Is cataphoresis necessary after thermolysis?

I hate the metallic taste left in my mouth. I’ve been reading the forums
and it sounds like it is only helpful if I am having blend or galvanic.
She said she is using thermolysis and I am not holding anything until the
cataphoresis part where I hold a metal rod attached to the machine with
a wire so I am pretty sure it’s thermolysis.
THank you.

I got this done too after thermolysis. But only from one person. Everyone else i’ve been to has not done it. I wonder why.

I’m a blend operator and basically never do cataphoresis following electrolysis. Absolutely no benefit if patients have had local: the local completely negates post-op swelling, i.e., local with epi. However, some benefit to select post-op plastic surgery patients, e.g., edema from blepharoplasty.

I believe any benefit from cataphoresis is only immediate and temporary. (I don’t like the metallic taste either! Yuck!)

Here’s a fun experiment (if your electrologist will do it for you). Have her place the cataphoresis electrode near your eye. With the current on, have her rapidly touch “on and off” the electrode to the skin. With your eyes shut, you will see a tiny flash of light! The on-off stream of electrons stimulates the optic nerve; you’ll see a flash of light. It’s a harmless phenomenon.

Overall, my opinion is that cataphoresis is a waste of time.

Does anyone know if the cataphoresis process helps stop the formation of
scabbing? Scabbing has been very minimal and I wonder if it is because
of the cataphoresis or is it done to minimize swelling?
Thank you.

I never do cataphoresis and scabbing is not a problem with my clients when it comes to facial work. Bodywork scabbing is pinpoint to none.

My electrologist performs “ionophoresis” during our sessions – I’m not sure what, if any, difference there is between that and cataphoresis. Her machine is an Apilus Platinum, and I don’t hold anything while she’s working. She performs the ionophoresis after finishing an area for that session (say, she’ll do this when she’s done with the right underarm, before proceeding on to the left one). For that step she does have me hold the metal bar (wrapped in a wet wipe, not sure why) while she runs the wand over my skin, having first applied an aloe lotion. It only ever takes one minute at most. It’s an odd sensation, a mixture of pleasantly soothing and mildly static at the same time. I’ve never once noticed any kind of metallic taste as a side effect of this, though. As she does it every session, I can’t really say comparatively whether my skin recovers better with it versus without… but my skin usually feels relieved immediately after, and scabbing is always minimal. Usually by the next morning you can barely tell that anything was done to the skin. :slight_smile:

Even if the benefit is only temporary, I’m still happy to have it – like today, she worked on 4 separate areas. That first area finished would have been irritated and driving me crazy for another couple of hours till the end of my session (not to mention my hour return drive) before I could apply anything topical at home. I don’t use any locals beforehand, so I’ll gladly sacrifice a mere 30-60 seconds of treatment time to get instant relief like that!

If cataphoresis were necessary, more of us would do it and hardly anyone does.

Iontophoresis is a broader term which is the process of introducing water soluble products into the skin with the use of electric current positive OR negative poles.

More specifically, should the positive pole be used, it is referred to as cataphoresis. When the negative pole is used, it is referred to as anaphoresis.

Cataphoresis will produce a lower pH at the site and will close pores and soothe nerves. If you would like to do an experiment, have one area done with the iontophoresis cataphoresis and another - just apply a cold compress or cooling aloe vera gel.

I used to go to an electrologist who used an Apilus and absolutely always did cataphoresis. I was not allowed to refuse it lol.

I have extremely oily and acne prone skin and when it comes to my face and chest, I invariably get pustules (talking about acne not scabs) post electrolysis. I personally don’t think it helped any with that.

I wonder what her thinking was regarding administering cataphoresis on your oily skin. What would the advantage be of contracting the pores on someone with oily skin? Oily skin would be better off with a hint of tea tree oil added to a warm water compress.

@Arlene - Thank you for the clarification on terminology. I had wondered how they were related or if they were the same thing.

@zaphairzap - I don’t think it’s meant to help in that regard. I only ever consider the iontophoresis as a temporary skin soother till I can get home and doctor it up properly with my tea tree oil. I don’t think it’s meant to replace the typical aftercare routine. I have similar issues with my facial skin (oily, prone to breakouts) and I’m kind of surprised your tech wouldn’t “allow” you to refuse the treatment, on your face at least if the skin in this area had that kind of reaction.

Leah, no, its not the cataphoresis that caused my acne/break outs (its just how my skin reacts to any insult), I’m just saying that it didn’t help in any way… In fact, I agree with Arlene about keeping the pores open and I’m afraid rubbing the skin with anything (except an antibacterial topical) including a metal rod doesn’t help much with not introducing more bacteria.

Personally, my skin does not respond to tea tree oil. If anything has helped me with my acne in all these years, then it’s benzoyl peroxide and tretinoic acid. These are long term measures though and one shouldn’t use them with electrolysis because they make the skin very sensitive.

For some immediate antibacterial care or break out prevention geared toward electrolysis I’m now leaning toward clindamycin gel.

my dear ZapHairZap, you may get something out of a documentary called “Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead” by Joe Cross. You can actually watch it for free on Hulu, if you don’t mind their current ad model that just sticks in the same ad 15 times during the showing of a movie in such a way as to interrupt someone mid sentence to stick the ad in.

It is also available on DVD

Hehe James I know it sounds like I’m totally into synthetic meds but that’s only when it comes to my acne. I’ll watch it in the next two weeks when I’ll have less school load :slight_smile: