Is this normal healing?

I just had my second session yesterday on my upper lip. The electrologist said she was not going to clear the area because of the way my skin was reacting after she had started. I had whitish bumps and swelling immediately after and most of those have gone away now. The scabs are forming today as the day goes on. I have been using lots of aloe (from the plant) and some tea tree oil. The electrologist said she had to turn up the energy because my hair is harder to get out (like “cemented” in there) She would zap but then start to tug and it wouldn’t be ready to slide out so she would need to do it again. This happened several times. There were a couple of instances of “popping” and she said that it was just moisture making the noise and that’s normal. I did have some numbing cream on right before if that makes a difference. I asked her what technique it was and she told me synchro plus if that makes sense.

Please see photos here:

The pictures should be in order from last night (first 2 photos) to today as the day progressed. The one scab on the further edge of my right side (left side of photo) is actually from a zit so it was there already. The rest was from the session. I do have drier skin normally but it’s especially dry now from the tea tree oil.

Nicely documented. Indeed, you have some large hairs that require a good amount of current. Your electrologist was correct in not simply removing all the hairs … however, I would have removed far less than she did. Overall, I think this will heal just fine and I would not “sweat it.” Once the scabs form apply a lubricant to soften the scabs and have them slough-off ASAP: an oil, not a lotion. You’ll be fine. Uncle Mikey promises.

1 Like

Thank you Mike! I added 2 more photos from today that are at the bottom of the photos page. It seems like the scabs are more noticeable now. I am applying oil to them. Should I expect this to happen every time? I thought minimal scabs on the face was best, but is it okay because of the way my hair is? Should she not clear my chin either when we get to that? She is very new at this which is why I was a little worried but there aren’t many electrologists within an hour from me.

Oh my.

First, scabbing should be barely noticeable … if at all … especially on the face. After you’re all healed up … I would shave the area a couple days before treatment. In this way she won’t be tempted to remove too many hairs at one time. As you say, a “newbie?”

If you have those two (common) patches of hair on each side of the chin … watch out! … this is also a danger zone that is prone to all sorts of problems (pitted scars, for example). Again … with large hairs, proceed carefully and, I would pre-shave the area because electrologists sometimes get over-zealous and clear-off all the heavy hairs … and then the problems begin: oozing skin, big scabs, temporary or permanent pitting. You do not want to exchange your hairs for pitted scars.

Sorry colleagues for being so blunt … but I have 45-years of seeing common mistakes made by even veteran electrologists. I probably have 100 photos of these common problems that should not happen. I am not a “rush to clearance” guy on the FACE … the body yes. But the face must be left in perfect condition … and if it takes a little longer, and you are using extreme caution, so be it.

Additionally, let me say … “EEEEK do not clear the chin!” After a few treatment the hairs will be thinned out and safer to clear.

Hi Uncle Mikey, you know that I really like your bluntness. It stirs my soul with happiness and brightness!

Here’s my take on this subject: It is possible to clear chins and upper lips as the poster presents above, if one chooses good energy levels, has access to certain modalities, chooses the proper probe size, makes perfect insertions and has excellent vision aid. That scenario, coupled with observing the skin closely while working does not usually end with oozing, scabbing and pustules. I clear chins and lips most of the time and clients end up with great outcomes. I also know when to stop and not clear. I am saying it is okay to do this, but everything has to click together correctly.

Synchro was used in this case, an excellent modality, however, it sounds like too much energy was applied if sizzling sounds were heard. Maybe an insulated probe was not used?? Insulated probes must be used with Synchro, along with moving the probe. It’s not necessarily the clearing of an area that caused this, but it could be from the strategies that were employed to clear the area?

It could have occurred with other modalities of thermolysis, as well. I just saw a horrible picture on another site from a practitioner who used multi-needle galvanic and the skin looked worse than this.

It’s always wise to follow the concepts of caution about the upper lip and chin. I don’t disagree with that. I am saying that the possibility of clearing these areas can also happen. I do it most often, have my clients text me in 4-7 days, with a picture, ask for their feedback on healing and most often it’s both thumbs up.

I never advise other electrologists to do what I do, but to do what they are comfortable with and to ALWAYS observe the skin CAREFULLY while working. In other words, use your brain as you apply those first principles for epilating hair safely. Get cold-pressed aloe vera gel (refrigerated) on any facial area immediately after a session. Always get feedback from the client, as this makes one smarter and wiser in order to master the art of doing electrolysis well.

Lastly, the first clearances are always / most often? the hardest. The OP’s lip will heal.

I cherish these discussions and differences in approach. I’m terrible at posting picture examples here of my work. It use to be so easy for me with the other format. I need to figure out some things and share more photo’s, but I really don’t want the attention. I have too much work - hehe!

