Red marks on my face! *Pictures*

Hello All,

This is the first time I post on this forum although I’ve looked through it many times before. Some background info on my situation:

I’ll be 20 in a month or so. Around the age of 18, I decided to remove/reduce the really long side burns I had. Someone suggested I do laser so I went in for about 9 sessions. Unfortunately, the situation only got worse! Nothing changed about my actual sideburns and I started to get longer and thicker hairs in areas I never had before: my lower cheeks, jawline and the neck area directly underneath. After all the money I wasted for empty promises I stopped completely. For about a year I resorted to plucking/tweezing/threading/epilating/waxing but mostly bleaching the hair. What ever I had time for until about month ago when I found out about electrolysis.

I now go once a week for 1 hour to a local electrologist. She says she has over 25 years of experience. The first two sessions went well with her thinning out the hair in those areas. I had my third session this past friday resulting in a full clearance of the my jawline/neck area on the right side of my face.

Now, 4 days later, I have these red marks where ever she inserted the needle. I’m slightly nervous about them as I’m afraid they will result in permanent scarring? Below are 2 pictures I took of the area yesterday. Please let me know if this is normal or if I should be worried. Also, what should I tell my electrologist?

I should note that I have sensitive skin as it is that reddens very easily. Also, as suggested in the forums and by my electrologist I have been using witch hazel followed by aloe vera gel on the effected areas.

Thank you so much. Your insight will be very much appreciated!

PS: I did get my hormone levels checked a few months ago and the results came back normal. I’m thinking the hair is a result of genetics (my father’s side) and/or stimulation caused by laser.

As far as i can tell from the pictures this is scarf. As it appears 4 days after treatment, its source seems to be the deep part of the follicle where the tissue forming the hair has been destroyed. Its rest now reaches the surface of the skin. So far such scarf dots seem quite common - on my own skin it is hardly avoidable unless the treatment is inefficient.

What to do about it? Continue Your aftertreatment. Leave the scarf dots alone, then it will probably heal perfectly. What else You might do: disinfect the few white dots with alcohol. And don’t touch them otherwise either.

Thanks so much for your response. It’s quite refreshing to know that other people get them too. I just worry because other people on this forum seem to be saying that after electrolysis is properly done, there should be nor marks and redness should gone in a day or so. Also, i’m tempted to put coverup on them when i go out as they are so noticeable in the sun… i’ve only done it once for a wedding but i’ll definitely stop. It just that it looks like i have a rash or bad breakout. I’ll continue my after treatment and hope for the best…

But like I shouldn’t tell her to lower the settings or anything?

One of the reasons we recommend Tea Tree Oil is that it handles this kind of thing well. It reduces or eliminates the time you have this on your skin. So does Aloe Vera. Are you getting Blend treatments?

I haven’t gotten Tea Tree Oil yet. If it’ll help then i’ll definitely buy it tomorrow. I hate having these marks when my skin is otherwise usually clear. I’m not sure what kind of method she is using. I meant to ask her last time but I forgot. I’m going to see her again this friday but I can call in tomorrow and check. Thank you so much for your input :slight_smile:

Nah, it’s pretty common. These pinprick scabs appear a day or two after treatment usually. Practitioners try to avoid leaving these scabs on the face because it’s hard to conceal, but for a first clearance they might be hard to avoid. You’ll get less and less of them from now on.

They won’t scar or anything, it’s just your body healing itself. Don’t let them get infected, and don’t pick at them.

It looks like a bit of an overtreatment to me, i.e. too many follicles close together treated at once and your skin isn’t used to it. Definitely get some tea tree oil. Use that at night and use witch hazel during the day. It’ll speed up the healing.

brush: Can I add that you don’t need to have a hormone imbalance to have a sensitivity to androgens? People with normal or even low androgens can still experience the effects of a hormone imbalance if they have androgen sensitivity (pretty common actually). I am not saying that’s what you have of course. I’m just saying that IF your electrolysis doesn’t go smoothly or as quickly as normal, don’t discount that potential factor just in case, and don’t get disheartened. I know how badly laser can stimulate facial hair, so my money is on blaming the laser, but you never know.

