WellSpan Home

Electrolysis for Removing Hair

Treatment Overview

Electrolysis is a common method of removing unwanted hair. A small needle or thin metal probe is inserted into the opening of the skin where hair grows (small sacs beneath the skin called hair follicles). Next, a low-level electrical current passes through the needle or probe into your skin and destroys the hair follicle. Hair is unable to grow back in an area where the follicle has been destroyed.

The process of electrolysis can be slow and can require several treatment sessions to destroy the hair follicles. Treatment can be uncomfortable-the feeling is sometimes described as having little rubber bands snapping at your skin. The destruction of each individual hair follicle may take from less than 1 second up to 20 seconds.

What To Expect

After electrolysis, your treated skin may temporarily be red, swollen, and tender. You may need additional treatments to permanently remove all unwanted hair. You should notice a loss of unwanted hair in the treated area within several weeks to months after the first treatment.

Why It Is Done

Electrolysis is done to permanently remove unwanted hair. Electrolysis is commonly used to remove hair on the face (eyebrows, upper and lower lips, cheeks, chin, hairline, bridge of the nose between eyebrows, and sideburns) and also on the neck, shoulders, arms and underarms, breasts, abdomen, bikini line, legs, back, and chest.

Who should not have electrolysis?

Electrolysis should not be done on the inside of your ears or nose. It also should never be done to remove hair from a mole or a birthmark. If you have a pacemaker, you should not have electrolysis on any part of your body.

How Well It Works

When electrolysis is done correctly, it permanently removes unwanted hair. Successful hair removal depends on the skill of the person doing the electrolysis.

Risks

Electrolysis poses few risks in a healthy person. During treatment, you may feel some pain from the electrical current flow. After treatment, your skin may be red, swollen (inflamed), and tender. These are temporary side effects. Electrolysis can cause scarring, keloid scars, and changes in skin color of the treated skin in some people.

What To Think About

Finding a licensed, reputable electrologist is important to successfully and permanently removing unwanted hair. Each state in the United States regulates the licensing of electrologists. Your doctor, friends, or family may be able to recommend a licensed electrologist.

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerAnne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
Keith Alan Denkler, MD - Plastic Surgery

Current as ofOctober 5, 2017


Are you sure you would like to cancel?

All information will be lost.

Yes No ×

About the provider search

This search will provide you with WellSpan Medical Group and Northern Lancaster County (Ephrata) Medical Group primary care physicians and specialists. If we don’t have a WellSpan Medical Group physician to meet your criteria, the search will expand to include community physicians who partner with WellSpan Medical Group physicians through the WellSpan Provider Network or provide care to patients on the Medical Staffs of WellSpan’s Hospitals.

×

Schedule Your Next Appointment Online with MyWellSpan

Use your MyWellSpan patient portal any time to view available appointments, and pick the date and time that best suits your schedule.

Go to MyWellSpan

New to this practice?

If you don't have a WellSpan primary care provider and would like to schedule a new patient appointment with a provider who is accepting patients, just log into your MyWellSpan account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to see the offices that are accepting new patients in relation to your zip code. If you are not enrolled in MyWellSpan, go to https://my.wellspan.org, call 1-866-638-1842 or speak with a member of the staff at a participating facility to sign up. New patient scheduling not available at all practices/programs.

Already a patient at this practice?

If you already have a relationship with a WellSpan practice, simply log into your account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to schedule an appointment with any provider or practice that already counts you as a patient. Online scheduling varies by practice/program.

×