1 Like

he he … not unexpected. Still, there are other consideration. For example the moistness of the skin and the density of the hair growth. If you were, say, removing a ton of near-vellus hairs I’d think a problem could arise. I wouldn’t clear a man’s mustache in one go either.

If I’m not mistaken, the OP said her electrologist was a “newbie.” In such a case, I would not tell the new electrologist to “just clear the whole upper lip.” …

Once a person learns their skill and is able to properly analyze the skin as they work … I would suggest they proceed slowly … thin; not clear … until they know their craft.

Sometimes I do “clear” other times I “thin/scatter.” It depends; but I always recommend extreme caution on the upper lip and “chin pillows.”

Yes she is very new. She is in her first year or two but there are not many electrologists around me. I know everyone has to start sometime so I don’t want to dismiss her just because of that but I also want to make sure she is doing it right.

I shaved 2 days before treatment but there were plenty of noticeable hairs when I went so I don’t know if it just grows quickly. I guess it was good that she saw something she didn’t like about the way my skin was reacting and she decided to not do all the hair. The first time I went she did do most of the hair and I did get scabs after but I didn’t take photos to compare. I know the white bumps weren’t immediate the first time like they were this time.

I do have hair on my chin in those spots so I will have to be careful and talk with my electrologist more. My mom and my sister also went with me (it is genetic unfortunately) and they were able to have their chins cleared with just redness afterwards, so I don’t know if it’s just me and my skin or what. I was also waxing for a few years and they weren’t.

Thank you for the previous tip about using oil on the scabs. They are already mostly gone and I did not scrub the area or anything, just applied the oil a few times. Now I just have redness underneath.

Thanks for your input, Deedra. My electrologist is only in her first year or two. She does use visual aid. I am checking with her about whether or not she used an insulated probe. I will update when I hear back. The first time I definitely heard more noises, so at least it happened less this time. It was a few, maybe 5, times. She told me it was from excess moisture. She told me right after she started that she wasn’t going to clear it all. I should have asked her specifically what was wrong that she decided on that so I had more info.

I can only be responsible for describing what I do, with the equipment and skill level that I have after decades of doing this kind of work. I speak about what is possible to do, following careful guidelines. I never tell others to do what I feel comfortable doing, especially newbies. They need to stick close to the basics and hone their skills gradually, always evaluating the outcome. I clear upper lips and chins most of the time, with some exceptions - if there are 500 hair follicles per square inch, I do not clear. That is an obvious, deliberate choice. It is not a race and never has been. That’s not why I take the clear, if possible, approach. I like being efficient, careful and detailed though. There are many pathways. Personally, I like to use PicoFlash thermolysis on an upper lip, like I see in the picture above for a first, full clearance. Synchro is good, too, but got to watch the energy level, probe depth, size and movement part. Maybe this is a waste of breath and I should not be so detailed. Let it stand that newbies should go back to book basics and not try to understand other techniques. It gets too confusing and controversial.

Hairymama, just give your practitioner feedback and tell her you don’t like your skin reaction. Ask if she can go slower and thin. Perhaps she can choose another modality.
Edit: just saw that you used numbing cream. That means extra moisture in your follicles and moisture is a good conductor of electricity, thus the few crackle sounds.


Looks like there’s blanching, followed by scabs in the exact same distribution. The hairs are thick. After 2 zaps with synchro if the hair did not come out, it will most likely be a dry follicle with the hair cemented in there, so leave that hair and come back at the end of the session or the next session. You are young, Uncle Mikey is right in that scabs will heal and are actually not unusual when there is a wound, as happens with actually killing the hair. It is better to be patient and go slow on the upper lip in order to avoid blanching though, just my 2 cents. We electrologists try too hard to please clients who are impatient, so you have to tell her it is ok with you if she doesn’t clear it but you would rather have an easier time healing up after. It is a fine balance.


Technically speaking, if the follicle was entered twice using Synchro thermolysis, that’s not recommended. That’s too much energy. Whenever clearing an upper lip, one should not be returning too soon, like once a week. I clear and wait for 6-8 weeks, then clear again and wait another 6-8 weeks to clear again. this plan goes on for about a year to 18 months. If the hair is fine or medium structures, waiting three months between clearances is fine. It is okay to clear if certain principles are strictly followed, but don’t do it if you don’t want to. It’s another option for those that know how to do it well.


I talked to my electrologist. She said she only uses insulated probes. I told her about the scabbing on my upper lip last time and I forget her exact words but she said upper lips are more sensitive. She worked on my upper lip again and also my chin for the first time. I told her I would rather not have a lot of scabbing so we didn’t have to get all the hair this time but she said she thought my chin would be fine and she cleared it. Right after I had whitehead looking bumps and of course swelling, I took good care of it with aloe and witch hazel. It looks horrible now :frowning: From what I heard, I think sometimes she was doing 2 quick zaps for the same hair, sometimes she was doing one and trying to take it out and then retreat it. I skipped the numbing cream this time and still heard a couple of crackle noises, maybe 10 total. My upper lip has no scabbing this time and I’m wondering if it’s because now this was the 3rd time it was treated? Maybe after another round or 2 I won’t get scabs on my chin either? But still I didn’t want my chin to be all scabbed this time and have to hide out in my house for days. Is it okay to continue here or should I try to find someone else? My mom and sister had just redness and swelling, no scabs so I am not sure if it’s just my skin. Here are some pictures. 2 of afterwards with the white bumps and 2 this morning.
I also sent pictures to my electrologist and have not heard back yet.