Sorry for not getting back to everyone sooner! MPK, I’m glad to hear it won’t scar. That’s my number 1 concern. I can deal with the way it looks now but definately don’t want scars and/or pitting from this. LAgirl, overtreatment sounds about right! I’ve been doing that witch hazel/tea tree oil/aloe somewhat relgiously now. I feel like it’s helping but still once the red marks begin to fade, another session (like the one I had to day) comes in to bring them back. :[

And Magical Princess Kitty: Androgen sensitivity sounds like it could be it as well. I’m not sure though because I have no other androgen related issues like acne for example. I remember with laser, she kept telling me “it’ll get worse before it gets better!” and so every session, it did get worse, and thus the area she treated became larger and larger :[. But I think hereditary could be a big factor because I’m Arab (Lebanese) and Arabs tend to be hairier than people of European descent anyways. My aunts and mom, however, don’t have this face problem, but my dad is incredibly hairy and his mom, my grandma, has a similar issue but then again she is quite old. Well, is there any way I can get tested for this sensitivity? or is it something that shows with time? Also, how would it be treated?

By the way, Mr. Walker, she told me today that she’s doing ‘short wave thermolysis’ on me and will probably switch to blend towards the end to do deal with stubborn hairs.

And just another question for everyone. Is electrolysis suppose to hurt? I feel like I’m hearing contradicting opinions on that. It hurts for me! Today, especially, i was grimacing at almost every insertion (maybe because I was running low on sleep). Also, one insertion actually bled! She asked if I took aspirin today or yesterday as that will cause bleeding. I didn’t, so why would it bleed like that?

well, I’m going abroad next week and won’t be back for my next appointment until August 5th. This is good, I think, to give my super sensitive skin a break and to see if it will heal properly as promised :]

Sounds like genetics. If it was an androgen sensitivity you’d be an acne-riddled greaseball. :stuck_out_tongue:

Electrolysis only hurts me in certain areas (toes pretty much), but some people feel more discomfort. It depends on how hydrated you are, how much caffeine you’ve had, what day of the month it is for females, etc… The insertions shouldn’t hurt, but the energy pulses might. They shouldn’t bleed either, it may mean she went in at a bad angle. But any blood should coagulate pretty quickly with the thermolysis.

I have had a small number of bleeders when I had students work on me. Not a big deal, but I hope she adjusted her insertions in the area.

It hurts for me as well. Pretty much. So much that i used EMLA below my chin the second day of the planned treatment. And this morning i noticed the first scabs - as expected.

BTW: a trick to avoid gazing of people when You walk through the city with EMLA on the neck below the skin: fix the sheeting thoroughly with medical adhesive tape. Well visible. People will take the sheeting as a bandage (which it actually is) and won’t look strange. Yesterday i went through the inner city of Frankfurt this way and got no gazing or whatsoever. To my surprise people just ignored it.

You shouldn’t be getting any treatments until the skin is FULLY healed. Do NOT treat any area that still has side effects from previous treatments.

You should feel the pinch, but it shouldn’t be unbearable. What method and machine is being used? Also, don’t drink coffee and be hydrated.

I think these pictures are abhorrent and uncalled for and is not ho-hum normal. You will heal, but no more treatment until you do heal! Tea tree at night with aloe vera on top of that is needed.

These are probably shallow insertions that caused this much disruption. Short wave, thermolysis, diathermy (all the same) does not cause this kind of reaction if performed correctly. Sensation should be tolerable NOT PAINFUL! What I am hearing from a couple of you sounds like acceptable electrolysis outcome from 40 years ago.

I don’t know the name of the epilator your electrologists are using, but this is not passable electrolysis care. This is an assault on your skin that you should not allow to happen again.

The perfect scenario would be not to have a need for EMLA by getting treatment on an Apilus Platinum or Pure epilator or even a few other brands and models I can think of, proper probe size and type, PicoFlash or MicroFlash thermolysis, proper vision aid, proper lighting and having an electrologist who passionately cares about your healing outcome.

