis treatments start, then that is a clue that hyperpig could be initiated by the act of electrolysis, as wel. Once the the hair is permanently removed, the skin mends itself and the dark spots fade gradually leaving one with no noticeable hair or hyperpig problems.

With the newer computerize epilators available today, better probes and proper training, there should be no danger for people of color or for people with very little color, to expect permanent side effects along with permanent hair removal.

Get those consultations after you read, research and think about what good electrolysis care looks like and feels. If someone over treats you and it takes weeks for you to heal, while co-workers, family and friends keep asking you what the heck happened to your face, then that is a big clue that you need to hunt for someone else who does electrolysis better. Being young or old as an electrologist has noting to do with whether you will get good care. Many older electrologists are stuck like dumb pigs in the mud on Valium, overtreating clients and the clients are scoffed at with “no pain, no gain” statements. Younger electrologists may behave the same way.

A modern electrologist, whether young or “old”, constantly thinks beyond what she or he is doing and is always on the look out for new ideas and products that keep improving. Some of the younger electrologists know more than than their “mentors”. The only thing lacking is the younger eletrologists or new to the field electrologists probably do not have the same amount of insertions under their belt.

Plain and simple - you had a great electrologist years ago and then you had the unfortunate experience with a sub-par electrologist. It is up to the consumer to advocate on behalf of them self if the healing is not within the guidelines for good healing outcome and then she must tell the electrologist when she is concerned about anything. It’s a feedback system that works for the good of both parties.

Now, hopefully, some consumers will read your post and tell about their personal experiences as you requested.

Welcome to hairtell!


Hi Kaybee,

I’d really like to know what your skin looks like now that it’s been a couple years.

I started electrolysis on my upper lip roughly 5 months ago, and i also experienced some hyperpigmentation, and texture differences. I’ve had hyperpigmentation on my upper lip from acne before and I know that takes a long time (personally) to fade, HOWEVER, over the last month, I’ve noticed that wrinkles have formed along the part of the treated area that folds when I smile, and there’s no reason for those lines to have appeared at this point in my life (i’m 24 years old, I’m not ever out in the sun excessively, and have been wearing sunscreen consistently since I started treatments). I can’t believe that this is real aging either, because they developed so rapidly, and have gotten worse in a matter of weeks. I noticed them at first as creases that took a minute or two to fade after i smiled, and now, a month after that first observation, they don’t even fade, they’re just always there.

I’m not sure if I was overtreated, because I went to an experienced and highly recommended electrologist (someone that was recommended on this forum actually). My treatments have always been 15mins or shorter, with a couple weeks in between, and I’ve seen enough people who have had electrolysis done on their entire faces to believe that it doesn’t necessarily cause wrinkles. And yet contradicting evidence remains on my face. So it’s confusing.

I’m really upset, and the effect it’s had on my already low self esteem has been devastating. It makes me regret ever having started electrolysis, especially given that I started treatments to get rid of hairs that caused the same low esteem in the first place. I don’t know what to do. I’d really appreciate knowing if your wrinkling has gotten any better or if you’ve found a good treatment for it.

Thanks, I’m looking forward to hearing from you soon!

Hello, It’s great to read honest and heart-felt accounts of both good and bad electrolysis treatments.
The hairs we are removing need to be treated with just the right amount of current or currents (blend) to release them from their attachments at the root.
No more-no less.
It may take a few insertions for trial and error to reach this so called ‘working point’ but, once reached, each hair should be gliding out without pain.
It is a great shame that someone should have used such an excessive current on you that scarring has been caused.
Learn all you can about electrolysis and help others to learn as well.

Anyone who is still finding their treatment settings based on how much pain the client can stand, instead of what is needed to release the hair, really needs to get with the new deal.

The newer the style of machine, the more off the mark that would be.


I have the same experience after 5 months of electrolysis.
Did find find a remedy for the wrinlkes which you could recommned me please.



I have dark skin as well and I have electrolyis for about 5 months after that I have noticed scars and wrinkles around my chin and near my mouth. Did you find a remedy for the wrinkles and scars?

Please Help


Vitamin C and Zinc will help the skin heal.
If you smoke, that will make matters worse.

Thanks. I don’t smoke or drink. Do you think the wrinkles will get better or get worse?

Does electrolysis really cause wrinkles?

Do you think I should have Glycolic Acid Peel or microdermabrasion for the wrinkles and scars?Will this cure my wrinkles and scars the rest of my life.

Electrolysis should not cause wrinkles. While there are a few situations where it could, those situations come along with very obvious scarring and/or indentations in the skin.

I would increase your C and Zinc, with increased use of organic fruits and veggies, supplements, or why not do a full on Juicing program to super charge your nutrients, and rebalance the body.

Many thanks for your advice

hi there just wondering if ur wrinkles ever went i have had the same problem bad from electrolosis from to many sessions on a high setting and i have light skin so worried hope its not permanent thanks

Any updates from the members who posted here?
I am in the same boat. I started electrolysis in march of this year…around my 5/6 appointment, I started noticing pits around my upper lip area…I was freaking out. I went into this expecting to be hair free, no one told me about wrinkling, heck wrinkling wasn,t even mentioned as a side-effect! I had a talk with my electrologist regarding it, she basically told me it looks more like hyperpigmentation…I really don’t know to be honest. I am a little mixed up, I am not even sure if this treatment is working on my hair. Sometimes I feel it is, othertimes I don’t think it is working. I have a few coarse hair on my upper lip since I began this treatment in march, and I still have them!! Shouldn’t they been gone by now?
I am so confused as to proceed with the treatment or not.
My electrologist is using an apilus pro, blend treatment. The hair comes out fine like butter. After treatment I only experience the regular swollen/red area which I have read about. It usually lasts about an hour or a few hours. The only time I felt the area was not getting any better was after my 5th treatment when the swelling didn’t go away until the next day; and this was the same week I noticed the pitting/wrinkles.

How many treatments are recommended for the upper lip? Chin area? When do people start to notice a difference? I would really appreciate some feedback from the members and the experienced electrologists here.