Is this reaction normal - I'm scared of scarring!

Hi Guys,

I’ve recently started my Electrolysis journey and am a little worried at the reactions I’ve had so far. I had a trial session done under my neck just to get a feeling of what would be involved. The machine used was the Apilus Platinum Pure. There was scabbing (similar to the picture below) that has since subsided but I’ve got raised bumps where some of the scabbing has gone. The picture below is exactly 2 weeks to the day I had it done:

My question is will these raised bumped eventually fade or have I managed to get those dreaded keloid scars? :o

The electrologist that did my neck recommended I get someone else to do the main areas I really want done (upper arms, shoulders and back) because they weren’t quick enough to do the large areas in any good amount of time. These areas are covered in newly grown thin hair as a result of failed laser treatment. I managed to find a BIAE registered member 20 minutes from my house. She uses diathermy but I can’t remember the machine name. It had 10 red lights going up to 10 and a mini dial at the front if that helps. Looked like an old machine. With her I started work on my shoulders, 1 hours worth of work on each. This was yesterday and the following are the results:

Right Shoulder:

Left Shoulder:

The left shoulder definitely has less scabbing but I’m just wondering if all that can be seen above is normal or if I have any concern to be worried about either electrologist. Are their settings too high? Is there too much scabbing? Am I at risk of scarring based on the first picture? Any advice to put my fears at ease or give me a reality check would be greatly appreciated.

P.S. I have very sensitive skin and have a skin condition called dermographism:

In my opinion, things are going well. Your neck is as it should be. Note that the skin of the neck is 25% thinner than the face, so it is normal that there is still some swelling in them. The healing process is not yet over. These follicles have 4 or 5 mm deep, the same depth of the injury which must be produced in order to achieve permanent hair removal.

Of course, others will disagree with me. However, I have been doing men’s hair removal for 35 years and this is exactly the reaction you WANT to see. You will have permanent results and your skin will be perfect! Your electrologist is doing a TERRIFIC job; I mean absolutely correct! As I say to all my male clients: If you don’t get a scab with your body work, RUN!

Of course, you could go for "light treatment, no scab and minimal swelling,” etc. You will also be going for 2 or 3 times longer and, in the end, potentially develop “pebbling” … a scar-like manifestation that results from not killing the follicle the FIRST time. Repeated treatments in the same follicle causes a build-up of scar tissue that is more dense and visible.

Be DAMN glad that you found a great electrologist!

Ditto, amen, well said, etc. etc. etc.

It looks scary and it takes several months to heal but knowing what I know now, I actually start fretting if I see a lesser reaction.

Bless you my child (aka notadelphin)!

I have been “fighting” the “hysteria of scabs” for the last few decades (mostly to no avail). If people will take the time to discover what a scab actually is (I mean physically), all of this “fear” nonsense subsides. (I don’t mean the panic of patients; I mean the electrologists themselves. By contrast, patients have a right to be concerned and we must have the right answers for them).

If you come from a culture of “beauty therapy,” and are primarily a make-up artist then red skin and swelling (and scabs) cannot be tolerated. If you are a dedicated electrologist and “risk” taking-on massive cases, you eventually understand what must be done to achieve results.

I’m still “smarting” from a viscous email I got months ago from someone in our field saying that I “don’t know what I’m doing and that I have ‘torn-out the living hell’ of the skin.” Not surprisingly, this individual has NEVER removed a single hair with electrolysis! I mean NOT ONE! It’s all theory, hear-say, and conjecture.

When you are “in the trenches” you get it!

Interesting photos thanks. Question when it comes to this reaction on the face: Does one atleast look presentable after about a full week of healing?

What do You mean by “presentable”?

At least in my face most of the scars were gone after a few days. The largest ones, however, took about 2 weeks to go.

As soon as the initial reaction permitted i covered the scars with makeup or at least a makeup-like cream to cover Akne pustules.

It all depends on the density of treated hairs. If the density is very high the area will still be a little red after 1 week, although inflammation will remitted considerably. In these pictures you can see a case of neck beard line which was reduced 1/2 Cm, the rest (where the density is lower) 3 clearances were made before this photo.

3 weeks after

I had similar pin-point brown scabbing on my shoulders from my first electrologist. The scabs went away in a week or so but mine looked persistent because I was getting weekly treatments, so as older scabs were healing, new ones were developing. But in any case, they will all heal up fine without scarring.
By the way, I’m not sure on the theory that scab formation is indication of effective treatments. I started seeing visible progress on my shoulders after I switched my electro who didn’t scab like the first.

