Why aren't I allowed to wash the treated area?

Hi Everybody!
I just had my first thermolysis session yesterday, and will hopefully soon get time to post about it. Right now my left arm (the area that got treated) is full with red dots and I think they are beginning to form scabs. My electrologist told me that I would probably have scabs around two-three weeks - is this “normal”? Is this a good or a bad sign? She also told me after the treatment not to wash the treated area for at least 24 hours, the longer I waited the better. Why is that? I don’t understand why I shouldn’t be allowed to wash the area with pure water? I’ve read that people here even are recommended to wash their treated areas with some kind of mild soap and then put aloe vera on or something similar. How come my electrologist told me not to?
Oh, and one more thing: How long should it take to get two arms totally hairfree? I asked my electrologist, how about one year, but she said probably not, but couldn’t give me any direct answer on how long either.
Thank you for any thought you might have about these questions!!

The scabs are normal and nothing to worry about. She probably doesn’t want you scrubbing the area and causing irritation, hence the directions not to wash the area. You might be able to rinse the area under the shower, James or Dee can better answer that one.


Hi Miskah,
Maybe I can help with my 2 cents. . . I always clean the area with witch hazel on a cotton ball as soon as I get home. I then apply ploysporin cream during the day and tea tree oil at night, although some people prefer aloe vera for its soothing properties. I do form scabs 2-3 days after treatment, but they are gone by the next week. Scabs are not a bad thing, but do not pick at them! I’m not sure if 2-3 weeks is normal for the arms because I am getting work on the face. One of the electrologists that posts here can answer that more accurately than I can. Good luck!

RJC is correct. Your electrologist probably doesn’t want to have you causing more problems by scrubbing the area, using a harsh cleaning product. She also probably doesn’t want to say brand names for you to wash with.

Since you don’t have a relationship with me, I can say anything I want without you thinking I want to sell you something <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

Dial soap is a good one for post treatment on the body, and for really mild cleansing, use yogurt. If you choose Yogurt, it MUST BE PLAIN, no flavors, no fruit, no artificial sweeteners. For example, if the ingredients list says: Cultured Grade A Non Fat Milk, Pectin and Live/Active Yogurt Cultures including L. Acidophilus, then you got the right one (Dannon Fat Free Plain Yogurt would be a national brand that fits the bill).

Basically, we want you to keep the treatment area clean and dry for 24 to 72 hours. If you sweat, or have clothes rubbing against the treatment area, it will scab, and possibly have pigment issues temporarily.

I think she is also giving you the worst case situation on the scab numbers as well.

Have you ever gone swimming with a scab or an abrassion. Did you soak in the tub with a scrapped knee as a child? Have you seen someone who did?

Ever had surgery? the surgen tells you not to bath and get the wound wet

The wound turns white. the wetness interfers with healing scabs form. While electrolysis is not that invasive you have the same effect on a smaller scale. And you get scabs.

I personally think laserhater is over stimulating and irritating his wounds and should stop putting anything on it.

I had a client with a terrible break out. She said she was using pure aloe. The label said it was 100% pure gel. Well it wasn’t powder and it wasn’t liquid and it most definetly was not pure aloe. It was full of a skin irritant that belongs in wash off products only but it makes a nice looking although caustic gel.

Give me a break learner! I’m doing the best I can! I’m trying to piece together info. to find what works for me and that’s what I’m suggesting this person do also. Seriously, I do appreciate the advice. The only thing I use after the initial polysporin application is tea tree oil for a couple of days. I got this advice from James Walker! What are your exact recommendations for post care? Nothing at all? My main concern is scarring.

Ever had surgery? the surgen tells you not to bath and get the wound wet

Different situation. Plus, sometimes wounds are irrigated on purpose. You are confusing the effect of the moisture with the effect of the mechanical trauma of picking or scrubbing.

Besides, sometimes wounds are debrided with instruments (or maggots).

The wound turns white. the wetness interfers with healing scabs form.

Scabs are your body’s way of protecting a wound. Getting the wound wet doesn’t cause a scab.

My patient has been doing very well on the lower legs, which seem to be prone to infection (due to poor circulation?) by gently spreading antibacterial ointment and wrapping the lower leg in a bandage. We use “ace” bandages, which we wash and reuse. When she showers, she is careful to not contact the treated area and only dries it with a hair dryer.

  • Eric

Laserhater my harshness (and I am harsh) is not aimed at you. You are looking for advice and trying to sort it out.

