A hair must be actively growing for its follicle to be moist enough for our process to be effective. A certain percentage of follicles are in this stage (anagen) at any given time. Some follicles are also dormant. These follicles are going through a natural growth cycle and hair will resurface within a few weeks or months. When the hairs are actively growing once again, their follicles can be effectively treated and permanently destroyed. For this reason, a series of treatments is required. The length of the series and the length of each appointment are highly individual and must be determined by a close examination of the area under high magnification.
Can you help with ingrown hair removal?
Using sterile lancet instruments, topical anesthetic, topical antiseptic, and surgical gloves, we can safely remove ingrown hairs.
Tell me more about Multipulse/Microflash Thermolysis
Thermolysis is a procedure that uses alternating current to produce a short-wave radio wave. Radio waves are sound waves, thus they vibrate. When we insert a tiny probe into a hair follicle that is actively growing, it will be moist and have water molecules that are vibrated by the release of the radio wave. The vibration of the molecules produces heat from the friction between the molecules, and this heat is enough to permanently destroy the lining of the hair follicle. The treatment is most effective on actively, growing, follicles, which is why it is important to treat emerging hair as soon as it appears.
The "Multipulse" is a delivery system controlled by a computer in the epilation machine we use. A sensor is held by the patient. As we insert the filament into the follicle, it sends feedback to the computer in the epilator, relaying the amount of moisture in each level of the hair follicle. This allows the radio wave to be emitted in small comfortable pulses, rather than larger, more uncomfortable pulses delivered by old fashioned epilators that are controlled by the electrologist's foot pedal. This means that each level of the hair follicle receives the ideal intensity level in precise little pulses, so that the treatment is as comfortable as possible, while delivering a lethal dose of current to the hair follicle. There is no sensation following treatment either!
Distorted follicles used to be a problem, but with the new, flexible, rounded tip Ballet filaments, the follicle is straightened so that the entire length can be treated iin one insertion. The "Microflash" refers to the speed of the pulse. The older machines delivered thermolysis current measured in hundredths of a second. The new Apilus machines deliver current in thousandths of a second.
What is a session like?
After your initial evaluation, and discussion of how past medications, or medical conditions may have affected your hair growth, we explain the procedure to you using a skin and hair chart. Following this, we explain our sterilization and infection control procedures to you; then we advise you of the protocol for caring for your skin following each treatment. Then, if you have no additional questions, we give you a free sample treatment. First, the your skin is prepped with an antiseptic solution to insure that it will not become infected. Then we apply a topical anesthetic for your comfort. We select a setting on the epilator that we think would be a good starting point for the treatment. We then select a size and type of filament that we think would be best for your skin type and follicle size. [Sometimes we may change the settings and filament size or type as needed to facilitate a better outcome.]
Next, while you hold a sensor, the filament is placed into the follicle. The radio wave pulses are delivered into the follicle. The treated hair is then removed from the follicle with forceps. We treat the area until we have enough information to be able to give you a time/cost estimate. After the treatment, we apply a solution to the treated area using a cataphoresis process, which lessens any swelling or redness and closes the follicle openings, thus reducing the skin reaction. As hairs that were dormant or previously tweezed appear, the process is repeated. The time needed per session and the length of time between sessions will diminish until all of the unwanted follicles have been destroyed.
What will it feel like?
Some areas of the body are more sensitive than others. Prescription anesthetic is available. However, in our practice, we notice that 98% of our patients are comfortable with the range of topical anesthetics that we routinely provide.
You may experience a slight tingle lasting a few thousands of a second, very comparable to the sensation felt from the stray spark of a fireworks sparkler, but usually, that is all you feel.
How will my skin look after the treatment?
Skin reaction ranges from slight pinkness and swelling to small scabs covering the follicle opening (we have only seen one case of this using the Apilus machine and that was on a body area, not the face). Reaction is usually gone by the time you reach your next destination.
What about scarring?
When performed by a Certified Professional Electrologist who has experience and is knowledgeable about the use of her equipment, this is extremely rare. We take an in-depth health history prior to treating each patient. We are usually able to ascertain if there will be any unusual skin reaction, and if it is expected, we will do the sample treatment in an inconspicuous area to insure that you will not be scarred.