I’m pretty sure Beate means “crusts or scabs” and not “SCARS!” (It’s that bloody German/English dictionary again?) A “scar” is a permanent mark, a crust is very temporary.

Scabs form on the face with only the largest hairs, e.g., beard. We all try to minimize crusts on the face. Nearly all face work can be done without creating crusts.

I see, thanks for the explenations. I have a much better idea of the scabbing now and it will not be a problem at all for me.

This is an interesting case. I can not help but smile when I read things like this:

[color:#333333]THE FLASH TECHNIQUE
The flash technique is not effective for coarse hairs, and should be reserved for fine, straight hairs. Even with fine hairs, the blend is more effective. (pag. 197 of Cosmetic and Medical Electrolysis & temporary Hair removal)

Let’s see what happened here:

Before first clearance (October 2011).

After 4 months. Before second clearance (February 2012).

After 3 months. Before third clearance. (May 2012)

Josefa, do you commonly use the three clearance strategy for face like body work? I had impression face work needed more frequent clearances than body work because energies used on face are much lower than body work thus longer process till the goal.

Hi Fenix, If the hairs are not touched during certain time, so that the maximum of hairs are present on the surface of the skin, the results are identical for face and body.

The problem in the face or neck, is that they are visible areas, which can not be easily hidden. For a man to let his beard grow is not a big deal, but for a woman, things are different. Therefore, the strategy in the face of a woman must be tailored to her needs that will be influenced by her personal and professional relationships. Unless hairs are fine and can be bleached, in which case 3 clearances would be more than sufficient.

Thanks, good to know that “same tricks” can work on face (for man’s beard) at least. :slight_smile:

I do.

(It’s that bloody German/English dictionary again?)

No, that’s one of my more common mistakes - scar <> scab. i’ve obviously been more tired after a hard working day as i recognized…

As a DIYer I would get the same reaction as you on my neck and elswehere on my body new areas look worse first time they are hit but I tend to think that the scabbing is a little excessive maybe to deep an insertion or too much power as you said the second place is using older equipment maybe that accounts for it ?

PS you will not have any scars

I have not yet been able to find an electrolysist who could/would do “3 clearances” on my face. I tell them all about your method Jossie and then they tell me that they don’t work that way!

I guess that makes our Jossie one of the “OutLaws of Electrolysis” :wink:

with apologies to the Smokey and the Bandit theme song:
“We got long way to go, and a short time to get there.
We going to do what they say can’t be done.”

I’ve been chastised for stating treatment generalities and, actually, the criticism is accurate! Readers take what we say as gospel when we have, perhaps, only made an off-hand remark. (I’m trying harder.)

For the face, this “3-clearances” REALLY depends on the patient and what he or she is doing to the hairs … and, where they are in the development of said facial hairs. I’m specifically referring to the “3 clearances on the face and the job is finished” (actually, Jossie did not say that, but her statement was interpreted that way).

My own strategy on a man’s beard is not to clear the whole beard in one “go.” Yes, I will clear, say, under the neck … (a limited area that will maintain a proper blood supply for correct healing). Furthermore, most women have been fiddling with their faces for years (tweezing), so the ability to CLEAR such a situation is not possible. And, of course, a woman’s facial hair might be starting to fill-in and may take several years to see all of these hairs grow in.

For clients, e.g., Danika, to take a few comments and then try to apply this to any electrologist is not appropriate or even fair. So many of the Hairtell patients will glean a few comments and then attempt to micro-manage their electrologist.

To that point, in the last year or so, I have watched many Hairtell patients become over-burdened by attempting to manage their treatment. Instead of just getting the job done they ask everyone’s opinion and get confused in the process. During that same period of watching Hairtell, and communicating with these folks, I have fully completed a few men’s back cases: GIANT jobs that are now 100% done. These guys simply “got with the program.” They didn’t try to micro-manage me (e.g., demanding I use a specific needle or wonder about my “settings” or what type of machine I’m using …) AND they are completely finished.

At the same time several clients here seem to have made a career out of stressing about treatments, micro-managing, and asking everyone’s opinion from electrologists on several continents. If you ask 10 electrologists to comment on something, you are likely to get 10 slightly different answers. All of this creates confusion. Just get the job done!

There are four electrologists here in Santa Barbara and they are all excellent. We share clients and I have no problem with any of them (well, one gets too much re-growth). Electrolysis is not rocket science. Electrolysis is relatively easy and most of us are pretty damned good at it. JUST GET THE JOB DONE!