Is Electrolysis Painful? – Pain Management For Electrolysis Treatments

Electrolysis Toronto (103 Posts)

Rea is a professional electrologist based in Toronto, Canada. Educated in both the arts and sciences, Rea's broad academic background includes a college diploma in Medical Esthetics as well as a diverse university education that culminated in a Bachelor in Science and Technology Studies and a Master in both History and Education. Rea is committed to providing truly permanent hair removal to her clients, as well as educating the general public on current issues in permanent hair removal and reinforcing the absolutely essential role electrolysis plays in the hair removal marketplace of the 21st century.


I think that if an electrolysis treatment is too comfortable, it just isn’t going to be effective. The goal of electrolysis is to kill a hair follicle so there has to be enough current flowing into your hair follicle to eradicate the cells responsible for hair growth.  You have to feel something for that to happen.

Is Electrolysis Painful On The Face And Body?

Electrolysis on the face does not hurt as much as it does on the body. Although it seems counter-intuitive the thicker the hair, the less electrolysis hurts. Believe it or not, it’s those little fine hairs where you really feel the sting! Hairs on the chin, throat and sides of the face are easily treated without anesthetic of any kind. The upper lip is far more sensitive though, especially right beneath the nose. Not only does electrolysis on the upper lip stimulate sneezing (press on the tip of your nose!) but it is very uncomfortable because the skin is so thin. I recommend EMLA to every client for the area right under the nose and luckily this area numbs quite quickly so you won’t have to walk around in public with a creamy moustache with saran wrap on it! If you arrive 20-30 minutes prior to your appointment, that should be enough time. The downside is that the upper lip has to be treated with extreme caution. Only 15-20 minutes of epilation time a maximum of every 10 days. This delicate area needs time to heal before it receives current again.

For information on how to apply EMLA for electrolysis hair removal treatments, please read this essay.

It’s important to keep in mind that pain is a very subjective thing. From my own point of view, I’ve always used EMLA when removing my body hair because I am really a baby when it comes to pain. I mean a BIG baby as in the least little bit makes me wince and whine. I liked to do multi-hour sessions so it was important for me to get as much done as possible, hence the numbing cream.

That being said, I’ve worked on many people who can take levels of energy that would send me through the roof. And they tolerate it with only the odd “ouch, that one hurt”. One’s ability to manage pain really determines how well you’ll respond to electrolysis treatment. If you can relax through pain you’ll probably have no problem with an hour or more of body work. If you know that you tense up through pain, then it might be a good idea to have some EMLA on hand before you start electrolysis treatment.

Non-medicinal methods of pain management during electrolysis include distraction and ice packs.

Distraction works very well on some people, but not at all on others. I don’t find ice packs helpful at all. I’ve experimented with them on myself and I found the freezing of my skin to be more uncomfortable than the electrolysis treatment itself. As an electrologist I find that ice packs get in the way of the treatment, and if the skin is too cool insertions become more difficult.

Some of my clients are content with taking a few pain relievers prior to the appointment and that’s enough to relax them for the hour or two I am working on them.

Go to your first appointment with an open mind and no expectations of how you’re going to feel. You’ll discover fairly quickly whether you’ll need to numb…or not.

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2 thoughts on “Is Electrolysis Painful? – Pain Management For Electrolysis Treatments

  1. I find it curious that in your experience, body treatments for clients are more painful then face treatments. I know there are many factors that could influence this, our different Energy levels, even the kinds of probes we use. This is why I’m even more curious about the Apilus machines vs Silouet-tone. I usually tend to limit face treatments to half an hour and do longer body treatments, however, because those numbing creams are so darn expensive, I usually only recommend clients cover the parts that are really sensitive vs the whole entire area.

    Veronica

    1. That is curious because I definitely find that chin, cheek and neck hair don’t cause as much grief to people. The upper lip right under the nose is in its own category of course (definitely the most uncomfortable).

      I always thought it might be because body work tends to go at a faster pace because it’s a relatively flat, large space compared to the contours of the face. There is less chance to recover from the pain because I’m zipping along and don’t have to stop to reposition as frequently as I might with the face.

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