My Story

I have been suffering with very coarse dark hair that has been growng on my chin side burns and upper lip for about 10 years now.I have been threading them but then started to pluck them.I had to pluck the hairs almost after every 2 days.
I have a sister who also has the same hair problem so I guess its genetic,but I am not sure because I have very irregular periods(oligomenorrhea).I have never gotten this checked up by the doctor.
Now with 2 girls having the same problem my father took us to see an electrologist but she was charging around $65-70 per hour…well we tried about 2 hrs each but the hairs came back after about 3 days!!
My father couldnt afford these rates for 2 people so he thought it would be cheaper to but a proffesional electrolysis machine instead.
Now after using this machine myself for about 6 months I am noticing a reduction in the hair growth BUT I am also noticing some hyperpigmentation on ALL the areas that I have been treating.
Its a purplish colortion all under my chin and along my upperlip.I am deeply concerned that something is going wrong here…I never experienced any burns from self treatment so I don’t know why this has happened?
I used to get this kind of discoloration from plucking.But I havent been plucking for about a year now and the pigmentation is there.

Hi Sarah and welcome to hairtell.

What is happening to your skin is not all that uncommon for some skin types. Hyperpigmentation occurs on people that have darker skin tones. Many things from acne to eczema can cause hyperpigmentation. In your case, doing electrolysis yourself is causing the problem, though I must add that, even when electrolysis is done by a professional, it can be unavoidable, too.

What you can do to prevent or minimize this problem is avoid treatment levels of intensity and timing that cause your skin to scab, don’t work too long on a small area, and scatter your work, meaning don’t treat neighbor hairs that are close together.

Hydroquinone 4% (Solaquin or Eldopaque) are prescription medications that can be used, but there are potential side effects associated with hydroquinone. Other agents such as tretinoin,adapalene.azelaic acid, kojic acid and licorice extract are also used for hyperpigmentation.

When I get a chance later, I will list some brands you could buy. If you prefer to do nothing, don’t worry these spots will fade in several months if you haven’t severly overtreated yourself. What kind of machine are you using?



To add to Dee’s great comments: I would highly recommend seeing an endocrinologist and finding out if you do have PCOS or another underlying medical condition causing this. You might not, but if you do, the problem with not doing this and just continuing the hair removal process is that if you do in fact have something causing this growth, you will never see the results from hair removal methods, no matter what you try. This is because if there is a medical cause stimulating something in your body to produce excess hair, it will continue to be produced no matter how much of the current hair you remove. You will basically continue seeing hair grow, which will be NEW hair, not the hair that you killed. If the doctor determines a hormonal issue, he will put you on medication to help control this, which will also prevent additional hair growth. So it’s very important to figure this out first.

Sarah, if you were plucking the hairs already, then you will see hairs appear three days or so after an electrolysis session. This is normal. These are just new hairs appearing that have regenerated after being plucked weeks ago. I would urge you to stay the course with your professional electrolysis sessions. You will see a decline as more of the plucked hairs appear and get removed. Don’t think yourself out of the ordinary. Stay your course, you will see benefits weeks down the road.


Oh, good idea to check out what may be going on inside your body, since you mentioned oligomenorrhea. Hopefully, your Dad won’t hesitate spending money on this.

As for medication that can help with the hyperpigmentation, a non-prescription formula called Skineffects by Dr. Jeffrey Dover Advanced Brightening Complex can be purchased at CVS if you have one near you. It’s has three ingredients that would be helpful: hydroquinone, kojic acid, retinol.

Skinceuticals Phyto+ is good and expensive. Do an internet search for this.

Murad Age Spot and pigment lightening gel is good. Go to the Murad website.

On the prescription side of things a good first choice is Tri-Luma by Galderma. Three ingredients here: steroid to decrease inflammation, a retinoid and a bleach to lighten dark spots. Some people like this stuff, but keep in mind that you need the right kind of ingredients for your skin type as skin care decisions are based on your particular skin type. I am giving you ideas, but your doctor will have to decide what’s appropriate for you. Usually, one trys these agents after the hair is permanently removed and further treatments are not necessary.

It would be more preferable for you not to self-administer electrolysis on your face, but you explained your circumstance and so it is.


Thank you so much for the advice.I think I should visit a doctor about my condition.
Also what are the downsides of doing electrolysis at home myself?
I usually keep the current low and only keep it for a 2 seconds.I don’t really know but is the hair suppose to fall out itself with just a fingers pull after the needle is removed?I mostly have to pull the hair out with a tweezer after treatment because I keep my current low.

the downside is that it’s hard to make an exact insertion and not damage your skin. most of the electrologists on this forum have stated that they would never perform this on their faces themselves, and they’re professionals. Electrologists do use a tweezer to pull out the hair once it has been zapped, but it should slide out somewhat easily, not feel like it’s just being plucked. what machine are you using? Is this a “home use” machine (couple hundred $) or a professional electrologist machine (several thousand of $)?

I am using Fischer Pro-Therm epilator,it cost around $1500.
Is this a good one?can you tell me a little about this one?
Is this machine in anyway causing my hyperpigmentation?
Is there any place I can get a manual or book on electrolysis;the methods,adverse effects etc that I can educate myself with?

The epilator is fine. No one can say the machine is causing your hyperpigmantation as there are many variables that can cause hyperpig to happen.

Go to the topic bar at the top and click on “Reading”. You should find some books you can order to educate yourself. Can you fill in your location, also? Maybe one of us can give other ideas based on where you live.


Also I used to get hyperpigmentation from plucking?
Is this a similar hyperpigmentation?also is there a such thing as permanent pigmentation…

It’s the same type of hyperpigmentation as from plucking. You need to avoid direct prolonged sunlight after treatment. You can bleach it out as well.

Bleach it out with what?

those medications Dee posted about work by bleaching the pigmentation. u should consult a dermatologist first though.