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Electrolysis Tips please.


Maid In Bedlam

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I have decided to restart eloctrolysis.

I had 5 sessions about a year ago and OMG it was painful. Some say it feels like a small bee sting. Well my god if thats what a bee sting feels like then im glad i have never been stung.

On a scale of 1 to 10 it was at least a 8 as the worst pain ive ever had. Anyway thats the reason i stopped i just couldnt do it anymore. So cut a long story short im going back into the Dantes inferno and giving it another try.

 

Im reaching out to you girls who have survived it. Any hints or tips on the best way to keep the discomfort down to a minimum. or at least make it bearable?

 

I have always considered myself to have quite a high pain thersehold but this is beyond my keeping a stiff upper lip and  just taking it.

 

 

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One thing my electrolysis care provider recommended was to limit caffeine intake the day of treatment, it can make you jumpy and seems to work against you with pain tolerance. I had a better go of things, with a full tummy and no caffeine, before I would go in. Of course using a topical Lidocane cream or similar really does help too. 

 

Good luck, it's no cake walk for sure. Took me years to be finally clear of that mess.

 

Hugs

 

C -

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Certainly no caffeine, stay well hydrated, take an ibuprofen before the pain starts.  It will be bad when an area where a nerve is located, specifically on the top lip.  You have to want to do this.  It does get easier though as the hairs become thinner and lesser.  

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This may be something you were already doing, but I was able to get my doctor to prescribe a numbing cream. I apply this about an hour before the appointment and cover it in plastic wrap which helps more of it to absorb. If I do this well, the pain is negligible. If I don't do it at all then work above my upper lip is hard to bear.

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I heard of that cream. My therapist told me there’s another cream that doesn’t require that plastic wrapping Julie. It has the litocane and, as she said, an additional cane in it. 

 

I have a question too. How long do you have to let your hair grow before going? I went 4 days this week and didn’t like going that long. But I assume it’s at least that long right? 

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Mine grows pretty quickly. I have electrolysis done on Fridays and my last shave before the appointment is Wednesday morning. If I know we'll be concentrating on the upper lip I'll usually not shave that on Wednesday to give it an extra day since it grows a little more slowly there for me. 

The numbing cream I have is Lidocaine-Prilocaine also known as EMLA. It works pretty well without the plastic wrap, but it seems to work just a little better with it, so I try to do that even though it's not essential. 

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It's worth it. I still have some pain/discomfort, but only in the most sensitive spots. It's an order of magnitude improvement.

Get some!

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2 hours ago, SugarMagnolia said:

The numbing cream I have is Lidocaine-Prilocaine also known as EMLA. It works pretty well without the plastic wrap, but it seems to work just a little better with it, so I try to do that even though it's not essential. 

 

3 hours ago, SugarMagnolia said:

This may be something you were already doing, but I was able to get my doctor to prescribe a numbing cream. I apply this about an hour before the appointment and cover it in plastic wrap which helps more of it to absorb. If I do this well, the pain is negligible. If I don't do it at all then work above my upper lip is hard to bear.

Looks like I'm definitely doing facial electrolysis.  I know next to nothing about this cream though.  I think I may be one of those who will be very pain sensitive on the face.  Thank you so much for all these tips @Sugar Magnolia. 

 

Susan R?

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Hello All:

 

So I just had my first electrolysis treatment today Friday January 18th.  It hurt worse than laser.  I was only able to handle 30min of it and I can see a difference already.  So I was told that the hairs that is left on my face is very extremely light and I have such a huge bunch of tightly packed light hairs where it will take a long while.  They estimated with how packed of light hairs I have that it will probably take 35 sessions.  Then to help me out with the pain, they are not going to sit in one spot but run it all over my face in patches.  So the first bunch of times, I am going to have patches of hair just growing weird, but it will be worth it to no longer have hair on my face. 

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40 minutes ago, Amy LeBlanc said:

They estimated with how packed of light hairs I have that it will probably take 35 sessions.

Wow, Amy! I've read where people doing electrolysis have spent years in dozens of sessions but I was assuming they were doing their whole body.  I thought when I start I could get my entire face completed in about 8-10 visits.  Guess not.  To start, I'm going to see if I can do just under my chin and neck first because that's where I'm more susceptible to razor burn.

Amy, where on your face did they concentrate and did you use lidocaine cream prior to your procedure?

 

Susan R?

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Just now, Susan R said:

Wow, Amy! I've read where people doing electrolysis have spent years in dozens of sessions but I was assuming they were doing their whole body.  I thought when I start I could get my entire face completed in about 8-10 visits.  Guess not.  To start, I'm going to see if I can do just under my chin and neck first because that's where I'm more susceptible to razor burn.

Amy, where on your face did they concentrate and did you use lidocaine cream prior to your procedure?

 

Susan R?

Hello Susan 

 

So today, they really concentrated on my chin area. But got my neck, and both sides of my cheek and they got 4 hairs on my upper lip.  The upper lip is the crying hurting area that hurts.  I did not use the lidocaine.  But yeah it is going to take awhile since my chin and upper lip has the most light hairs there.  There is so much hair that it is thick. 

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If we take the average number of hairs per square inch to be 500 (from a random web site...mileage may vary), and each hair takes 20 seconds to be removed via electrolysis, that gives us just under 3 hours to remove all 500 hairs from a single square inch of face.

It's not hard to see why it can take 100-200 hours of electrolysis to clear our faces. And why it's one of the things that get recommended to start on right away when questions about transition come up. 

Thankfully, my electrologist is a sweetheart and though she occasionally brings me pain I always enjoy our chats. ?



