Question about the real effects of electrolysis

After reading for some time, I decided to post. Let me start by saying, I took all of the advice on this forum. I really need to know, is there a person out there that has had treatment with no scarring or pits or pigment problems. If so, could you refer me. I have gone on 10 consultations. What really shocked me was seeing that most of the electrologists have had work done on themselves and their faces are quite scarred and pitted. I am in shock. If they accept this for themselves, what are they doing for you. of the 10, 6 of them told me flat out that you are likely to have pits or scars and that I have to decide if I can live with this or deal with hair. Is this true? Are these the only options? Scars or hair? Well, forget the scars, that is crazy. I am wondering has anyone been able to get treated and their skin looks exactly the same. Let me tell you, so far I have only seen scarred faces. also, 2 of the offices were filthy, nasty. The one lady wore no gloves and you could see the dirt under her finger nails. worse, to get up an ingrown she squeezed it like one would squeeze a pimple. I know you should never do that. Then 2 of the others used ridiculous outdated equipment leaving me with scabs for 3-4 weeks, I don’t think so. I live in a state requiring licensing, what is going on. I feel, like I read in a previous post that you would have to see the person’s work and monitor your skin carefully. Can anyone post a picture of good no skin damage treatment. I have never seen this on this board. I am in search of answers and would appreciate honest feedback. I have to wonder if Vanessa is right, it will always ruin your skin. Now, I just have a short treament done on a nonvisible spot because I have some white (i think they call it blanche) scars that never went away. Advice and referrals would be great.


I am horrified after reading your post. What area do you live in that you are getting such a poor quality of service? You should never have pitting or scarring! Even blanching should not happen. A good Electrologist has an arsonal of supplies to help you, including gold needles to minimize irritation, and insulated needles to deliver the current only to the bottom 1/3 of the hair shaft. Gloves are an industry standard and you should accept nothing less. In my office, the average person has some redness for the first 2 hours after treatment. Saome people who are very fair skinned or have very thick hair(requiring a higher current)will get small pindot scabs for a few days after ther treatment. You should NEVER have permanent markings, pitting, or discoleration after the scabbing has gone away.

i have been having electrolysis for about a month now. the areas that i have had worked on are my eyebrows (between and hairline), my stomach, my upper lip, and my chin. i have no scarring or pitting. i have actually had multiple treatments on my chin in one week. it grows very fast because i plucked it for years very frequently. when i leave my electrologist my face is red for about an hour and then it looks normal. over the next couple of days i sometimes develop whiteheads in certain areas that are very small. sometimes the skin will also be very dry bcs i use witch hazel which dries it out. as i understand when you want an area to heal it’s better if there isn’t a lot of moisture to breed bacteria. the only time i have ever had scabbing was on my stomach. the scabs were the size of pins (right where the follicle was) and my electrologist said it was bcs the hair was so coarse and the skin was so soft. i kept the area clean and didn’t bother it and it healed with no scars. so in answer to your question, i don’t look great after treatment (dry skin, sometimes whiteheads), but there is CERTAINLY no pitting or scarring. my electrologist has about 20 yrs experience, wears gloves, and uses insulated needles. she is also very particular about checking an area the next time i see her to make sure all is well with it (such as my stomach). i also do not wear makeup for about 24 hours after treatment, maybe more if possible. i feel like my skin heals exceptionally well and i also think my electrologist has a good amount of skill and experience. i hope you can find someone just as good. i can recommend two electrologists in maryland, close to d.c. and northern virginia if by some chance you are close enough to those areas to get treated by them.

of the 10, 6 of them told me flat out that you are likely to have pits or scars and that I have to decide if I can live with this or deal with hair.

WHAT??? where are you and who are those people???

I NEVER heard or saw anyone like that! It’s really surprising that there would be so many bad practitioners all in one area. perhaps they all went to the same school where they happened to have a bad teacher too…

i don’t know. now I’m shocked! None of what you are describing should happen (and yuk about the woman with the dirty nails popping an ingrown - how fast did you run out of that office?)

There should be no scaring, but scabbign can happen and it’s ok really. it will pass, but no permanent pitting and blanching. Keep looking ot tell us where you are so that people who know people can try and find you someone close to home that is safe.

okay, I went on two more consults and boy am I getting discouaraged. I would appreciate responses and any referrals. I just moved to Mayfield Heights, just outside Cleveland, Ohio. I am willing to travel some distance. I had a brief treatment with one woman that seemed sanitary,but the problem is she left me with 2 huge welt bruises, Oh my gosh. Do you think it will heal? The second wanted me to sign a waiver that talked about the possibility of being scarred. That is nuts, seems like an excuse to scar you. I ran out of there fast and would not let her come near me with the probe. Is this a ridiculous endeavor? Has anyone out there had good treatment without scarred or pits or damage. I mean I read some other posts and people seem willing to be scarred, not me, I am so upset with the damage that was done and want to avoid that, but is it a pipe dream, will you always be scarred? That is all I am hearing. Please feel free to email me. I would be so grateful for some help, please. I feel lost and very sad at this point. I was hoping this site could help me find good, sanitary, nondamaging, nontweezing treatment. Thank you.

