hyper pigmentation and tighter skin

I had electrolysis on my upper lips last Saturday. 20 minutes on the right side, 15 on the left side.
She usually pinches the area treat, meaning she grab it between two finger and off goes the needle.
The scabs and pimples are gone - I always get those anyways; but now I am experiencing hyper pigmentation. I tried to take pics, but they are not very visible in them, I am very photogenic.

My electrologist told me that from now on we will only do 15 minutes on the whole upper lip.

Also, I feel as if the skin is tighter in both areas; when I bite into food or open my mouth wide, I can feel my skin stretching on both sides.

Any suggestions about hyper pigmentation and any ideas as to why my skin feel tighter? It is only tighter where I had electrolysis, not the whole upper lip.

Treatment time was not excessive and pinching has nothing to do with this. I wonder about the energy level used, but she is the only one that knows that information. Using energy beyond what the follicle needs to be disabled can cause little white pustules and hyperpig. Quality vision wear is upmost important. When the hair doesn’t release, one tends to increase the energy. Sometimes, hair doesn’t release because the insertions are inaccurate, thus the need for good eyesight in this profession!

What was your after care actions like? Are you a woman of color? Maybe you could give the area a rest before having another treatment. Wait until the tightness and hyperpig resolves and perhaps commence with a new strategy, on new day.

I have dark skin, like Halle Berry.
My skin is healing; the hyperpigmentation is visible unless someone really takes a good look at my upper lip.

It still feels tighter though, but not as bad as it was before. When I touch the area treated, I feel it a bit bumpy.

I spoke to her a few days ago and she told me she will only do 15 minutes on my upper lip and will do the lowest current. If it helps, she was doing enough to remove two hairs at a time, and when I told her it was starting to hurt, she reduce the current to remove only 1 hair at a time.

I think I over exfoliated because the scabs were noticeable and I was going to school and people were staring. I applied creams that had vitamin E, C and A. I also used aloe vera plant and applied on my face several times daily.

My electrologist said she never heard anyone mentioned the skin tightening, and I haven’t found anything about it online.

For the amount of work you had, the skin shouldn’t be tight at all! Swelling causes skin to feel tight, but that subsides within hours to a few days. Swelling occurs when more work is done, so none of this makes sense to me. Maybe the other stuff you are putting on your skin is causing the “tightness” . Aloe can certainly do this after you apply it.

I always say, that if one frets too much, and the electrologist can’t reassure them, then electrolysis is not for you. You can visit other electrologists and compare?

I’m glad that you talked to your electrologist, as she knows the details of her treatment and can explain better what’s happening. She can also change some things up if she feels the need to do so.

After the skin is burned, it will look redder (not the temporary after treatment pink), feel firmer and tighter (not the temporary post treatment swelling and puffiness), and become more sensitive to hyperpigmentation from sun exposure etc. The injury from electrolysis usually happen on such a tiny tiny scale inside the skin that you do not experience these symptoms. Try using lots of aloe and lotion and waiting till these improve before more sessions… yes, they will after many weeks. Then ask your electrologist to lower the setting. Also use sunblock and avoid the sun or chemicals such as acid peels, exfoliators and it should help.

Mary, it sounds like your current Electrologist is using “Thermolysis” a high frequency heat. I suggest you find an Electrologist who practices a “Galvanic” electrolysis modality. I never recommend using Thermolysis on pigmented skin, as heat is the main culprit for hypo/hyper pigmentation. Galvanic is a much gentler way of removing the hair without causing any pigmentation to your skin.

I’m sure you can find someone to help you remove your hair, without a reaction on your skin.

Maybe. I have not tried. But, as Dee already wrote, the method by itself should not be the problem at all - in such low intensity treatments there should not be such symptoms over a longer time.

Actually thermolysis may cause delayed healing even in such small treatments, when the pulses are very short and the intensity is therefore relatively large. Even at really small energy levels (50-60 EL on the Platinum) i have caused problems with delayed healing when is was using pulses around 0.05 / 0.06 secs - and that although the treatments were really comfortable and the spontaneous reactions were really small. That turned out to be a systematic effect with all clients i treated in that modality.

