Reactions to treatment

The current strategy being taken in my thermolysis treatment is to first address the coarse white hairs that require a higher setting, and then come back later for the black ones that can be handled by lower settings. Currently, they are using an intensity setting around 26 and a duration of around 0.09 seconds (this setting varies a bit on different areas). She says the settings must be high enough that the hairs pull out easily, but that the higher the setting the more possibility of reactions.

I’m seeing some spots of redness after thermolysis treatments such as the following on my neck, this picture being taken 3 days after treatment.

Are these to be expected? Should I be concerned? They seem to go away in about a week or two, is that normal? Around my mouth the redness took more like three weeks to go away and was much more intense, with some scabbing below my mouth. Due to that, the treatment is now being spread out and not a full removal in a concentrated area, plus instead of using a gold probe, a regular is now being used at a lower setting.

Looks fine to me … perfect! Good job all around.

Here I had some work in the chin area and the reaction is bigger. These photos are 15 hours after treatment. I applied ice immediately after for about ten minutes, then again four hours after for about ten minutes, then again 14 hours after treatment for another ten minutes.

Should I be concerned? Should I continue with applying ice?

That’s a little too much reaction for chin work. The chin seems to be a really tough ( and dense) area, and in general I dont see that much scabbing.It should heal, but it is cause for concern yes.My opinion only of course is the settings were too high.

Have you been washing the area gently several times a day?


I was told to avoid using soap for 24 hours on the area. Didn’t even rinse it other than ice melting on it. I am applying a Mlis repair cream.

Mild soap should be fine, though if you feel more comfortable with just plain water that works as well.The idea is NOT to scrub either, but to wash away any buildup of white blood cells ( the normal resullt of trauma to the skin) that cause scabbing so they dont build up and cause a scab.


To me the reaction looks a little intense. For aftercare: that day, I either do nothing or water. The second day, wash with gentle cleanser (I only use gentle cleansers on my face anyway). I tend to moisturise and put on sunscreen. I’m a little reckless though. Once I went for an 8k run after my electrolysis session.

Spreading out treatment is a good idea, it does give the skin a bit of a break. It will also lead to a more natural look while you’re getting treatment. Having bald patches looks a little strange.

It sounds like you’re communicating with your electrologist which is one of the most important things you can do.

Good work on getting started - now keep it up!

Here is 42 hours after, is this healing normally?

Good to know about washing away white blood cells to avoid scabbing, I did not realize it had that effect, I guess I was not washing enough on first day.

Ice is okay, immediately after treatment, on and off, for about 20 minutes.
After that, no more ice.
Initially the ice reduces swelling but if you continue with the ice as electrolysis aftercare, it delays healing.

The tissue reaction looks too intense to me.
Without knowing all of the variables,
my guess is just that, a guess.
I am wondering if the insertions were too shallow.

I like alcohol free witch hazel and then a tiny q-tip saturated in tea tree oil, and then, a bit of cooling aloe vera gel.That is my suggested aftercare.

All the best,

Oh my, the tale doesnt really tell itself until about the 48 hour after treatment timeframe usually, as it has here.
I’m going to go ahead and say that is unacceptable. Please consult with your electrologist on this and show them the pictures. If they dont turn down the settings ( actually on relooking at it, I think Arlene may e right and it was too shallow, she having far more experience than I ) , I’d walk away before I’d let them treat you again.


Just for a little more FYI the scabbing in the first pictures, indicates to me that these are spots where the probe has actually penetrated the follicle wall or the bottom of the follicle. Usually you will only see scabbing in the first 12 hours or so from this kind of cause.I call them “bleeders” and the better you get as an electrologist, they occur less and less because you can feel the probe and if it’s not inserting correctly the natural reaction is to back out and try the insertion again…before the follicle wall or skin surface is broken. The number of clear scabs in the first picture is honestly alarming to me and I’m thinking you probably felt those insertions a great deal, even when i FIRST started doing electrolysis on myself I didnt see reactions like that, as a rank amatuer.