Ok guys I’ve got this one…
You’re concerns are legitimate and I agree with your hesitation. I felt the same way when I first found out about electrolysis. While I have never had electrolysis done in full, I have been to a consultation just so I could learn more about the procedure. Scarring can happen, yes. The chance is there but its not a guarantee and is more common in diabetics and people who go to unskilled electrologists. If you also do not follow the after treatment care you heigten your chance of skin damage. There are people on these forums who can testify to scarring (mind you, they are now hair free or on their way) and there are plenty of those who can testify to having no scarring. In the hands of a great electrologist who you communicate clearly with and feel comfortable with, you are ok.
I have put my hands on a burner plenty of times. No scars. I used to have a ferocious cat who would sink his teeth into me and tear his claws across my skin. No scars. People get tattoos all of the time…still no scars. The electrolysis probe does not penetrate that far into the skin. Tattooing tears across your skin and actually causes you to bleed. Surely you have had shots before or given blood? Also, you might have seen people go get tested to see what they are allegeric to where they stab them with hundreds of needles and their skin heals. Proper treatment care mixed with someone who knows what they are doing and has good equipment will ensure the best results. Just ask around.
From my test consultation I was left with several marks that persisted for several weeks but I kept cleaning them and now the skin looks fine. You can find that post under “what’s this?” and another one of which I cannot remember off the top of my head. I kept cleaning the area and followed the recommendations of all of the beautiful people on here.
Keep searching for that electrologist and keep everyone updated.

i’ve already responded to this once but just to update: it’s a little hard for me to testify to no scarring bcs certain areas of my face already have scars. my chin and the sides of my upper lip are scarred from all the plucking i did which caused ingrown hairs. however, my eyebrows used to look TERRIBLE (lot’s of ingrowns and little red spots where i had been pulling out hairs) before electrolysis. now i do not pluck any hair on my body whatsoever. my eyebrows look GREAT. especially between them, there were always red spots and little black dots (hairs that were growing in badly bcs they were ingrown) that i was picking out. the skin there looks wonderful, absolutely no scarring whatsoever from electrolysis. i’ve also had some parts of my face worked on like small areas on the sideburns and spare hairs on the cheeks that look like nothing happened. i feel like my chin and upper lip have no scars from electrolysis but like i said some of the scarring there COULD be from electrolysis but i doubt it. those areas also look better than when i was tweezing them for the same reasons as my eyebrows do. i have also had my stomach worked on with no scarring. looks GREAT and stopped the ingrowns there as well which were a results from tweezing. my electrologist now switches between blend and thermolysis on my face as well. blend for coarse hair and thermolysis for finer baby hairs. i was worried about the thermolysis bcs i understand it’s easier for an electrologist to make a mistake and burn you. all went well and my face actually looked better after the treatment than it does after blend. i definitely think there is always a CHANCE of scarring bcs nothing is without risk. but i personally was willing to take the chance. my face looked so bad after all the tweezing and the hair was increasing and becoming more ingrown and more coarse. i also have some scarring on my face from severe acne and honestly those kinds of scars do fade and improve over time. bcs of that i’m probably not as picky about marks left on my face. my plan is to have microdermabrasion done after my face is close to finished regarding electrolysis. good luck to you and i hope you can find a practitioner that you are as happy with as i am with mine.

I don’t know about electrologists in your area. Hopefully you can find one who is good. I am about 8 months into treatment on my upper lip and chin, and I have no scars, welts, marks, bruises, dots, wrinkles, pits, pockmarks, nothing. My skin looks 100% normal.

In the first 3 months or so, my upper lip and chin would be fire engine red and swollen after a treatment because I had SUPER thick, verrry deep hairs. I spent those evenings at home with an ice pack. That phase passed in 3 months. I posted at that time, worried about getting scarred. Someone else wrote me that the skin is a living organ and has incredible powers of healing and regenerating itself. It was true for me.

Besides me, I know of two women who had their lip/chin area done. They have no scars or marks either. The key is to get a few consultations, and try to get referrals. Ask the electros if you can speak to/see their past or current clients.

I hope this helps. Good luck finding someone. The time spent on this search will really be worth it.
susie <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

As VespaSusie said, the skin can heal, especially if you take proper care of it. It may take some time, and you should not get dicouraged during that period. But if you keep it clean and hidrated with lotions and vitamine E or other nutritional oils, it will go back to smooth.

Check out this area of the forum:

and do a search on “scars” and more posts on this very popular topic will come up.