How soon can I wash the treated area?
The night of your treatment, wash the area with an antibacterial soap. Do this morning and evening for two days following the treatment or as long as any skin reaction remains.
What about makeup, how soon can I wear it again?
You can generally begin wearing makeup 24 hours after your treatment. However if you have a makeup container that is designed to avoid contamination (that is, one that you cannot dip your fingers into), you can apply a small amount to an inconspicuous area first, and if it does not break out, then it is probably OK to use it.
Do I have to avoid the sun for months and/or bleach my skin like as is recommended when getting LASER hair removal?
No, just be sure that you do not have an active sunburn when you come for treatment. Also, don't go into any source of extreme heat or direct sunlight for the first 24 hours following your treatment. After the first 24 hours, or as long as any reaction is visible, always use a sun screen with an SPF of 50 or higher on the treated area(s).
Is it safe?
We follow the American Electrology Association’s Infection Control Standards as well as the Center for Disease Control’s sterilization guidelines for administering treatments.
The skin is cleaned with a germicidal foam prep solution prior to treatment, a topical anesthetic is applied and the treatment is performed with a sterile disposable needle, sterilized forceps and needle cap, and we wear surgical gloves while performing the procedure. If any ingrown hairs are removed, we use a sterile disposable instrument that is discarded following the treatment..
Who gets electrolysis treatments?
Unlike the LASER hair removal method, our method safely provides permanent hair removal on all skin types and all shades of skin pigmentation.
And electrolysis is not just for women. Men may have treatment for a variety of reasons. All ages, from teens to the older individual can be successfully treated. Even pre-teens can be treated with a medical referral.
Men and women of all ages get treatments. Treatments can be done virtually anywhere on the body. See our links page for more information
I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). Will electrolysis help me?
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or Polycystic Ovarian Disorder (PCOD) is a relatively common condition in women, affecting about one in ten according to the womenshealth.gov website. Electrolysis is effective in permanently removing the hair that has already become a problem. However, if you are not on medication to treat the underlying cause of the condition that caused the hair to grow, the fine, light fuzzy hair on your face can be stimulated by your hormone imbalance, to become coarse and dark.
Can a pregnant woman have electrolysis?
While the old electrolysis is generally contraindicated during pregnancy, short wave thermolysis and Multipulse/Microflash thermolysis have not been found to be a problem. A pregnant woman should check with her physician and follow his/her orders. Always inform your electrologist if you think you might be pregnant, as some of us use a catephoresis procedure following the treatment and that portion of the treatment is still contraindicated during pregnancy.
What about children under 18?
Children can be very sensitive to unsightly hair growth. While electrolysis is safe for almost any age, it is only recommended for children who have entered puberty. On rare occasions, younger children have been treated with the pediatrician's permission. Treatment can be very successful because often children haven't plucked the hairs or used other techniques that may lengthen the course of electrolysis.
In all cases, patients under the age of 18 must have the written consent of his/her parent for treatment.
Is electrolysis recommended for mature skin?
Yes, it is safe and effective for mature skin. The only complaint we hear from our older patients is that they wish that they had started treatment earlier to have more years to enjoy their attractive, hairless skin!
How will I know that my hairs are being permanently removed?
We track the progress of the treatments by a Hair Density/Hair Growth Rate system. In most of our cases, every six treatments, the progress is checked and discussed with the patient. There is no extra charge for this service, it is included in our fee.
How do I know I will like it?
It is not uncommon to be a little concerned that you will like electrolysis. For that reason, we offer a free consultation and free trial treatment. During your first appointment, we will take a detailed health history and explain the process. Next we will perform the free sample treatment. A few hairs from each area that you want treated will be removed. This trial treatment allows you to see how the process feels and allows us to assess your skin's reaction to treatment. Following the trial treatment, we will provide you with a time/cost estimate for your treatment schedule based on our observations.
And there is no charge for this consultation and trial treatment! So you have nothing to lose, except your unwanted hair.
What can I expect in my free consultation and trial treatment?
