Bad Outcome - Milton, MA

I had electrolysis on my chin over a period of a...

I had electrolysis on my chin over a period of a year and a half, every two weeks. The hair was fairly coarse with both dark and light hairs interspersed throughout the chin area. After each treatment the area would be quite irritated with bumps on each follicle wherever she treated. Some big bumps, some small bumps and overall redness and irritation. I didn't worry about it too much as I had electrolysis done years ago on my lower abdomen and the same thing happened in terms of irritation and red bumps. That earlier time, the bumps resolved and there was no scarring and the hair was removed (different practitioner). In the case of my chin, the entire area stayed irritated but by the time of my next appointment the area had calmed down somewhat so I kept going. I just took it as the price I had to pay for getting clear skin eventually. Also in the state of Massachusetts an electrologist has to be licensed so I assumed that she knew what she was doing (and she had been doing it for years). So I really didn't worry. Finally though I decided my face needed a rest, even though I still had plenty of hairs. I simply thought that if I stopped for a month or so without treatment the area would calm down and my skin would be normal again. Plus I wanted to see how much the hair removal had helped overall. Anyway, much to my dismay, after all the redness went away and the large bumps went down in size I was left with hundreds of pinpoint whitish bumps (they look a bit like milia) on each and every pore. To make matters worse, the hairs were not touched or if so , minimally. So now a few years later I still have significant hair growth,and bumps that cause the hair to not come out straight so they're even hard to tweeze. My feeling , looking back now is that she never went deep enough with the needle. I have thick skin and I think she didn't really gauge the depth correctly so the area treated was somewhere in the middle of the follicle and not down by the hair root. I'm not sure which modality was used but I think it was the blend method.
Anyway, now I have to deeply exfoliate the chin area every day to keep the bumps from getting even larger (to buff off the top layer of skin on the bump and allow the hair to come out straight.)If I don't do that the hair gets trapped within the layer of skin that formed from the scar and I get an ingrown hair. I had always read the chances of scarring was minimal when using an experienced licensed electrologist but that is not always the case. Do your research and do a small spot before you commit to doing an entire area. Wait a while after the first treatment to make sure no scars are left in the long term. I wish I had done that as it would have saved my skin. I'm going to look into some sort of laser treatment but its my understanding that there is little that can be done, probably because the scar goes down into the follicle and is not just superficially on the skin surface.
Wish I had never done it.

Name not provided

Caused permanent scarring in each of the follicle treated

2 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
1 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
2 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
4 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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Comments (6)

Wow now that scares me because I've always wanted to get electrolysis done on my face area and I never thought there'll be any scaring and bumps!!!! :(((( But I think it doesn't happen (to everyone)most of the time so I'm probably okay???
  • Reply
No, I think its pretty uncommon based on most people's experience and my prior experience . There's even limited information online regarding electrolysis scarring--so its surely not the norm. But it was this "blind faith" attitude that made me not question the level of irritation that was happening. I thought it was the price to pay for clearing the area since I do have sensitive skin. Find a reputable practitioner and have them do a small area first. See how your skin reacts and go from there. Best of luck to you.
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You are right. At the very least she should have noticed that things were not progressing as normal as we went along. I went to her for over a year--every 2 weeks. Several times she mentioned doing laser along with the electrolysis but I resisted because I thought that it would just make it harder to permanently remove the hairs. But looking back laser probably would have been better for me. Maybe not permanent but no scars either. Not sure of her competence otherwise or if it was that I was an especially difficult case. But if she had said there was even a risk of permanent scarring, I'd have stopped treatment immediately. I'd certainly never recommend her to anyone. Unfortunately most of the hairs are too light now so laser would only get rid of about 20%. I have put off seeing a dermatologist because I have read that its very difficult to treat electrolysis scarring, maybe because the scarring goes down deep into the pores (as well as on the surface) . One of these days I'll bite the bullet and at least speak to a dermatologist about my case but from what ive read people who have these types of scars treated (dermabrasion, laser etc) they have not been happy with the result. By the way , these bumps are always present--they don't come and go, they do appear larger and more prominent if there's a trapped hair in there but even if there's nothing there's a tiny white raised bump on every pore that was treated. I've tried everything topical--retin a, antibiotic cream, glycolic peels, potions and lotions but none had any effect on the scars.
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I think your electrologist may not have been as competent and you need to see a dermatologist for the bumps. All these years later you should not be having them. I get some small white bumps afterward that go away with soap, warm water and antibiotic cream.
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Agreed regarding her incompetence. Though she is registered in the state of MA and that requires a level of (supposed) competency unlike in some states. Unfortunately these bumps will not go away with washing or anything superficial like that. They really are tiny scars --one on each follicle. Maybe down the road there will be some treatment that works. I have read accounts of others online who pursued dermatologic treatments to get rid of electrolysis scarring (not sure if there are different types of scars involved) and weren't happy with the result (I imagine because the damage goes down into the pore and is not just superficial?) . I'm hesitant to do more as I don't want to risk making the skin look worse. Maybe a little gun shy at this point I'll admit .
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Hi eirelass,

Thanks for the review. I'm sorry you are'nt happy with the results. I've heard from other community members that you have to go a number of times before it truly works. How many times have you gone? Also have you asked your doctor about the bumps. Please keep us updated.

Thanks,

-Britt

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