Alan, Jessicaz, Ivelina, md1239, Vespasusie:

This post by lynnlee has a familiar tone to the jenniecries posts from 9/03, to the kel posts from 12/03 and to the annieme posts of 2-04 through 7-04. It is very hard to believe that every electrologist in northern Ohio is horrible as indicated from these poster(s). Annieme pointed out that between she and two other ladies, they collectively consulted with 35 electrologists and couldn’t find one decent practioner. Kel’s posts had the same complaints about pitting and scarring and the plea for finding a good electrologist. Jenniecries posts are a must read,too. They are all from the northern part of the state.

Lynnlee’s posts that she interviewed 10 electrologists and can’t find someone that is competent? If you are interested and have the time, go to the USER’S LIST above and search for the names annieme,kel and jenniecries and read these posts and you will understand what I am saying.

lynnlee, please read these posts,too, as there is a lot of good information and similarities for your particular concerns. You said you are willing to travel. Pennsylvania,Indiana and Michigan would probably have some electrologists on their borders that could be of some help to you.


Dee, is there an organization in that area that we can contact to let them know what is going on in their state?

Does anyone know where all those practitioners get their schooling?

You can try to contact the American Electrology Association at

Alan and Ivelina,

Before I comment, did you read the posts that I mentioned above?


yes, i read the most recent ones (by jennyclies) as they were being written. i’ve even posted in some of them i believe.

annieme’s Sharing the process

I think i see what you are talking about now. This post???


I read your posts and just wanted to offer people a place to look for electrologists and possibly post a complaint if necessary.

Thank you all for the encouragement and some very good points. What is interesting is that there are very few training schools in this area and I am sure they are trained at the same. I do have one lead now that I am going on Saturday, fingers crossed. Good idea to read those posts, so I am trying to email annime to see if she can tell me who to stay away from. I am avoiding Pennsylvania because it is an unlicensed state and if licensed states have this problem, imagine unlicensed. But you seem wonderful Alan. Too bad you are too far for me. It was nice to read that others are struggling with this as well. Referrals would be great. I am trying to get consults done and find someone before I start my first job.

Am I to understand that this will be the eleventh (11th)electrologist you have seen, lynlee?

Oh,I think I miscounted, this will be your 13th consult when you go on Saturday. Right???

It would not be correct to assume that treatment will be better in a licensed state as opposed to an unlicensed state. Most state licensing programs only mandate that a practitioner attend a school and mandate a number of hours for the student to spend at that school before completing the program.

If the school is not working hard at teaching, the licensing program only keeps them in business due to people’s need for a school they can afford to attend (and distance usually plays a large part in where people attend) instead of people finding out where they can learn the most, and going that route.

When one looks for an electrology school, one often finds that the school one wants to attend based on the rigorous program they teach, is often impractical to both pay the tuition AND spend the duration of the course living in this other city, state or country, for the purpose of learning the trade.

Most electrology school students have a need to be home on a daily basis, as they are not usually young folks who have easy mobility.

There is no substitute for doing your homework here. Unlicensed states, sometimes have more good electrologists than licensed states, and sometimes it is the other way around. One just has to look around in either case, both when one is looking for an electrologist, and when one is looking for an electrology school.

I am writing to update my experience for other consumers. After much trial, I found a woman that did not leave any marks so far. I wanted to wait to post to see if she left no marks. She said to take it slow and watch over time to see if there is any problems. My only concern is I think I feel the hair being removed or tugged a bit. On rare ocassion I hear a snap. I will wait to see if it is being tweezed. Can’t tell yet. She said you should never have scabs on the face and she never leaves any. What I have learned to share with others.

  1. Equipment is a huge deal. The skin reaction tells it all. She uses an Apiluis which she said is very new and puts the heat at the bottom not up the shaft.
  2. James is so right. Go to many consults, whether it is 10 or 20 who cares it is your right to get the best treatment. It is so important. They are like night and day out there.
  3. I also got the support of an esthetisian who validated my concerns and heard similiar complaints from other women trying to take care of the same problem. She was able to show me how to search the medical board to see if there are any compliants filed. She could not believe that one of the ladies I consulted with and had a short treatment with was practicing with an expired license. You can check the medical board in most states. Just wanted to update and share.

I once again want to give an update. The good news is the lady has not left any marks. I do know that I am being tweezed though because I have black hair growing in the treatment spots that has never happened ever. My growth cycle is about four months. My electrologist said with my skin I must have an insulated probe to not scar. Does an insulated probe really kill the hair? I often feel a small pull remember she said this was normal. Is it better to drop the money and pay the air fare to travel to New York to someone good like Fino or James? I think it will save money in the long run because I think it would be forever with not so good electrologists and I want to get done. Just wanted opinions. What a great forum this is for questions.