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Alternatives to electrolysis

For many clients, it takes courage to seek electrolysis treatment.

They may have experienced unwanted hair growth or been affected by skin blemishes for many years and will most likely have tried other treatment methods without success. Electrolysis is often the last resort when it should have been the first.

Clients must be reassured that they have made the right decision in seeking electrolysis treatment, so it is important to gain and maintain their trust. For clients to have confidence in you it is important to be honest about the treatment outcomes – their expectations may be too high and you are the expert.


HAIR REMOVAL ALTERNATIVES

Waxing/Sugaring/Threading

This removes all hair, desirable or not, in a mass ‘plucking action’ and can stimulate hormonally influenced hair growth. Using these methods, fine vellus hair can be accelerated into terminal hair. Clients who have repeatedly waxed or threaded over an extended period typically have distorted hair follicles, with hairs growing at unusual angles. These methods of hair removal must be discontinued once electrolysis treatment commences.

Tweezing

This is a very common method of removing facial hair where it is not profuse or dense. However, tweezing individual hairs is known to stimulate hormonally influenced hair growth and hair re-growth will be stronger and tougher and the follicles become distorted. This method of hair removal must be discontinued once electrolysis treatment commences.

Depilatory Creams

Another commonly used method, depilatory creams dissolve the hair just below the skin’s surface. This method does not promote hair growth, but it does sensitise the skin, as the creams contain peroxide. Increased skin sensitivity has implications for current intensities in electrolysis and weakens the hair above the skin causing it to break during removal, so it is advised that this method be discontinued once electrolysis treatment commences.

Cutting

This is the best method for managing unwanted hair growth, as it does not interfere with the growth cycle. However, scissors cannot get close to skin level and cut hair can feel stubbly as it removes the finer tip. However, most clients are happy to manage hair growth between treatments this way.

Shaving

Those with severe hair growth often resort to shaving where other temporary methods are too painful or ineffectual. However, regular shaving can result in irritated and inflamed skin and in-growing hairs, but for some clients continued use of this method in-between treatments may be required if growth is extensive.

Laser/Light Treatment

If a laser or light based hair removal method has been used, electrolysis should be avoided in the treated area for two weeks to ensure maximum healing potential from the laser or IPL. Ideally the two treatments should be performed completely separately with many weeks in-between treatments. Insurance companies have varying rules regarding the timing of treating clients who have previously had laser treatment, so you must first check with your insurer before delivering a treatment as your insurance could be null and void if you don’t adhere to their rules.


BLEMISH REMOVAL ALTERNATIVES

Laser/IPL

Laser resurfacing can be used for the removal of blemishes including acne scars, pigmentation and sun spots. It works by applying energy to the outer levels of the skin to stimulate skin cells’ ability to regenerate.

Cutterage

A cutting implement instrument known as a curette is used to scoop out the skin legion. It is usual to need more than one pass of the curette to remove the entire legion.

Electro Surgery

Often known as electrosurgical cauterisation, this technique has been widely used for the removal of moles, common skin tags and warts. The practitioner works with a specialist device that cuts, desiccates, coagulates  and fulgurates the tissue.


VERRUCA REMOVAL ALTERNATIVES

Salicylic Acid

This keratolytic treatment has long been used for the removal of warts and verrucas. It is applied to the affected skin daily and you are also required to rub off dead skin cells from the wart once a week. Results will take a minimum of two weeks and it can take up to three months for the wart to be removed.

Cryotherapy

Cryotherapy uses extremely low temperatures to ‘freeze off’ unwanted warts and blemishes. This therapy has increased in popularity, but to date there is limited research into how effective it is or its long term effects.

Chemical Treatments

Contact immunotherapy is another option for the removal of warts. It uses a chemical paint (often diphenycyprone) to create an allergic reaction to boost the immune system’s reaction against the wart virus and enable its elimination.

Microwave Treatment

Microwave energy is applied to the affected area by a probe. Patients can expect to experience a short painful sensation and there may be some soreness afterwards. Verrucae are likely to need more than one treatment, which will need to take place between 14 days and one month later.

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