After understanding this i of course avoid these settings and stick to pulses longer longer than .1 secs which turns out to be pretty safe. Currently my “favorite” on the upper lip is Multiplex at 0.2 sec with the intensity adapted to the hairs and a final pulse of 0.02s/71%

BTW: all clients healed perfectly, it just took too long.

The skin feels less tighter, almost normal. I can open my mouth to bite food with no problem. Before it felt as if I were stretching some of the skin on my upper lip for opening my mouth wide.

I have been using sunscreen and the spots are still the same color. I got a groupon last month for another electrologist and visited her once. I am seeing her tomorrow, and I will ask her if she uses the galvanic or thermolysis electrolysis.

Is it better to wait until the hyper pigmentation heals before continuing to do electrolysis on my upper lip or it doesn’t matter?

Although Thermolysis is made for fine vellus hair, with your Halle Berry skin, I would not recommend straight Thermolysis. I would lean on the low level side and do blend in stead. Start at a low current, and a small patch area and wait to see how the skin reacts. I have my clients do a 15 min treatment the first time around. The goal for any electrologist is to disable the follicle and maintain the skins integrity, no skin changes. Straight Galvanic would be the way to go for "ppl of color’ but if the hair is vellus, blend is a better way to go IMHO .

Good Luck Mary

Where is it written that ‘high intensity HF’ produces skin changes?

The ‘way to go’ for you is not necessarily the same for other electrologists, and certainly is not a universal law.


I am removing the coarsest hairs with synchro (a variant of fast thermolysis) and often do release such beasts with just one single pulse of 0.2 secs and 38-45%. That’s pretty small settings minimizing skin damage.

So why should i do something which i know is more aggressive, takes longer time and is more painful? (To me (!) - i know quite well how it feels).

This is the old way of thinking - old school, if you will.

Bias toward ones way of doing electrolysis is the thing that divides us and it need not be this way. It serves one purpose - it confuses the consumer. It’s like class warfare, that certain politicians like to engage in, pitting one group against another. There is no good that comes from untruths and biased language that stirs the mobs.

I will weigh in and say that ALL MODALITIES listed under the umbrella of ELECTROLYSIS are appropriate for all skin types. SKILL in using a particular modality determines the outcome of skin reaction. Thermolysis is for women / people of color. Whether it be for the tiniest teenager’s hair on the under lip, to the thickest, nastiest, toughest " man hair " growing on a PCOS woman’s face.

Thanks to Dectro, the one company that offers a variety of modalities within / under the title of Blend and Thermolysis, we have more refined, better engineered choices for disabling hair follicles in the 21st century. The energy doesn’t spill outside the individual hair follicle causing overload on the skin. As Beate said, she uses a form of thermolysis called Synchro, which delivers over a hundred smaller, weaker pulses to a hair follicle in less than 1 second. It is the death knell for hair follicles. The top of the skin looks like nothing even happened, but in the dark world below the skin, a lot has happened!

I don’t need to consider using straight galvanic anymore for any color of skin because I have the gentle, but fierce power of energy that can be controlled to 10,000ths of a second. I can move left, right, up and down. I am always in control of the energy to provide just enough power or a little less power, depending on skin reaction, sensation and how the hair releases.

I’m not against galvanic or blend being used. I adore the possibilities with these modalities! I use blend sometimes if the client requests it or if my instincts tell me to.

When another practitioner poo poo’s any modality as harmful for the skin, especially women of color, beware and be wary. We don’t want people calling around after reading such information here on HAIRTELL ASKING ELECTROLOGISTS IF THEY DO GALVANIC ELECTROLYSIS. Chances are, they won’t find anyone, they will give up and their face will remain hairy. The consumer need not fear what modality an electrologist uses. There are many awesome and skilled electrologists that do thermolysis for every situation at hand and they get great results. Nobody is running to the dermatologist. No one is using fading creams. They go on with their life, never to worry about shaving or waxing their face again. Why? Because they had skillful hands touching them using glavanic, blend or one of several electrolysis modes with knowledge and skill.

It is wrong to not even try to experience and understand what the new modalities on updated epilators can do for hairy people today. it is wrong not to be curious and learn about new possibilties.

