Small pits on upper lip. Could it be down to after care?


I’ve been seeing my electrolysist for quite a while now and whilst I’m happy with certain aspects of her work, I’m not so happy with others. For example, I never feel the hair being tweezed or pulled out, but I tend to suffer alot with scabbing after treatment. I always get scabbing after work on my cheek area and sometimes it can take up to two weeks to resolve, although I don’t know how much of this is due to the fact that I have sensitive skin.

My last appointment was on Friday morning and it was only after looking at my upper lip last night that I noticed I have a small red pit on my upper lip. This isn’t the first pit I have on that area, I actually already have a couple of small pits there from past treatment. I’m wondering whether or not my after care routine could be causing any problems? The reason I thinking this is that my electrolysist has over 25 years experience and is always very busy. Having said that she is in her 60s now (not that older electrolysists can’t give great treatment!) and I don’t think her eyesight is quite what it was.

Here is my aftercare routine:

  • After treatment I wash my face with cool water and apply pure aloe vera. I’ll apply it again during the day.

  • At night I’ll wash my face with cool water and dab on tea tree oil with a cotton bud

  • The next morning I’ll gently wash my face with Neutrogena Extra Gentle Face Wash (could washing my face be giving me pitting, should I stick to water only?) and apply savlon antiseptic skin cream. I do the same for the next 2 days.

Does my aftercare routine sound okay? I never rub or scratch the area. Thanks!

Your aftercare routine sounds very good.

It is possible to achieve a no scabbing scenario on the face even for those with sensitive skin. Many electrologists aim for this objective and still meet the objective of getting you there to a permanent result.

Do you have the priveledge to sample other electrologists in your locale? We all differ in our approach to hair removal either slightly or enormously,but those differences can impact you for the good or the not so good.

Skilled use with state-of-the-art equipment (computerization), quality magnification and lighting is, in my opinion,optimal for your skin and its recovery time. I have been on both sides of the fence with the equipment issue and I like the new tools that are available in the 21st century for electrolysis.

Have you discussed all this with your electrologist. If she gets no feeddback, then she will see no reason to change her strategy in order to minimize your skin reaction.

Keep up the good skin care. Most likely your skin will restructure itself back to normal within a year or less. I wouldn’t allow my facial skin to be overtreated repeatedly, or it may not recover as well as you want.


Thank you for the reply. I’ll definitely bring up the issue with my electrologist at my next appointment. Regarding overtreatment, what would you consider to be overtreating the area? I have electrolysis on my upper lip every three weeks for about 45 mins. Do you think this sound okay? Thanks!

The after care instructions I give are to keep it dry.

You say you are using pure aloe vera but I am not sure the word pure has a legal definition from the FDA.

I had a client use a product that said “Aloe Vera 100% gel”

It was 100% gel not a powder or a liquid. It was NOT 100% aloe vera. it was more TEA which is a thickening agent (gel) and a skin irritant best used is wash off products. Stopping this product stopped her reaction.

Tea tree oil assuming you mean melalucca can be overused as it is usually suspended in an alcolhol base. So use sparingly.

The fact that you don’t feel a tweeze is a good thing.

Do discuss your reaction and your concerns with your electrologist.

I think 45 minutes on a small area like the upper lip is too long, frankly. Personally, I limit the time spent on the upper lip to 20-30 minutes or 10-15 minutes on each side, depending on the clients skin tolerance. At least you have three weeks of healing time in between treatments.

What I like to hear from my clients as far as how they healed is something like, “the redness and swelling was gone in a couple hours and it looked like nothing at all happened by the next day”. When the hair releases nicely and the skin reaction stays this good, as reported back by the client, then I know we have found the right recipe to finish this job.

You are in the drivers seat. You can insist on the time you want her to spend on your upper lip and you can voice your concerns about scabbing and ask her if she can fiddle with her timing and intensity and see if your healing scenario improves.

Again, I think you are doing a good job with your aftercare.


Thank you both for the reply. Dee, I think I’ll limit my treatment on my upper lip to 30mins in response to your reply. My electrologist regularly works on other client’s upper lips for a hour!


Can you tell me where you learned about tea tree oil being suspended in an alcohol base?? Have I missed something?

Tea tree oil is a naturally pure substance harvested from the melaleuca trees in Australia. It is a great germicide, antiseptic,antibacterial, fungicide useful for many things, including aftercare for electrolysis clients. You were right about one thing, a little dab will do ya. Some clients who may overdo it may not see a favorable reaction to tree tea oil because they unwittenly apply too much oil at one time. It is good stuff if applied correctly for the first three days of aftercare. I’m questioning the alcohol suspension information, if you could kindly tell me what you know about this, I’d be grateful.


Dear Still,

Yes, just try it out for less time and see if that helps your skins reaction.

Do the other clients you mentioned have prolonged healing times and scabbing issues, too?

Hopefully, shorter sessions will help, but there are other things to take into consideration that could also help. She would know what I’m referring to if you tell her you are having healing problems.

Let us know how things turn out for you.


Your right. Many products say tea tree but they are not Melaleuca. You have to read the lable and look for the words Melaleucca alternifolia. Then it gives you the percentage or strenght and other ingredients such as alcohol or almond oil. Yes we agree a dab will do you. I have read a post stating exactly what strenght to look for and too much can become irritating; I have no reason to doubt it–search. Ive read bottles Labled “tea tree” (not a legal definition) that were almond oil no melalluca. You always have to read the small print.

My brother brought some back from Alstralia long before it was marketed it US. Melalluca trees were planted in Fla to dry up Everglades and are now being removed to restore natural setting.

As an Electrologist from Wisconsin, I was taught to only work 15 minutes on an upper lip. Because there is only 2 main blood vessels. and if you treat more than 15 min, people can end up with more pittng, and skin reactions, because they are not healing as well. Do I make any sense? I am very tired, and have had a long day. Thanks, and good luck.

Depends on practitioner skill and what kind of epilator you use. Length of time for treating the upper lip can be longer than 15 minutes regardless of blood vessel location if you have an updated quality computerized epilator, using proper levels of intensity and timing and can actually see the follicle opening with quality magnification and quality lighting. Skin reaction and healing will be fantastic within a couple hours or less and your clients will say, “Damn, your good”, and keep coming back for more.

With automatic timing, microflash capabilites and quality magnification, you won’t be so tired at the end of day. It’s a wonderful world for both client and electrologist,in my humble opinion.