 

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Just now, SugarMagnolia said:

If we take the average number of hairs per square inch to be 500

I'm probably in that average range but the crosshatching hair growth that most men have only on their cheeks, is also predominate under my chin and neck.  I am forced to shave in 2 directions on my neck so it's really hard not to get razor burn.

 

9 minutes ago, Amy LeBlanc said:

they got 4 hairs on my upper lip.  The upper lip is the crying hurting area that hurts.  I did not use the lidocaine

Amy, that upper lip area sounds so painful.  If you do end up using lidocaine next time around on your upper lip area, be sure to let us know how much the pain decreases.  I may have to ask my doc for that prescription when the time comes.

 

Susan R?

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I think of my estimates as sort of a worst case scenario, @Susan R. The combo of laser first then electrolysis is helpful for many people including me. And I'm at the point now where most of what I have left is lighter in color (since I've done laser and I'm a bit older ? ), so what I have left is much easier to hide.

I started weekly one hour electrolysis sessions in May and we've just about cleared off all the dark hairs from around my lips. I'm hoping we can do the same for my chin within the next few months. That will take care of the worst of my dysphoria from facial hair and the rest will just be nice to have. 

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 Oh goodness, yes this is a very difficult topic is it not? I’ve stopped using the EMLA cream, and I hydrate as well as possible two or three days prior to my session. Staying away from caffeine is very important and I will add staying away from salt, and elevated salt level will  add lots of electrolyte to your system, with lots of electrolyte your nerves conduct pain much better, everything In the bodies nervous system is electrical so the less conduction possibly equals less pain. I know from a pain standpoint with my bad leg, the less salt the better. The process of electrolysis can be performed two ways,  galvanic or thermolysis, my operator runs straight galvanic which only uses current, it’s a bit more efficient and the follicle kill off rate seems much better. She seems to be able to consistently do a little more than one square inch in a four hour session. Most electrolysis operators run what is called galvanic blend, where there is a  combination of galvanic current and radio frequency energy from the thermolysis. The radio frequency energy heats the follicle area speeding the chemical reaction that is created when the current passes through the follicle. Current passing through that follicle breaks down the moisture and salt into the basic components of lye, and that basically melts the follicle and kills  it.  Adding the radio frequency to heat the follicle speeds the chemical reaction and the concept here is that the process will go quicker, unless it’s used incredibly accurately it does not seem that most operators are able to get the same kill off rate that straight galvanic operators do, in the end I’m confident that my straight galvanic operator will have my face looking nice faster then the girl I was going to that did galvanic blend. I’ve also Heard that thermolysis adds heat to the collagen of your face and can prematurely aged you however I don’t know if this is true since I have not and the years of experience behind my Electrolysis to say so, but while having read it here or there and been confirmed by my electrolysis operator I tend to think it might be true...

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So today I have noticed that the redness and the swollen is now gone from yesterday.  Now I can see the patchy area where it is smooth with no hair and then the hair that still needs to some out. 

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Yes all i have had done is the top lip so far. After 5 sessions i cant expect to much and i havent really noticed a diffrence to it. But as i said it stung like hell on earth. But i shall take onboard the less caffine and salt. Also take an anti inflamtory about an hour before Living in hope that it wont be so bad. Im a bit late for any creams as my appointment is Monday so no time to see a Doctor or such like. My last shave was on Friday morning. It grows just enough in 3 days to be able to have the treatment.

 

ive had Laser in the past. Didnt seem to do anything at all. just still moderate pain. However its not an option now as many of those pesky hairs are now Grey so for me it was a complete waste of time and money

 

I did hear a rumour once that a guy invented some sort of cream that got rid of the hairs with no effort. Not the magic hair something even better. But when one of the big razor companys heard of it they brought the patent and it was never heard off again.

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1 hour ago, Maid In Bedlam said:

I did hear a rumour once...

I think those types of stories are myths.  Thinking about it, a cream would only do so much as the hair follicle is quite deep in the epidermis.  Its sort of the like the 100 MPG (or more) carburetor plans that car companies supposedly bought and killed.  Science says otherwise.  

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Update time.

 

I went to my appointment.

Since i was last there. they had apprently got a new machine. For anyone who wants to look it up it is an Apilius Senior 3G

 

Yes it still hurt However the pain was more quicker therefore less. Some top lip and some chin hair removed.

I did do as advised and take some Iprufen and laid off the caffine and salt which im sure made some diffrence.

 

So If you provider is useing this particular machine then dont expect pain free but it does make it quicker therefore a little more manageable

 

 

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Thank you for the information about the new machine! I’m so dreading electrolysis but I know there’s no way around it.

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That seems to be the same name as the one my electrologist uses.  She just bought it while she was at the big Electrologist conference.  It is different than her last one and the pain is somewhat less.  YRMV

 

Jani

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  • 3 weeks later...

I started electrolysis last month and, after six visits, can vouch for its painfulness!

 

I’m focusing on my upper lip and hope to see a difference by fall. 

 

I hope that’s not a pipe dream. My electrologist is not so optimistic!

 

Anyway, it’s the only solution I see for removing pretty heavy — and all gray — stubble.

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7 hours ago, BillieS said:

I hope that’s not a pipe dream. My electrologist is not so optimistic!

No its not but at least she's being honest about it.  It does take time as the hair regrows back thinner and thinner until its completely dead.   Try taking an ibuprofen an hour prior and avoid caffeine products. 

 

I like your avatar photo.  Please post an intro!

Cheers, Jani

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