Healing time?

Hi everyone,

I’ve just had electrolysis on my upper lip for the first time. I got a recommendation for my electrologist from my dermatologist, and I went with a woman who has been in business for 24 years.

My question is, how long should my skin appear red and irritated after treatment? She said I’d have redness and swelling for a few hours afterward, but my upper lip was still swollen the following day. I’m now 2 days post-treatment and my skin is has patchy redness with a few whiteheads and tiny scabs.

Is this part of the normal healing process? Or should I perhaps ask for less current or something else differently next time? I’m African American and my skin is olive-colored and prone to hyperpigmentation, so I’m a little concerned that this prolonged irritation will end up turning darker.

Any information will be much appreciated! Thank you.

  • Erica

It’s not unusual for the first appointment or two to be the “worse” and your feedback to your electrologist will be most helpful to you and to her so levels can be adjusted and other new strategies can be tried. The side effects you describe will heal, but the goal is to not create those side effects in the first place. Darker skin is prone to hyperpigmentation, true, and if all is done that can possibley be done to avoid this and it doesn’t work,then after you finish electrolysis, it will most certainly gradually fade away on its own.

As far as how long the area should appear red and swollen, I can tell you that it is not unheard of to get treatment and look like nothing has been done to the upper lip a couple hours afterwards. There are many variables that makes this positive reaction occur. First and foremost is PRACTITIONER SKILL regardless of how many years one has under her belt. Very close to practitioner skill is knowledge of one’s equipment. I’m very biased on this equipment issue and always sound so painstakenly redundant, but I am absolutely sold on the brilliant results one can get as far as speed, time to completion, effects on skin and comfort levels when we are talking about a quality computerized, microflash/blend epilator along with quality magnification and lighting.

Aside from the equipment issue, one thing I would stress to you is to simply go back to your practitioner and fill her in on your healing situation. I can’t imagine her not working with you to try and make the next outcome a better one. You are right to be concerned for your skin.


Thank you, Dee! This is very helpful. I’ll talk to my electrologist and see if we can adjust something. I’d love to look like nothing ever happened within a few hours.

As far as equipment, I know she has a computerized epilator and a very bright light, but I couldn’t tell you more detail than that.

I’m looking a little better today – redness is fading (to brown, unfortunately, but oh well) and some of the tiny scabs are sloughing away. I’m guessing I’ll look fine within a week or so. Thanks again so much for your comments.


Well, you are quite welcome, Erica, and so glad to hear that you are looking better today. It does sound like you and your electrologist will get this together and figure out what is best for your skin.