I’ve noticed a few recent posts have brought up the subject of skin damage. But no one seems to be saying how it clears up. Obviously, the best thing is to avoid it in the first place. But if you’re one of the unlucky ones, here’s a report on my own personal experience.
I’d been having diathermy (thermolysis) from several girls at my local salon, and I’d become a little concerned that each one did it slightly differently, and I was getting some swelling and scabs from some of the girls.
I posted the following on HairTell:
“… I’m left with quite a bit of skin damage - almost like the collagen underneath my skin has lost its elasticity - and quite a few ‘dents’ that look like acne damage …”
“… I’ve been increasingly worried about the lack of skin structure in the treated area. My skin seems to have lost some of its elasticity and ‘plumpness’. It’s not exactly ‘wrinkly’, but there’s a distinct undulation there …”
Does that sort of damage sound familiar?
I wrote some more thoughts on the subject back in
“… If you’re using diathermy (thermolysis), then there’s a chance that you might get some skin damage. There are many immediate signs to watch out for that might indicate that your skin is being damaged.
“… thermolysis … uses heat to affect a localised ‘burn’ and to destroy the hair root.
”Heat travels very well through skin tissues, and hangs around for a long time. If you treat one hair, then you can’t help but heat the surrounding tissue too - in a circle say a quarter inch across. If you then go and treat a hair within that surrounding tissue, you’re double heating the same area. With the next hair you tripple heat it, and so on.”
A competent practitioner will know how to avoid this situation from even occurring in the first place.
However, if you suspect that your skin’s been damaged by diathermy (thermolysis), then I can say that it does lessen over time. For many months, I thought I was getting used to the appearance of my skin. More recently, I’ve come to realise that my skin has actually healed up almost completely.
Here’s what I did, and it worked fine for me:
First off is damage limitation.
If you have an adverse reaction (swelling, weeping, etc.) treat the area as you would with any other burn. Use some ice from the freezer and cool the area. You mustn’t apply ice straight to the skin – wrap it in a cloth first, and be mindful of cleanliness. You will also have to keep the ice applied for a long time (upwards of 30 minutes).
Second thing is not to make a bad situation worse.
It’s frustrating, but steer clear of having electrolysis on the same area too soon. Even if the surface of your skin has healed, deep down in the follicle might be a different story.
If you can, go back to your electrolygist as soon as possible to show them the area. A competent practitioner will be able to assess the reaction and suggest changes in your treatment plan to compensate.
Thirdly, if you’re getting bad reactions from your practitioner, be prepared to switch and find a new one. This was my biggest mistake – I guess I’d become too comfortable where I was, and felt I was somehow letting the guys down if I went somewhere else.
I have a sneaky feeling that some of the Pros might disagree with me on this point, so please take this as my own, uneducated opinion: personally I suspect that if you have really strong, thick, dense hairs, the power levels needed to treat the hair with thermolysis might prove to be too high for your skin. You might find that you’re better off with blend instead.
Finally – and this applies whether you’re getting bad reactions or not – look after your skin!
Drink lots of water all the time (I mean every day – not just before your session!) Water hydrates your skin and will help it to stay healthy through your treatments.
Moisturise twice a day – use a good anti-aging moisturiser (even if you’re still in your teens!)
Take lots of Vitamin C supplements. I use a 500mg slow release tablet every day. Mega doses of Vit.C help your body and skin fight off all sorts of attacks – it helps your skin to heal from any damage it’s taken.
In the summer or the cities, take Vitamin E supplements. This helps your skin to resist the effects of free radicals (sun and smoke).
Limit the amount of caffeine you drink – it’s a diuretic and will dry out your skin.
The same goes for alcohol.
Give up smoking, as that damages the skin as well – the last thing you need is for your skin to suffer any extra stress.
And follow the aftercare instructions that your electrolygist gives you (or which you find on HairTell).
I’ve followed this skin care routine for the last two years, and I can testify that my skin damage has almost completely gone. I used to notice it every time I looked in a mirror, but now I can’t find any trace of it even if I look very closely.
In fact, the only time I can see it, is with blue light from directly overhead. And even then, it’s not that bad at all.
Hope this helps …