Re: Lip/mouth lines

What is the risk of electrolysis causing the sort of effect on the top lip (and to a lesser extent, around the mouth) as shown in the images below - even if at a much milder level (as have selected these images to show more extreme examples).

First image

and left image here: Second image

Just I’ve seen that effect on a lot of women while I was growing up. Maybe it’s an effect that doesn’t appear immediately, but rather, some time later?

Electrolysis would not cause these skin lines.

Some of the culprits are heredity, sun exposure, cigarette smoking, drinking from a bottle spout or sipping with a straw, long term - NOT ELECTROLYSIS.

I think it’s safe to rule all of those out as causes, as otherwise we would regularly see the same ‘line pattern’ on males – which we don’t. The only similar type factors which might reasonably be ruled in (at least that I can think of) are waxing and plucking.

Given the ‘line pattern’ is so commonly seen, as well as there being many reports from individuals about such a thing developing after electrolysis, it seems to me that your statement would need to be qualified, to read: ‘NOT ELECTROLYSIS - if done correctly and properly’.

Electrolysis can be performed incorrectly, but a professional electrologist will know if she was over zealous and not repeatedly overtreat the client. Even the worse over treatment just once does not cause what the pictures show above. Where are these reports of so many people developing these lines after electrolysis? I have seen pictures from people that think they see a vertical line on their lip, but it was questionable at best.

Electrologists treat upper and lower lip hairs on a daily basis. If vertical lines was a frequent side effect, we would be buzzing about that on our closed blogs and there would be all kinds of documentation here on Hairtell. I’m not seeing or hearing about this concern, but I have seen it reported as a possibility in some books.

Looking to the positive in this thread…
Bearing in mind the reality that not all electrologists are as well-trained, dedicated or experienced as yourself, what set of (sensible and appropriate) technical instructions could a person give to an electrologist on first appointment that would ensure over-treatment is most definitely avoided.

Is there the possibility that clients using numbing creams potentially leads to over-treatment, in that a not so experienced electrologist might just work up to a clients pain-threshold (in terms of level of treatment applied to follicles).

If a new client came to me with “sensible and appropriate” technical instructions that would ensure over treatment would most definitely be avoided, I would hesitate to treat them because that signals trouble. I think most physicians, dentists, hair stylists, etc. would feel the same way. There is a certain amount of trust that factors into receiving services from others and if you are afraid to go forward with the idea that things may or may not go perfectly , then don’t do anything at all.

You can choose an electrologist based on good referrals from friends who are finished. You can ask for short treatments to see how your skin reacts. One thing that I urge all electrologists to do is to take high quality before pictures of a client and to add more pictures along the way. They may serve you well someday.

Yes, there is a chance that numbing an area can lead to over treatment. Training programs teach this, so any professional licensed or credentialed Electrologist should beware of this and take caution, especially for facial work. Very few of my clients use numbing. I work on refining the energy levels because I’m not allowed to inject anything and the creams, if used, can sometimes metabolize quickly.

I agree with my friend Dee … as always.

WOW! Were a new client to say, “I have technical instructions for you so that you will not over-treat my skin.” For me, that would be the end of the conversation … “bye bye and have a nice day!”

If you wanted a brake-job on your car, would you give the mechanic “technical instructions on how to do your brakes?” Kinda silly, don’t you think?

Your numbing cream question? I think you are “over-thinking” this issue and have probably been driving yourself crazy reading TOO MUCH “opinion” on the internet.

I used to think that the internet was the greatest invention ever … you know, to establish a well-educated and informed population. Now, I’m not so sure.

I think that the internet, filled with a glut of information and deliberate MIS-information has caused a sort of public insanity. I’m not saying YOU are insane … but too much unrelated information can render a normal person beleaguered, confused and unsure of anything.

@dfahey @Michael Bono - a joint reply:

I’m surprised at both your responses, as to me, they are indicative of the outmoded and failing ‘us vs them’ divide, so prevalent amongst so called licensed ‘professionals’… You know, the ‘you dare to question my authority’ type, or ‘trust me & shutup, I know best’.

