Questions reg. Thermolysis / feelings during epilation


#1

Hi !

I’ve been to my first electrolysis “test” session today. The electrologist uses an INSTANTRON Elite Spectrum for electrolysis and prefers Thermolysis. She told me that she knows how to do blend, but prefers thermolysis as this is much faster. She also told me that on a local electrologists congress, another electrologist told her “if you get a transsexual in your office, it’s like hitting a jackpot - use blend or galvanic electrolysis as it takes longer, and you have a constant income.”
She said she wants to be honest, and doesn’t think blend or galvanic electrolysis are better than thermolysis, with thermolysis being even faster than the other two. As there is longer time for the lye to built up, Galvanic electrolysis may also result in scarring. She said it all depends on the practitioner.

Anyway - we did three test runs. Two on different areas of the face (cheek / chin) with thermolysis, another one (left to the chin) with blend.

When she used thermolysis, there was a slight tingling sensation, not “real pain”, as many say. It was unpleasant, but not as bad as the laser epilation that I did. Perhaps I am just imagining that, but I thought that I could actually feel that the hair was destroyed. Perhaps even skin tissue, which is my greatest fear.

Question 1:
What skin sensations are normal during thermolysis ?

Then she did blend. I didn’t feel anything; so compared to thermolysis, I thought to myself “ok… perhaps that’s the way to go”. The difference in timing was significant, though. 8 Seconds / hair for blend, 1 - 2 seconds for thermolysis.
Unfortunately, my skin reacted much more to blend than to thermolysis. Whereas the area treated with thermolysis was only a little swollen and red, the blend area had a real bump, which was very red.

Question 2:
Does the swelling give any indication on whether scarring will occur later on ?
Is there any way to see whether scarring will occur in 10 - 12 months after electrolysis? (I heard that for the scarring to become visible, it takes so long)

When looking at the results, she told me that she could reduce the intensity level at my chin area in order to make 100% sure that no scarring occurs, although she was already working at a very low level. She admitted herself that with the current level, there might be some hair cells left intact. I am worrying that this may reduce the overall effectiveness.

Question 3:
When she did the thermolysis, some hairs were actually plucked and not zapped, which she also noticed. She said it’s better to zap 8 out of 10 hairs and get the 2 plucked ones later on with a higher setting in order to reduce possible scarring.
Is it really better to start off with a lower setting and catch up on the hairs that won’t get zapped with this setting with a higher intensity later on ?

Question 4:
She told me to absolutely NOT shave at all, but use small scissors to cut any growing hair around the epilated area.
I don’t think that this is an option for work. Growing a beard also is NOT an option. I’ve read elsewhere that after swelling has gone down, you can shave again (I am using an electrical razor, Philips Philishave). What is the correct answer here ?

Lots of questions, I know. Right now I am glad that there is a strip approx. 1 x 1 centimeters on my chin where NO hair is left, but on the other hand, I am worrying that I could get scars.

sigh

Next session is planned for next Saturday, this time 30 minutes. As my skin is very sensitive, she wants to start slow and see how the skin reacts to longer treatment.

Feedback is very welcome.

Hugs,
Marie Claire


#2

Glad you found our little corner of the internet Marie Clair:

Question 1:
What skin sensations are normal during thermolysis ?
All sensations in electrolysis are very personal, and no one can say what you will feel, or what the next person will feel. Depending on your own personal physiology, the area being treated and the skill of the practitioner, and the machine being used, and the setting needed to effect permanent hair removal, and even the method employed to to it, you could feel everything from nothing, to a warming sensation, to searing pain.

Question 2:
Does the swelling give any indication on whether scarring will occur later on ?
Is there any way to see whether scarring will occur in 10 - 12 months after electrolysis? (I heard that for the scarring to become visible, it takes so long)

No. This is also something that has many variables. Assuming that treatment was done well, post treatment aftercare is much more important in preventing scarring. Use an aloe cortisone for the swelling and irritation, and keep the treatment area clean and dry, out of the sun, eat well, and stay hydrated. These things will go a long way.

Question 3:
When she did the thermolysis, some hairs were actually plucked and not zapped, which she also noticed. She said it’s better to zap 8 out of 10 hairs and get the 2 plucked ones later on with a higher setting in order to reduce possible scarring.
Is it really better to start off with a lower setting and catch up on the hairs that won’t get zapped with this setting with a higher intensity later on ?

The correct treatment energy is one that targets the cells we want, without damaging the ones we want to keep, therefore it is simple to say where one wants to make an error. Treating a level 3 hair with a level 10 setting will destroy more than the target cells. Treating a level 10 hair with a level 3 treatment will not treat enough of that level 10 hair, but will be just what is needed for level 3 hairs. You don’t want to use sticks of dynamite where firecrackers will do just nicely.

Question 4:
She told me to absolutely NOT shave at all, but use small scissors to cut any growing hair around the epilated area.
I don’t think that this is an option for work. Growing a beard also is NOT an option. I’ve read elsewhere that after swelling has gone down, you can shave again (I am using an electrical razor, Philips Philishave). What is the correct answer here ?

She is the one who has seen your skin, so I can’t say what she is seeing that makes her say this. On normal hair, this should not be a question. Shaving may be done as soon as the area is healed enough to tolerate shaving. If on the other hand you have some problem like ingrown hairs coupled with a non standard growth pattern, you shaving may just be causing more trouble than just having all the electrolysis needed to bare the area one time and going into electrolysis only maintenance.

You should measure the total area that you need cleared so you can have some idea how long it will be before you will have had total visual clearance via electrolysis (full permanance will come later, but no one will know that you are still being treated, because they will only see bare skin.)

A note on the statement about transexuals. Although a transexual, by definition, has more hair to be removed, and more motivation to have it done, I can’t imagine any electrologist MILKING this situation, as simply removing the hair as quickly as humanly possible is going to be hard enough, long enough and profitable as well. Anyone who prolongs the pace of the treatment risks loosing the client to someone who will get it done quicker. That said, where possible one would want to work in thermolysis until the number of hairs in the area might allow one to consider switching to blend or galvanic. I have some trans girls who insist on having all their treatments from start to finish done in blend even though they see their other friends who are also my clients finish before they do.