I am not kidding here - this should not be accepted by the consumer and mostly, it should not be accepted by the electrologist. People have to live their lives once they leave the office and they cannot and should not have to deal with this level of scabbing. I do not take the opinion that this is nothing to worry about. Let it heal. It will heal, but make it clear to her that this is too much skin reaction. A few dots here and there that disappear within a week is fine. This is improper outcome and can be avoided so easily if good tools and skill are in the equation. Has she updated her equipment and if so, is she properly trained to use it? What is the name of the epilator she is using? I’m wondering if it is an older brand where the heat can’t be controlled very well. With the newer digitals, one can control the treatment energy and refine it to a fine point, but even then, SKILL, SKILL, SKILL, HUMAN SKILL is required.

Please answer the machine question. Sensation should not be something that brings you to the brink of a heart attack. The Apilus Platinum or Pure is awesome for sensation factors. Most of my appointments are longer appointments, sometimes reaching five hours. No one could lay on the table that long if they were in pain. Now, not every electrologist has these better epilators. The ones who don’t can certainly make a treatment feel as comfortable if they are skilled and have a few tricks up their sleeve. You can look around and sample some other electrologists in search of treatments that are more comfortable and leave you with much, much less noticeable skin reaction. We don’t have to accept this kind of outcome in this profession and pretend that it happens to some?many? clients, so that makes it normal. I think it is unacceptable and I hope your electrologist can revise her strategy and analyze her skills and give you the best of what you deserve.

Dee, who do You mean, brush or me?

Brush showed the pictures, and i mentioned EMLA in my own treatment. Please do not mix that.

Speaking of myself: On the two days mostly adjacent areas were treated to obtain full clearance. We have treated the area below the chin (thick hair of a male beard, partly deformed follicles by IPL) where i react overly sensitive on the sensation and usually have to stop after 25 minutes. This has mostly psychological reasons - actually it hurts less than on the upper lip below the nose, much less, but nevertheless cannot stand it over a long time. That’s why i tried EMLA.

As to the technique: she does fast thermolysis with an old manual epilator (i.e., probably 13.5 MHz) and insulated probes. She controls the process individually on each hair; treatment times are of the order of half a second or a bit more on each hair. Which explains that it is comparatively painful.

Healing: the swelling is almost gone, and currently there are only a few scarf marks here and there. Lets see what is happening within the next days - and i am pretty sure it will heal until mid of next week.

Anyway i agree to your approach of optimising not only the insertions but also lighting, vision and technology. In my own work i am doing this as fast as my current business permits - and the 27 MHz Apilus is planned, but it will definitely be the last in my chain of investments. Improving vision will be the next step, and working to improve my manual technique (quality of insertions) is permanently ongoing business anyway (as hopefully for any newcomer).


Yes, I understand that you are using the EMLA, beate and poster brush posted the pictures. I was speaking in terms for many to view having read yours, brush’s, MPK posts, since you all talked about your experiences. I am glad you are planning on getting an epilator in the future that you can actually have full control over. Your clients will love you for it and you will feel very good that you served them so well.

This level one scabbing and redness that brush is being told is normal is what caught my attention. She will be fine, but it is highly incompatible with living life while you are having electrolysis. Pictures like this make people fear electrolysis. It looks terrible and it just doesn’t have to be this way. One can receive electrolysis and go on with work and play without anyone knowing their secret. I can attest to that and so can many, many electrologists that work around the world. That is why I am so vocal about this. Brush work with your electrologist. She can change something and minimize your skin reaction, hopefully.

Thanks for listening and be well everybody!

Dee, for the record, the NEWER machines are what give me similar scabs. I got those dots during picoflash treatments with the Apilus Platinum. My skin looks fine but then a day or two later I scab up.

My old half-broken Instantron never leaves scabs. It will be more red immediately following treatment, but once the redness fades, it stays gone. No second-day scabs.

The Apilus is more comfortable and faster though. I only bring it up because I suspect there are factors other than the age of the machine at work.

I believe I clearly made some statements to address your concerns. Whoever used the Apilus Platinum on you, did it incorrectly for you to get a lot of scabbing. They were probably using it like an Instatron or a Clareblend? It is NOT the epilator that caused your skin reaction, it was the practitioner. A skilled electrologist with the smarts to work any epilator correctly is what counts.

