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Frequently Asked Questions

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Are you unsure whether electrolysis is the best method to get rid of your unwanted hair or blemishes? The best thing to do is to book a consultation with a Sterex-qualified electrologist who will be able to put you at ease and decide if it is the right treatment for you. The vast majority of electrologists will not charge you for your consultation.

However, if you like to have all of the information before meeting with a practitioner, here are the answer to the vast majority of questions people ask before their treatment.


Are there any skin conditions that stop me being able to have electrolysis?

Electrolysis can only be performed on a healthy skin. If there is any evidence of a skin disease or disorder in the treatable area then treatment may not commence. Some conditions may prevent treatment until the skin has healed e.g. cold sores, eczema or active acne etc. Some conditions may prevent treatment such as vitiligo. During the consultation the area to be treated will be assessed and in some cases the electrologist may require written consent from your Doctor prior to treatment.

Can I give blood during a course of treatments?

It is safe to give blood as an electrolysis client as all materials are sterilsed and disposable. Although, when donating the nurse may suggest that you have to wait 12 months following your last treatment. It is advisable to check with your blood donation centre first.

Can I have electrolysis while I’m pregnant?

It is possible to have an electrolysis treatment during pregnancy as the tiny amounts of current used will not affect the pregnancy. Although you may find that salon/clinics will not offer treatment during the first trimester. There are 2 methods of electrolysis mainly offered in salons today, the blend method and short wave diathermy. The blend method allows the current to flow through the body and short wave diathermy remains at the tip of the needle. Some salons/clinics may prefer to offer short wave diathermy only to pregnant clients.

I have a pacemaker, can I have electrolysis?

Unfortunately, electrolysis is not offered to clients with a pacemaker. This is for the safety of the client. Electrolysis uses an electrical current to treat the hair and this could affect the pacemaker. Some pacemakers are insulated, and it is possible to offer the treatment. Firstly, it is advisable to obtain a letter of consent from both the G.P. and the pacemaker manufacturer. Also check that your insurance will cover you.

Can someone with dental fillings or braces still have electrolysis?

There are usually two methods of electrolysis offered, short wave diathermy and the blend method. The blend method may leave a metallic taste experienced in the mouth, therefore, if you have a lot of fillings or metal braces, the short wave diathermy method may be preferred.

I regularly go swimming and to the gym. How long after treatment I can resume my fitness regime?

We usually recommend that swimming (if in a public pool) gets a night off while the skin calms down to ensure no minor infection can happen. If the skin has returned to normal and is not hot or warm, sore, pink or red and no sign of any swelling then there should be no problem. Your electrologist will advise you during the initial consultation

I’m going abroad in 2 weeks’ time can I have electrolysis before I go?

This depends on where you are going, the area that you are having treated and the density of the hair growth in this area. Holidays, even sunbathing beach holidays, should be fine, as long as the skin has fully recovered from treatment and there’s no sign of sensitivity. Your electrologist will advise you following a skin analysis and knowing your medical history. For example, if you are a heavy smoker or a diabetic you may heal slower and this must be taken into account.

Your Treatment

Is electrolysis safe?

Electrolysis was first invented in 1875 and is proven both effective and totally safe. Advancing technology has meant electrolysis has become more gentle and comfortable, even more effective and remains an affordable, modern treatment increasingly popular today. Equally effective as a stand alone treatment, or as part of a programme of support for hair management systems such as IPL or laser, electrolysis will work for you.

Are there any side effects of electrolysis?

When electrolysis is performed correctly by a skilled electrologist it is perfectly safe. On your first appointment you should be given a full consultation to discuss your medical history and any reasons the treatment can not be performed. Following your treatment the electrologist will go through the aftercare advice and apply a soothing aftercare gel. It’s essential you follow the advice to prevent any unwanted reaction.

Does electrolysis hurt?

Electrolysis can be a little uncomfortable for many people but others can fall asleep during treatment. During an electrolysis treatment a tiny sterile probe is introduced into the opening of the hair follicle or blemish. A small burst of energy is released and a sensation will be experienced like a tingle, heat or a minor sting. Everyone has their own individual pain threshold which can be affected by a number of factors:
1) Individual pain thresholds – this can be affected by health, stress, time of menstruation etc
2) Area to be treated
3) Strength and size of hair
4) Skin sensitivity
5) Type of current used
One thing that you can depend on is electrolysis works so any minor discomfort is well worth the results.