1 Like

I’d like to add my two cents in here too.
I actually dont see a lot to be concerned about, however, there I dont think I use my current the same as your electrologist does.

Synchro has a wide energy pattern. It generates a LOT of heat in a small area very quickly. This can cause the high frequency blowout as you experienced ( literally steam errupting from the follicle) .That sizzling bacon sound. The problem is exasperated if insertions are very shallow , as they often are on upper lips. For this reason, I generally limit myself to picoflash when working upper lips, with one exception, that is some very deep and course transgender beard removal hairs. If deep enough and course enough, sometimes synchro COULD be used, but if it were, there are some noteable restrictions, including , NOT clearing the upper lip in order to avoid overtreatment, and NOT treating catagen oe telogen hairs which are more shallow. With your decreased insertion depth on these hairs, you will see high frequency blowout There’s a few strands that do indeed seem to be courser ( and potentially deeper) than your average females upper lip.
Still how ever, for the most part picoflash is a better altrnative to synchro in 99% of upper lip cases. You can STILL create some High frequency blowout, but it’s usually much less and it’s not the end of the world either if it does happen. There’s unlikely to be any long term effects or damage and it is the energy needed to get out course hairs. But I agree with your electrologists strategy to not treat too many adjacent hairs, as with synchro, ( and even with Pico) there is risk of overtreatment and in general this is to be avoided on the upper lip. Dee is right on, it’s about the hairs themselves. It has to be enough energy to loosen the hair and get a good extraction, but hair depth courseness and stage of growth are all important factors. There’s no way you would see me doing synchro on a normal female’s upper lip, with deep PCOS hairs or Transgender hairs that are stimulated by testosterone, yes, but only on the anagen hairs. Catagen and telogen will require shallower insertions and therefore picoflash to avoid HFB.
It’s about using the right tool for the job.

Your electrologist from all accounts has done it right. Dont sweat the scabs.

1 Like

Long sigh… an insulated probe is a nice choice, but what size was it? I don’t expect you to know, but what I’m getting at is the sizzling sound. You should not hear that. A bigger diameter probe gets more surface area and the energy is dispersed better in order to control and affect more of the tissue in the follicle. Whatever the cause, please let this heal and do not re-visit that area until it does heal. COARSE hairs can be tough to get the first time, but the concern should be to adjust the energy level if the skin looks like its getting angry. You must expect redness, swelling, maybe a few pustules and a few scabs as part of these first sessions. Sometimes it doesn’t happen and sometimes it does to varying degrees. I want to underscore using REFRIGERATED cold-pressed aloe vera gel as liberally as you want for a couple days.

I guess you could try out a few other electrologists if you are curious about the differences, but know it is not easy getting some hairs to budge for any?/some? electrologists. I have a feeling that this will not always look so rough once you get a few sessions behind you.

1 Like

Found this video about facial hair removal 60 HOURS of electrolysis facial hair removal | Aftercare Skin Routine | PCOS & Hirsutism Skincare - YouTube
Hope it will be useful

Hi everyone, it has been several months so I wanted to update on my healing. I decided to update on my original post so you can look back to see the photos I shared of my first couple of treatments. Since I last posted, I went for appointments every month for a bit. The last 2 months specifically have been every 2 weeks. After the first 3 or so appointments, my skin was not as bad after treatment, although I’ve still had some white bumps followed by scabbing. My concern is I always have redness where I have been treated that doesn’t go away in between appointments (even when there was a month between). Should I continue getting treatments or give my skin a break? I am very self conscious about the redness but if it will go away eventually, I will continue. I added some photos here:

My electrologist suggested I use bio-oil but that’s for scars. Are the little indent marks I have going to be scars? @Bono @Iluv2zap @Deedra

1 Like

I am not sure how soon those pictures were taken after treatment? I feel like the pictures you posted look too harsh and there may be some over treatment, since you said there were pustules and scabbing present. Prolonged redness is something I would not like. Perhaps you should give the skin a rest and allow it to completely heal.

The pictures were taken 13 days after treatment. I do get some pustules and scabbing after each session, but a lot less than when I first started. My electrologist says my hair is coarse but my skin is really sensitive and that’s why my mom and sister don’t have the same problem.

Maybe your skin is sensitive, but think more care can be taken to not have this happen.