The small pinhead scabs that cover the entire area in the second set of pctures is from a different cause, that is from the treatment itself, either too shallow or too strong an intensity, or both.Some scabbing will happen, but that is a LOT of scabbing. If this were to happen a lot to the area you would end up with an almost “eggshell” appearance to the skin, which is undesireable. This is where washing the area to clear out the white blood cells would have an effect. If the insertions were too shallow, this is especially problematic because of the possibility of damaging the perilous zone closer to the skin’s surface.

I am being careful with what I say here, because honestly I’m questioning whether this is a lack of skill on the part of the electrologist, or if they just were having a bad day. I dont feel that I have enough experience to criticize the work of a pro, but my gut tells me that this electrologist is struggling. Hopefully Michael or Dee pipe in here because this deserves a more professional look.

As an older transwoman, I had a lot of greys in my chin. When I had the students working on me early on, I had them address just the greys thinking I might have more laser. I realized that the greys were coming in as fast as I removed them. You have a very male growth pattern, and seem to going for clearance rather than thinning. This tells me you may have some things in common. I work almost exclusively on other transwomen, so I’m used to the thick roots that a male beard can present. If you want any advice on strategy, then please dont hesitate to message me or address me publicly, I’d love to help as little or as much as I am able to.


During treatment, the electrologist indicated to me that with very coarse gray hairs (of which some of mine are), they sometimes need more than one application of thermolysis before they pull out and when pulling out, the bulb around the end can be thick and in such cases may result in bleeding at the time of treatment.

Do others concur, or as Seana suggested, could this be due to the probe penetrating the follicle wall or the bottom of the follicle for the first set of pictures?

The root sheath around the hair is gelatinous. Think jello. It’s also very sticky, but that’s what the thermolysis affects . If you rubbed jello over your skin, would you expect to bleed from it?
On the other hand the electrolysis probe is made of steel. Its hard. If you scraped the electrolysis probe over your skin, would you expect that could make you bleed?

Which do you think is more likely the culprit to causing bleeding?

I do want to say I’m in concurrence with michael, the work on your neck looked perfect in comparison.And in m opinionthe neck is a harder place to work, the hairs are deeper, theskin is looser, and that can make it harder to insert into.This is why I was somewhat more alarmed to see the chin by the same electrologist with so much early bleeding. It’s actually an easier place to work and the quality of treatment is no where near the same.This is why I suggested taking the pictures to your electrologist. I’m not sure why you took them down, because some of the pro’s here likely havent seen them, and cant give much of an opinion at all without seeing them.


Pictures are not down, or if they were it was only temporarily. Here is an update picture at just under 3 days from treatment:

To clarify, the person that did the neck is temporarily incapacitated/handicapped and therefore their sibling is performing the work at present for a few weeks, and they seem less skilled, despite also having nearly 30 years experience. However, the person who did my neck had a similar reaction when doing just below my center lower lip on their very first treatment. Since that first treatment, they switched from gold probe to regular probe and reduced the intensity and did not do clearing of areas anymore and instead thinning with plan to return multiple times to reduce each single treatment intensity/concentration. Further, they have been avoiding the black hairs since they are not so coarse and we plan to come back and cover these later at a lower setting. However, their sibling effectively nearly cleared the area of concern here including the black hairs, contrary to instructions. So it seems my face reacts more when too many hairs are done in the same area at one sitting. The chin area here was a two hour treatment.

I’m deciding whether to give the sibling a second chance that would be under careful surveillance of the first practitioner this time (last time they were not in the room). Perhaps if the sibling’s work was spread out and not concentrated there would not be such issues? However, maybe they are not skilled enough at probe insertion, although I’ve had minor bleeding during treatment with both siblings on the coarser hairs.

Maybe you ought to wait the few weeks until the first lady is back. Let your skin heal in the meantime.

That’s enough reaction to not want to be treated by them.And that they didnt follow the instructions of the client, is a bit disconcerting.