What Happens During Electrolysis Treatment?
Before you begin a course of electrolysis treatment, you should be offered a consultation with the electrologist who would carry out the procedure for you. This initial appointment is often free and you should not feel pressured into signing up for a package of electrolysis sessions. If you feel that you are being given an aggressive sales pitch rather than a positive presentation of the benefits and balanced view of the potential risks then alarm bells should be ringing.
In the initial consultation with the practitioner you will be asked about
- the area of unwanted hair you would like treated
- previous hair removal methods you have used (some removal methods such as waxing and plucking may distort the hair root and make the electrologist's job a little more difficult)
- your medical history to find out if there are any reasons why you should not have electrolysis
- your expectations and aims for the treatment
The electrologist will
- provide more information about hair removal by electrolysis including risks and potential problems
- give an indication of whether your aims are realistic
- give you an idea of how many treatments you might need and the associated time and cost (though it is impossible to give exact figures)
Ask as many questions as you need to make a fully informed decision about whether to proceed with electrolysis taking into account other options you have for getting rid of excess hair.
If you decide to go ahead you will probably be asked to sign a consent form stating that you have understood and accept the risks of treatment.
Sometimes photographs are taken to allow the practitioner to see progress through the whole course of treatment.
During each electrolysis appointment
The electrologist may apply an anaesthetic cream to the area to be treated to help reduce pain. To treat the area the electrolysis practitioner inserts a very fine solid sterilised needle called a probe into the hair follicle, which is a natural opening in the skin, following the direction of the hair shaft. To improve visibility the electrologist will work with good lighting and a magnifying glass. The needle is so fine and is inserted to such a shallow depth down an existing hair shaft that you should not feel any pain at this point. The skin is not pierced during treatment. Once the probe is in the hair follicle, the electrologist delivers a small controlled amount of electric current (usually using a footpad attached to the machine) to destroy the hair growth cells at the base of the follicle. Most patients feel this part of the process for a few seconds as a slight heat, tingling or sharp or slight sting (depending on your tolerance to pain and whether an anaesthetic is used). Once the root has been treated the hair slides easily from the follicle. If the hair root has been destroyed, the hair will not regenerate.
Treatment sessions can last anything from 10 to 15 minutes to over an hour depending on the area to be treated, the amount of hair to be removed and your tolerance of the treatment.
After electrolysis treatment
Although no recovery time is necessary, you will find your skin a bit sore, maybe a bit swollen and red for a time after the treatment and you should not have a session just before an important social or work engagement. Sometimes tiny scabs will form over the damaged hair follicles but this will be temporary provided you don't cause infection by picking or scratching them.
Additional Articles on Electrolysis
Cost Of Electrolysis Hair Removal Treatment
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Is Electrolysis Truly a Permanent Hair Removal Method?
With so much misinformation out there, can we believe that professional electrolysis works?
Do Home Electrolysis Systems Really Work?
One way of reducing costs would be to buy an electrolysis hair removal system designed for home use but is that a false economy?
Why is Electrolysis Less Popular than Laser Hair Removal?
A question of fashion or reason - why would you choose one over the other?