I was referred to her by you through a post you made about how fast and skilled she is. I’m not going to mention her name, because I really think she knows her stuff and I would never want to say anything bad about her. I think my issues are due to my skin type and the fact that I’m usually anemic and tend to get injuries easily. Since she goes around the country training everyone how to use the Apilus and she is pretty well known, I simply refuse to believe the problem is even slightly related to skill. I am sure she is as skilled as your or James or Josefa or anyone else on the planet.

Heh, i’m not an acne riddle grease ball for sure. It was probably because I was not hydrated today when I went in the morning on only 3 hours of sleep. I think that made me more sensitive. Depending on the area, it hurts more. On my neck especially. (Speaking of the neck- i’m ticklish so on top of a grimace, i have to hold back some laughter… haha) The insertion itself doesn’t hurt but the energy does, yes.

@beate_r. I have no idea what EMLA is. Well i just googled it and I definitely thought about using a topical anesthetic but I’m willing to withstand a lot to get rid of the hair.

LAgirl… Today, the reaction is better. Instead of working on my right side where she mostly worked last week, she did my left side. It’ll take for ever for my skin to FULLY heal though between each treatment and I hardly have the patience for that. I’m glad I got my first clearance done before my trip abroad (7/12-8/3) By then, I hope my skin fully heals and she can work on remaining hairs.

dfahey, I feel like even my electrologist is put off by my skin’s reaction. She keeps saying it’s because I’m so fair and naturally redden very easily. Also she pointed out to me that my skin has 'comparatively slow healing time." During the treatments she uses alcohol and aloe to cool things down every once in a while. She also gives me ice when I leave.I should hope that it’s not because her insertions are incorrect! That doesn’t make sense to me because then how would she get away with that for over 25 years?

As to the epilator she is using, I have no clue. I feel like it’s a new one because it looks new and occasionally she’ll adjust the settings. So maybe she hasn’t gotten proper training on it? I do live in NY so she doesn’t need a license or whatever. I did try another electrologist before her who used a really old looking machine and charged 2x as much as her ($100/hr). With the old machine though, I don’t remember it hurting and the heat sensation I felt wasn’t painful. Even so, there was scabbing the next day as well. With my current electrologist and her new machine, i don’t really feel ‘heat’ so much as just pain/discomfort. I’ll definitely call her tomorrow and get back to everyone on what machine she is using because other wise i won’t find out until my next appointment on the 4th. :]

I’m definitely not on the brink of heart attack though. it’s just really uncomfortable and today painful because based on what every one is saying, i wasn’t really hydrated (no breakfast) and no sleep. One thing for sure though is I can’t handle more than an hour. She asks me if I want to continue every time but I always say no because I can’t imagine laying there for a minute longer! I’d like to be able to sample other electrologists but I just feel uncomfortable with going to multiple people. No one know about my hair problem not even my best friend… and ahh… i just want to get it over with as soon as possible. I’m just going to try my best to work with her and be honest about everything. Today, I did complain to her and I think she may have adjusted her strategy because besides the one scab from the bleeding insertion, my skin doesn’t’ look so bad like last time. It feels kind of raw/tender though. But i’ll have to look at it again tomorrow.

The one thing that frustrates me about electrology though and all the research i’ve done into it is there appears to be so many contradicting view points about it. For example, in terms of pain, I’ve read electrology is painless and then on the other side of the spectrum, I’ve read that if you’re not feeling any pain then it’s not working. Even here, about how my skin reacted, there’s a debate. I guess the answer can’t be very clear because everyone’s skin is different and every electrologist’s skill varies.

I don’t mean to put people off electrology with my pictures… If it will heal with no scarring or pitting then it’s totally worth the few months of embarrassment. Plus, i’m pretty short so not very many people have that kind of view of my face to notice the scabbing… hah, at least that’s what i tell myself :]

I know she is skilled. Without looking back through all your posts, did you ever submit pictures of your skin reaction? Was your scabbing as bad as brush’s?