Coming from a hairy family who grew up on the desert I can tell you we never got scabs from electrolysis except that one time when I licked my lip.

Having practiced on the desert and in a very humid climit I can tell you the humidity in the air caused scabs and pimple like erruptions.

Yes I do reccomend leaving it alone and putting nothing on it. We never used aftercare as electrolysis clients.

On the desert if a client complained of scabs I asked if they swam, used a sauna, exercised, showered after treatment. If they did I told them to refrain or do it before hand. If they didn’t I check my settings.

On my clients I use witchvera. If they insist on using something on it I will sell it at cost or reccomend they use something alcoholfree AHA free and BHA free. I tell them to be careful you don’t know what irritants are in products.

Hi Learner!
Thank you for your input in this subject. You definetly have a good point in what you are saying.
The only thing I’ve done with my treated arms after the electrolysis is to put aloe vera gel on. Perhaps the 2 first days after treatment, like 2-3 times per day. Then nothing. Otherwise I’ve not washed my arms with water for at least 3-4 days after treatment. Still I am getting scabs, and I’ve had it for over 2 weeks (!![normal??]) now. Maybe I’m doing something wrong, since I get scabs and since they don’t seem to go away… or what do you think? Maybe I shouldn’t put aloe vera gel on at all? And maybe I should wait even longer than 4 days to wash the treated area? Or what do you recommend?
Thank you for your attention.

How can you keep the area clean if you don’t wet it?
If you don’t clean the area, bacteria collects and can create a bad odor under the arms.

Use gentle cleansers and don’t go into places where bacteria thrive like whirlpools and steam rooms…

well, it’s not smelly since I don’t sweat in my underarms, and I’ve washed the rest of my body. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />
I appreciate your input though!

You say you use aloe vera, read the ingredients. Chances are it has alcohol in it. This is irritating. I think having a shower the morning after will not cause scabbing if you don’t use friction.

Are you seeing less hair? that is what is important. And is this your arms or underarms?

Hi Viewer!
I just read the ingredients on the “100 % aloe vera” bottle and there’s something called “phenoxyethanol”, which I guess is some kind of alcohol… Well, thank you, because now I know this is nothing good for me to use as after care treatment. One thing I wonder though is, if alcohol is bad for the healing, how come my electrologist clean my arms with alcohol after the treatments…? Wouldn’t she know?


I clean with alcohol BEFORE the treatment and use WitchVera after the treatment. If she cleans you with alcohol afterwards I am sure it would really burn and turn red. Have you tried witch Hazel? Don’t over do it. I think that what your electrologist applies is probably enough. The aloe has to have some kind of preservative. Not all alcohols are created equal. If it doesn’t burn its probably not so bad but still don’t over do it. Too much of anything isn’t good.

Besides, sometimes wounds are debrided with instruments (or maggots).

Really? Would you debride an electrolysis wound? Woundn’t this be an indication of overtreatment. Scabbing is a normal side effect, but excessive scabs could be an indication of over treatment or disturbing the wound.

Scabs in the follicle are normal large thick scabs on the surface indicate something else.

For arms and especially underarms I would definitely switch to laser or at least try it. I’ve almost completely cleared both areas in 4-5 treatments - only 3 treatments for underarms.

Also legs are are really quick with laser as well.

Slappy are you sure your name isn’t gary? Do you think we don’t see your redunant post. You are a lazer promoter and will disapear soon. We see you, we recngize your fraud. I call your bluff. Liar


I don’t think you are a liar. Your advise is very good. The areas you mentioned for laser do respond very well and many, many people are very happy they tried it.

The reason why I don’t treat those areas with laser is because I’ve heard laser cause scarring that may not be visible at first, but that can come up to surface after 1 year or longer. Or am I wrong? Doesn’t laser cause scars?

My electrologist has worked with thermolysis for 33 years (!!) so I guess she knows her stuff, but she is really expensive. 1 hour costs 84 dollars (or 650 swedish krones - isn’t that really expensive…?) and I don’t have a lot of money. It has also been nearly 1 month since my first treatment on my left arm, and the scabs has just disappeard but there are still red dots and my skin is quite dry - is this really normal?

Sorry, for all this questions, I’m just afraid to get ruined both economically and phusically on my struggling way to become permanently hair-free.


Hi Julia:

I think that you would have to compare her rates and also her speed and skill to others in your area. You might want to ask her if she can give you a reduced rate for perhaps ten hour blocks or something?

As for your dry skin: It is winter and you may want to apply a daily skin moisturizer.

Good Luck!