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#114868 - 08/18/14 09:26 PM Pain relief during electrolysis?
Dragons Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 07/12/14
Posts: 75
I'm getting zapped at a clinic in Glasgow at the moment and I'm having an issue with my upper lip. Most areas don't hurt TOO much, some don't hurt at all. The left side of my chest was totally pain free (just felt the heat) but my right side was very painful. Strange stuff!
All is fine I think treatment wise- two hours afterwards the redness is gone and no inflammation, so I don't think this is over-treatment or anything. My upper lip is unbearably sore, even with emla cream (although, I'm not sure if I used it 100% correctly). I am not usually a princess about pain, so this is an embarrassing first for me blush
What else can I do about it? I can't take Anti-inflammatory medications for medical reasons (this was what the clinic recommended) and I was told taking regular painkillers like paracetamol or codeine would not help in this situation. I tried distracting myself with music, but just could not get past the pain and had to stop. Help, anyone?

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#114870 - 08/18/14 10:16 PM Re: Pain relief during electrolysis? [Re: Dragons]
SeanaTG Offline
Top 10 Contributor

Registered: 08/13/13
Posts: 988
Loc: The Great White North eh
physical distractions work exceedingly well. I have a labrador retriever, and when I have been treated had her lie down on the bed next to me. Petting her ear during treatment has done wonders.
Other than that, I can only suggest consulting with Michael Bono, he has developed some anesthetic protocols he may be willing to share with your electrologist.

Seana

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#114874 - 08/19/14 06:37 AM Re: Pain relief during electrolysis? [Re: SeanaTG]
Dragons Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 07/12/14
Posts: 75
That sounds like a good distraction, but I don't think the clinic would be fair pleased if I brought my menace cat along! That's an idea for DIY when I inevitably try my hand at it.

I might try that, should I message him? I'm still not 100% on how this forum works. Or what he would prefer.

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#114876 - 08/19/14 08:31 AM Re: Pain relief during electrolysis? [Re: Dragons]
Michael Bono Offline

Top 10 Contributor

Registered: 01/11/11
Posts: 3225
Loc: Santa Barbara, CA USA
Hi Dragon (and thanks for the heads-up SeanaTG ... sometimes I miss entire threads.)

Local anesthetic for the upper lip is, perhaps, the easiest area to have done. My first choice for you would be to have your dentist administer a simple "dental block." This is done under the lip, and I promise, you will not feel anything (he or she will use a topical first ... so you will feel nothing).

Dentists typically use a very long-lasting anesthetic, so you will have time to drive to the electrologist afterward. You might get a little "rush" because what they use is "loaded" with epinepherine. (This is NOT a bad reaction at all! Normal.)

One tiny problem: the outer corners of your lip will not "go numb." The middle, and under the lip will be 100% "sleeping."

And now a warning: under no circumstance have your electrologist exceed her normal treatment time. PLEASE do not attempt to clear off the entire lip in one session; especially if you have tiny hairs. Doing this invites serious skin damage.

If your electrologist has not worked under local, she will see NO signs of overtreatment taking place and assume all is going well. Again, this invites disaster. Using local anesthetic is like flying in dense fog using only instruments: the anesthetic "masks" everything.

Your lip will be more swollen than normal but the treatment will be painless. Give the area a month before having another treatment.

Note: the upper lip is pretty much the only area where I seldom have local administered. This because the client always "pushes me." Pain itself is the limiting factor and, in my practice, I take "forever" to finish an upper lip ...SLOWLY and carefully.

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#114877 - 08/19/14 11:53 AM Re: Pain relief during electrolysis? [Re: Michael Bono]
Dragons Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 07/12/14
Posts: 75
Thanks for the answer! I will probably have to do that and just deal with the sides :)It seems to get worse near the middle anyway and I've dealt with dental anesthesia before just fine.

Quick question about over-treatment- You can't 'clear' the area of the upper lip? I thought in during electrolysis you had 'clearances' Or do you just clear some of the hairs each time? I'm not having LOADS of it done all at once or anything, usually about 30 or 35 minuets on the chin/neck, jawline and tiny bits (what I can stand) of the upper lip. I'm just confused about that bit.

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#114878 - 08/19/14 01:16 PM Re: Pain relief during electrolysis? [Re: Dragons]
Michael Bono Offline

Top 10 Contributor

Registered: 01/11/11
Posts: 3225
Loc: Santa Barbara, CA USA
Other electrologists will disagree with me on this one. I always do "clearances" on any area of the body (male or female), but never on the face; especially the upper lip. I'm not saying anyone is wrong with another approach; it's just that I will never do this.