First you will complete a form providing basic contact information. We also will have you provide basic health and medication information that is pertinent to our evaluation and your treatment. We will discuss your specific needs and concerns and explain the procedure to you. Finally, you will have the trial treatment to give you an idea of the comfortable sensation of our new method. A few hairs will be removed from each area that you desire to have treated. This allows you to experience the treatment of each area, and allows us to evaluate the reaction of your skin to the treatment. You will be instructed in the care of your skin for the next few days, and will be given a time/cost estimate of your treatment schedule after we have completed the sample treatment. You can expect to allow about one hour for the free consultation and trial treatment.
Please note for your protection, and ours, even clients who have had electrolysis treatments at a different clinic will be required to provide a health history.
I have had electrolysis before, do I have to go through the consultation and trial treatment?
We are required to obtain a health history on all new patients. It is for your protection as well as ours. It is also a requirement of our insurance company. If you would like to have a regular treatment in addition to the trial treatment at the same visit, please let us know when you schedule your consultation, and we will be happy to schedule enough time to address your needs.
Do you keep my information confidential?
We respect your privacy. We rarely will contact you by phone, but when it is necessary, we avoid saying we are an electrolysis clinic in the message. We simply leave the name of the electrologist without the business name.
Unless you mention electrolysis in your email, when we reply to you the email sender's name and the subject will not indicate electrolysis or hair removal. (By necessity, attachments or the message in the body of the email may indicate electrolysis or hair removal.)
For your confidentiality, all documents are cross hatch shredded when your treatments are completed.
The debit/credit card system we use does not print anything but the last four numbers of your card, thereby protecting your identity.
I heard that it takes a long time, is that true?
It used to take a couple of years of dedicated appointments but with the newest equipment, the area is usually finished in less than a year, with the major portion of the work finished in 6 months! Generally, if a person takes treatments according to recommendation, does not have a hormone imbalance, is not taking a medication which would affect hair growth, and has no medical condition or tumor which would affect hair growth, the treatment series could range from six months to a year.
I've heard it is expensive, is it?
Electrolysis is FAR less expensive than LASER treatments and is an even bigger savings when you calculate the permanence factor of electrolysis vs. LASER. Remember, with our method, you are getting the hair permanently removed. Therefore, you see us for a few months, then never again, unless you have an ongoing hormone/medication problem or choose to get additional areas treated. Therefore, it does cost more than, say manicures, because most of our clients do not return, unless they decide to get additional areas treated.
How much will it cost?
The cost depends on the length of the visit and the experience of the technician. While some electrologists charge for the entire time you are in the treatment room, Austin Medical Electrolysis Clinics only charge for the actual treatment time . . . time spent "prepping" (cleaning the skin, applying the disinfectant, anesthetic, inserting the sterile disposable needle and setting the machine) or post procedure treatment (treating the skin after the treatment) are not included in your treatment time. When we quote a rate for a 15 minute treatment, you are getting a FULL 15 minute treatment and are not charged for the prep/finish work.
An individual electrologist's charges depend on the amount of experience, education, training, and professional credentials that the he or she has earned. In our clinics, we discount longer appointments to make them more affordable. The actual cost will depend on the size of the area to be treated, the density of the hair growth, and your skin type. Other factors that may affect how many treatments you will need are hormone imbalance, medications, stress, trauma, and even if the hairs have been tweezed previously. We will discuss your individual case at your free initial consultation. The number of treatments you may need and the cost will be estimated at your consultation and free trial treatment. Many factors such as the cause of the hair growth, size of the area to be treated, frequency of treatments (treatment is most successful during the active growth stage for each hair) and the effect of previous hair removal techniques, if any, are some of the factors in determining how much the treatments will cost. The only way for us to give you an accurate estimate of cost is during the initial consultation. We do not give quotes on the phone as they would be meaningless until we have seen how much work there is for us to do.
How can I get more information?
Call us at (512) 997-7700 for a free consultation and trial treatment or email us for more information. See how we can help you!
The following information is available by Email, or Ground Mail:
- Short-wave Thermolysis
- Our Clinic
- Laser Hair Removal