Consumers have a hard time when this subject is discussed. They don’t know where to turn to ? the advice we always give here is: Just get as many consults and short treatments as you can and let your instincts click in. A referral from someone who is finished and happy gives one confidence to use the same electrologist as their friend.

Remember one concept: its not Galvanic, Blend or Thermolysis that matters, it is the skill of the person using one of these modalities. I know, because I was scarred by a person using galvanic electrolysis improperly.

High Frequency can cause over treatment due to the quick rise of the heating pattern of the current. A skilled HF (AC) electrologist with good insertions and vision will not have an issue. People with darker skin have options and I personally would recommend short treatments on the side of the lip to thin out the area slowly and to be careful to not have the AC setting too high. I am a manual blend operator, and would set machine at .3-30 and move up to .4-30 , or .3-35 and see how the skin reacts.

This is the old way of thinking - old school, if you will.


Perhaps its is a old way, but electrolysis a 130 year old school method of permanent hair removal. I agree with some of your comments. There are options for the client, and I’m not here to disagree with anyone. Im here to understand all sides and give ppl with over treatment some options. :slight_smile:


I am removing the coarsest hairs with synchro (a variant of fast thermolysis) and often do release such beasts with just one single pulse of 0.2 secs and 38-45%. That’s pretty small settings minimizing skin damage.

So why should i do something which i know is more aggressive, takes longer time and is more painful? (To me (!) - i know quite well how it feels). [/quote]

As we all know Vellus hair is at the sebaceous gland level of the skin. Thermolyis works best with vellus hair because a insert and a second in the follicle with point effect of the probe will quickly treat these hairs.

Course hairs need more time in the follicle to kill off all the cells in the bulge and of course disable the papilla .

I am not knocking any technic or modality or machine here.

I want to help people and give advice to those who have had issues. The original poster had a issue and I’m here to help , not to start a disagreement.:slight_smile:

Electrolysis works.

Thank you, I don’t want to start a disagreement either, but this needs to be addressed.

COARSE hair and VERY COARSE hair does receive the proper amount of energy to disable ALL the cells in the bulge and the bulb when thermolysis is used. It is all about setting the intensity and timing correctly and inserting a probe to match the diameter of the hair with accuracy. A thermolysis practitioner has to meet a higher hurdle because she or he has to be really dead on accurate with insertions. Probe choice and vision aids play a huge part in that insertion process.

How is it that I treat women and men of color or very little color, with coarse and very coarse hair structures that can sometimes look like 'C’s, 'S’s and 'U’s and they get permanent hair removal in 9-18 months? I do this year after year and I don’t have people clamoring for their money back. I use thermolysis - PicoFlash, Synchro and MeloFlash all under a second for each hair. It works and the skin looks great.

I think people should hear this and understand that Thermolysis is not only for vellus hair. Thermolysis is for all hair structures.

You would love exploring other ideas, methods and strategies, all in the name of truthfulness, as you seem to be a reasonable person. I would encourage you or anybody in this great profession to learn about newer ways to get from hairy to hairless, that are not written about in old electrolysis books, that are grossly outdated and not applicable to today’s standards of care and what is possible.

I went today to the other electrologist and asked if she does the galvanic or thermolysis electrolysis. She said that she uses a machine that has 3 modalities if I remember correctly, and she uses a blend of them.

I find hers much more gentle than the other one that I have been to, so I am going to stick to her for a while, or at least for upper lip and chin.

Please, “oh great pineapple of hair removal,” tell me that we aren’t doing the “modality war” thing again.

Okay, fine. So, let me chime in on this 100-year-old dispute … chime: ding, ding, ding …

And, that’s all I have to say about it!

It’s one of the hazards of being here, Michael. Ding!

Ha ha … yes, DING indeed.

And there is a point to all of this.

Unfortunately, tonight it feels like the top of my head … “a point.” I mean: forming a point and then exploding! Splat … the whole works: face cancers, skin grafts, keratosis, Efudex cream, cortisone medication and all the modalities with toupee splattered all over the place.

And, that’s my scientific explanation for it too.