How much does an electrolysis treatment cost?

This can vary depending upon location of the salon/clinic, the experience of the electrologist and the service you are having. Prices can range from £1-2+ per minute for hair removal to much more for advanced cosmetic procedures. There are often reductions available if you are booking 1 hour or more of if a course of treatments is required.

How long does an electrolysis treatment take?

For electrolysis there is no ‘typical’ treatment as all clients are treated as individuals. Treatments can vary from a short 10 minute appointment up to a 2-3 hours+ depending upon the area being treated. All treatment planning will be discussed on the day of the consultation. During your consultation you are encouraged to ask as many questions as possible so you are informed correctly about your course of treatments.

How will my skin look after an electrolysis treatment?

Immediately after an electrolysis treatment it is normal for the skin to be sensitised with a pink appearance. This reaction is temporary and should return to normal within 24 hours. If you are having an advanced cosmetic procedure your blemish is likely to take on a different appearance that will heal over time. Following your treatment an aftercare product will be applied to calm and soothe the area protecting it from an unwanted reaction. We strongly recommend you purchase aftercare products to continue the good work at home.

Electrolysis for hair removal

How do the results compare to laser?

Both laser and electrolysis are very effective for removing superfluous hair. Although they both have their uses electrolysis is the only proven permanent method of hair removal. Laser hair removal does have its limitations. The laser is attracted to the pigment within the hair, therefore white hair is difficult to treat. Hair growth as a result of a hormonal imbalance is also difficult to treat. The hair density can be reduced greatly but it is necessary to continue with electrolysis to obtain further results.

How soon will I start to see results?

This is personal to you, the area you are having treated and how quickly your hair grows. Your electrolysis will take into account your hair growth cycle and your skin sensitivity to create a treatment plan that works quickly, but the priority should always be on long lasting results.

How many treatments will I need?

Again, this is down to the individual. Electrolysis treats each individual hair repeatedly as gently as possible so the hair becomes weaker and no tissue damage is caused. The cause of hair growth will influence the amount of treatments required. A treatment plan should be discussed with your electrologist during your consultation to give you some indication of the commitment required.

Why do I need a course of treatments?

Each hair requires more than one treatment because each individual hair has its own growing cycle and blood supply. Electrolysis works by weakening the hair and eventually destroying it. Courses of treatment are therefore imperative. Results take a little more time, similar to dieting it’s not the crash diet but the healthy eating plan that works in the long run.

I’ve had laser/ IPL but still have some unwanted hair. Can electrolysis help?

Electrolysis, laser and IPL can work hand in hand for the very best results.Unlike laser or IPL, neearly all areas of the body and types of hair can be successfully treated with electrolysis.. Laser/IPL can quickly treat large areas of hair, but you will need electrolysis to complete these treatments where laser/IPL is unable to finish the job. Electrolysis can also remove white hairs that leaser and IPL are unable to treat.

What do I do about my hairs between treatments?

There may be some hair growth between treatments. To manage these you should cut the hair as this will temporarily remove them without interfering with the root of the hair and affecting results. Tweezing, threading and waxing must be avoided during a course of electrolysis.

Diathermy for blemish removal

What blemishes can be removed with diathermy?

A wide diversity of skin blemishes can be treated:
Facial Thread Veins – commonly found around the nose and on the cheeks
Blood Spots – bright red vascular blemishes frequently found on the midriff, back or front
Spider Naevus – a central dilated capillary with smaller capillaries like the legs of a spider
Skin Tags – Commonly found on the neck, underarm and areas of friction
Milia – Tiny white hard lumps containing keratin
Warts – Various types such as, common, seborrhoeic and verrucas
Dermatosis Papulosa Nigra – Common disorder found on black skins
Moles – With GP consent the mole can be visibly reduced Some blemishes may require a GP’s written consent prior to treatment.
For more info and before and afters, please visit the conditions page.

I have been told I need to get permission from my GP, why is this?

In some cases the electrologist may need confirmation that it is safe to treat your blemish. They may also need GP consent to ensure that their insurance is valid for more complex treatments. A medical aesthetician may also be able to give the peace of mind of testing any blemishes that are removed. Please visit the clinic finder to find a practitioner near you.
174 Kings Road, Tyseley, Birmingham, B11 2AP