Is there any area of your body/face that is more important to remain perfect ... than the upper lip? If you read Hairtell for a while, you will see that even one tiny "bump, wrinkle or divot" causes GREAT anxiety for most patients. My philosophy is to keep the lip looking perfect throughout the entire process ... and leave it looking "better than original."

People focus on your eyes and mouth ... gotta be as good as possible. If you get a temporary bump on your "Schnitzel" who's going to know ... or even care?

Being "paranoid/cautious" is just the way that I approach the upper lip. (I usually won't do it either! Mostly! I can't deal with the stress any more.)

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#114879 - 08/19/14 05:48 PM Re: Pain relief during electrolysis? [Re: Michael Bono]
emilily Offline
Top 10 Contributor

Registered: 03/20/10
Posts: 367
Loc: Sydney, Australia
I get my upper lip treated. It's never the whole session - more like a quarter of the session. Also, my electrologist intersperses it with treating other areas, so there are usually two 5 or 10 minute sessions. It hurts but I find it bearable, although my eyes tend to water.

Make sure you drink lots of water beforehand, and figure out when when it hurts less. At different times of the month I have different pain tolerance.
_________________________
5 sessions on underarms, brazilian starting 07/05/10 (GentleLASE)
4 laser sessions on tummy starting 07/05/10
70 minutes of electrolysis in 2010 (Blend)

Current (Apilus Platinum):
Chin, lip, sides: Starting 30/08/13 1420 minutes
Tummy: 1 hr 21/09, 1 hr 30/09/13, 1.5 13/01, 1.5 08/04, .5hr 26/06, 1 hr 17/11/14,.25 hr 09/03/15, .25 31/07/2015
Chest/underarm: 2 hr 12/10, 1 hr 21/10, 1.5 hours 12/12/13, 1.5hours 11/02, 1.5 08/05, .5hr 26/6, 1hr 05/08, 1hr 17/11/14, .75hr 09/03/15, .5hr 13/07/15

Most recent: 45mins 08/10/2015, 30mins 02/16, 1hr 24/06/16, 1hr 11/10/16, 45 mins 18/09/2017

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#114880 - 08/19/14 06:04 PM Re: Pain relief during electrolysis? [Re: emilily]
Dragons Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 07/12/14
Posts: 75
Thanks for the advice all. I never knew the upper lip could be such a problem area. I've been taking most of the suggested precautions for less pain and best treatment- No caffeine, plenty of water, witch-hazel gel and avoiding cosmetics for 42 hours afterwards so there is not much more on that front I am aware of to make it easier. I will probably take your advice for the middle of the lip Michael, but apart from that I guess I will just deal with it in short doses and try not to be a wimp (Weird sensations and me don't mix, so I'm finding this electrolysis a whole lot to deal with smile Hopefully I get good results out of it in the end! ).
I have to say, I never imagined that a lip could stress an electrologist out! Parts of the body are more difficult than others then?

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#114882 - 08/19/14 06:30 PM Re: Pain relief during electrolysis? [Re: Dragons]
Michael Bono Offline

Top 10 Contributor

Registered: 01/11/11
Posts: 3225
Loc: Santa Barbara, CA USA
Another strategy is to have short treatments (no local), and thin the hair until the electrologist feels that it's safe to clear it all off ... then, move in the "big guns," a nice dose of "local," and be done with it.


The stress I get from doing upper lips (and eyebrows) has nothing to do with the difficulty of the area. I have to be honest here and say that it's ALL about the anxiety, "Angst," and frustration that the client projects on me ... in so many cases it's "the end of the world."

I'm going to write a (general) piece on this in the morning ... I get ramped up early, just before the guys meet for our swim. I saw at least 50 "bat rays" today "flying" just below me ... lovely really. (NO "Party Hats" thank you!)

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#115080 - 08/31/14 07:44 AM Re: Pain relief during electrolysis? [Re: Dragons]
girluk Offline
Member

Registered: 05/06/14
Posts: 7
Originally Posted By: Dragons
usually about 30 or 35 minuets on the chin/neck, jawline and tiny bits (what I can stand) of the upper lip.

Sounds like you are having similar treatment to me. I can take the chin/jaw/sideburns easily without any painkillers, in fact sometimes it feels sort of nice (?) but my upper lip is completely intolerable.

The second time she did my upper lip I flinched every time, which I'm sure contributed to the large swelling that occurred afterwards.

This weekend I tried Emla cream. The surface of my skin was completely numb but the electrolysis still hurt but I made it through 5 minutes without flinching. Will leave it on for longer next time and hopefully manage a few more minutes. No swelling this time either.

It's a bit depressing though, because I have many small fine hairs and if I can only do 5 mins at a time it seems like I will never get through them all.

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