My observations over many years provide me with sufficient trustworthy data to confirm there is serious and extensive cosmetic lip damage going on, via some means, in a significant percentage of women, at least here in the UK. That cosmetic damage may or may not be linked to electrolysis (and/or it being carried out un-skillfully or improperly), but electrolysis, nevertheless, remains a serious contender.

I fully understand the “angst” of which you speak. My point is the operational impossibility.

How can a non-electrologist, who knows virtually nothing about the procedure, give instructions to a working electrologist? How can “Dee Dee or I” list operational instructions to a would-be client … instructions that would “guarantee no overtreatment?”

If a passenger (with no knowledge of flying) was fearful of crashing, would it be reasonable for him to walk into the cockpit and give “flying instructions” to the pilot of the aircraft? In that situation, the pilot would be correct in saying, “sit down, buckle-up and shut up!”

I am neither agreeing nor challenging your statement, but what is the basis of your statement?

You say, "My observations over many years provide me with sufficient trustworthy data to confirm there is serious and extensive cosmetic lip damage going on … " So, how many “observations?” How many “years?” What sort of “lip damage?”

A well-trained electrologist does not cause “lip damage.”

Thus, if there is actually a problem in the UK, the problem is in the schools! Reporting, in the form of medical papers, should be published and presented to the schools.

(I will say, surprisingly, that of all the countries I’ve visited, the professionals in Britain were the most obstinate and “bloody dismissive” … and totally unwilling to listen to anything I had to offer!)

Let me add that indeed the upper lip is a particularly vulnerable area: the “Olympics” of hair removal. I could (and do in my book) list certain precautions. However, the essence of a superior treatment cannot be written in a list of rules or suggestions.

Someone like Dee (who does a lot of upper lip work) is mindful of certain “guidelines,” but in reality it’s what she’s seeing at the exact moment. What she sees as “not right” cannot be quantified and would not even be seen by an inexperienced electrologist.

When you get to Dee’s level … it’s intuition; a “second sense.” And it is this sense that’s crucial. I have attempted to write about this: I can’t! At some point words fail.

Rules for the client … most importantly (given my way of working), is to not be aggressive with your upper lip. If you are in anguish about your hair, and demand it gone immediately … disaster will follow.

For example, I’m removing a man’s full beard at the moment, but have divided his lip into five sections. I will work only one section and a week later another section (opposite side). I do not CLEAR the section, but for the first couple treatments will only remove every 3rd hair or so. I do not exceed 15 or 20-minutes. (However, I’m still constantly assessing the skin and know, by instinct, when to stop.)

Thankyou Michael, I appreciate the above two explanations you have written.

Just to clarify, I wouldn’t say ‘angst’, rather I’m just wanting to be clear on the best procedure/s that will most likely lead to a great outcome - and I would then want to confirm that an electrologist would be working that way, or at least, would have good reasons for working another way they deem more suitable.

Also, the phrase I used above of ‘giving instructions’ wasn’t the right terminology - (my bad) - and instead I should have written more along the lines of what requests and checks I should make when considering an electrologist.

By this I was mainly meaning:

-requesting that they go slow and stay low (powerwise), even if the procedure takes far longer.

to that I would now add: sectioning the area, as you have described.

I’m also wanting to ask:

Does the type of needle make a difference, I have seen references to both gold and steel.

Is there a particular form of electrolysis which is safer for the top lip (e.g. blend, etc).

Re: Training in the UK. It strikes me the UK would do well to introduce a far stricter training requirement, as I am presuming there are many electrologists who had fairly minimal training at the outset of their career, and who are also not required to engage in CPD.

Over the last few years there’s been a lot of political discussion about how various treatments and therapies (and associated training) should be regulated. For example, here is a summary of the state of play in the herbal medicine field. Similar is going on in the psychotherapy/counselling world, as well as in many other fields. I hope the organisation Dee lists in her signature will make similar strides in this direction.