Understanding scabs

Is there any reading material that can help me understand scabbing?
I don’t understand what the scab indicates, does it mean that the surrounding skin tissue cells around the follicle have been damaged, does it mean that the insertion is improper or crooked? or maybe the skin cells are so tightly bound to the follicle that no matter how smooth the probe slides in, it is piercing skin cells and therefore there is a scab? Also why are some scabs bigger than others within the same treatment…

Just want to understand if someone can point me to an article or two. Thanks.

This kind of information is found in electrolysis books. If someone out there in cyber land has access to articles, feel free to post.

Scabbing, also referred to as crusting, will show up in 48 hours after a treatment if certain conditions are right. First off, scabbing results when there is tissue damage and clear fluid or blood will form the scab. The scab serves like a natural band-aid, covering the wound so things will heal from the bottom up, uninterrupted.

When we talk about electrolysis scab formation, we’re referring to energy being released in order to destroy tissue that causes hair to grow, but the energy reaches the skin’s surface and, thus the scabbing.

When one scabs in relation to electrolysis there are a variety of reasons that this can occur. All the electrologists her on hairtell know these reasons backwards and forwards. They are:

  1. Intensity too high (heat)
  2. Duration (timing) too long
  3. Poor angle of an insertion (We want Perfect Insertions)
  4. Insertions are too shallow

Hopefully, if one has scabs they occur because of mild tissue damage. These will go away in a few days. If one gets severe scabbing, big scabs that may connect or not connect with each other, you may get hyperpigmentation or even scarring. It is for that reason James, myself and other electrologists that post here will advise one to get as many consults as possible and/or to have very honest communication with your electrologist to keep this from happening.

Scabbing can happen with any kind of epilator, old or modern. It can occur with any kind of probe. Practitioner skill, if it is lacking or careless will result in scab formation and other side effects.

Personally speaking, I am a fan of the modern computerized equipment and micrroflash thermolysis and blend for other situations. I am a fan of good optics and lighting and I really like gold probes. With that said, scabbing for me is kept to a minimum or none for facial areas. Have I scabbed clients before? I have to be honest and admit, yes. Those beginning appointments tell me a lot about a persons skin and I make adjustments really fast so it doesn’t happen again. I am dependent on my new clients telling me how they heal, so I can refine their treatment and send them home home to heal scab-free. i am trusting that my clients will follow pre and aftercare instructions, too.

Energy needs to be released at the bottom of the follicle. Insertions need to be perfect. If one shaves 1-3 days before treatment, then we can avoid shallow insertions that come with undesirable telogen hairs. As a client, hold still so we can aim for the target dead on. The skin needs to be dry, so hopefully, your electrolgist has dabbed off the excess antiseptic before starting work. Current is attracted to moisture.

An aloe cortisone cream can be useful, over the counter, 1/2% or 1% to cut down on crusting and redness. I really don’t like medicants to be used and think that preventing scabs in the first placeshould be in high order for your electrologist. You have the option to tell him or her that you expect not to have scabbing on your face.

Some degree of pigmentation is bound to occur in darker skinned people, especially under the chin. It will clear up naturally in weeks to months after you have completed treatment. Even if your electrologist does everything possible under the sun, this may still happen to you. If you have gotten hyperpigmention from other things such as acne, ingrown hairs a cut, etc., then your skin is prone to hyperpigmentation and you can’t blame electrolysis for this happening.

My advice is for you to discuss your concerns with your practitioner(s). I really think the scabbing can be taken care of and if your person is skilled, caring,and has good vision equipment and modern machinery, the chances become even better in your favor.

Your questions are excellent and thank you for asking.


Dee, thanks so much for the detailed response, it’s very helpful indeed. Let me ask some more Qs on the same subject -
can you tell anything by the type of scabs as to what may have been the likely root cause of it, e.g.

– if they occur right away, a few hrs to within 24 hrs, versus if they occur 2 days later.

– Similarly if they fall off within 5 or so days, versus if they take two weeks to fall of.

I had my most recent treatment yesterday, with a third practitioner, the insertions had an edge, but hair removals felt smooth. The dots that I see today are bigger but dull. I may have brighter scabs tomorrow.

With my original electrologist, she uses blend, the dots are bright within a few hours and I can see the scabs next day. The treatments with her are quite comfortable, insertions don’t have a high edge, but the pain can get deep and intense for the coarsest hair. Somehow that is more tolerable for me than high edge quick pricks.

The second electro that I used in-between, who came higly recommended, had only one treatment with her, with Apilus doing microflash, the insertions were high on edge, and scabs happened at about 30 hrs and were tinier but also red.

I am not able to judge who I like best, unfortunately. What I am thinking of doing next is using the tip I recently read on the TG site … asking my electrologist to show me 5-6 hairs that she removes, if I see the bulbous end and the clear sheath, I will know that the insertions are not shallow. Then maybe we can try less duration…

Any more ideas are very welcome…