Before and After Care
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Grow your hair out for a couple days, just long enough that I can grab it with a tweezer. A millimeter or two is usually sufficient
I recommend getting a lidocaine (numbing cream) prescription from your Primary Care Physician. Apply this 30 min beforehand VERY heavily (glob it on!) and cover with Saran Wrap so it absorbs fully. If done correctly, you should be able to brush the skin with an object and feel no sensation in the area from it. Scarves or masks are helpful if you feel self-conscious about walking to your session with the plastic wrap.
Apply an ice pack to reduce swelling and redness
- Use witch hazel, tea tree oil, and/or aloe vera to promote healing the following couple days
- Use sunscreen to protect your skin if you go out in the sun
Use heavy lotions or moisturizers that will clog the pores
- Use retinol or exfoliating products — this will further irritate and inflame the skin
Itch or pick at your skin
- Expose your skin to heavy UV without SPF protection
Use heavy cosmetics that can clog the pores
- Engage in heavy physical activity where you’ll be sweating profusely
- Introduce your skin to a potentially septic environment like a public hot tub
- (All of the above can cause pimples or infection and slow your skin’s healing!)
Q: Does electrolysis leave scars?
Electrolysis usually does not leave permanent “scars,” but will leave a range of temporary marks. Immediately after the session, electrolysis will leave inflammation and redness that should go down in a few days. You can also expect some small scabs to form in the shape of red dots the size of the needle. As these scabs shed, you are left with red or brown dots known as “hyper-pigmentation.” These marks are temporary, and once the skin renews itself, the area will heal to reveal smooth, hair-free skin.
Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation after electrolysis needs anywhere from 3 months to 2 years to heal following the last treatment in the area.
“Pitting” is possible in a minority of clients, in which wound collagen fills in the empty space created by the hair removal. The collagen needs about one year to “mature” into smooth tissue.
Q: Is my skin healing right?
Everyone’s skin has a different sensitivity to treatment, and ultimately you are the best judge of how your skin is healing from electrolysis. If your skin has many pigmented patches, then you will want to proceed more slowly with the process so your skin heals after each appointment. Let me know clearly at every session how your skin has been healing in previous weeks and whether you have any concerns, so we can decide how to approach the timeline of your treatment.
Q: How can I improve my skin’s healing?
You can use products to help the process along, but ultimately time is the best healer. Some clients find success improving longer-lasting hyperpigmentation using products like Lac-hydrin, Retin A (tretinoin), hydraquinone, and glycolic acid, all of which stimulate an exfoliating effect on the skin.
However, clients must be very careful to only use such products weeks AFTER the scabs have shed. Using such products too soon during the healing process while the skin is still wounded/broken can be very damaging to your skin.