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#124135 - 06/07/17 08:59 AM Re: Painful Pustules After Treatment [Re: Fuzzypeaches]
Michael Bono Offline

Top 10 Contributor

Registered: 01/11/11
Posts: 3409
Loc: Santa Barbara, CA USA
Like Carl Sagan would say, “billions and billions!” And, those would be the bacteria and other little monsters that live on our skin. It’s all normal.

Because we associate oily skin with “dirty skin” and pimples, we assume such skin is inhabited by more bacteria. Not so; dry skin is not bacteria-free. Additionally, oily skin is more a symptom of acne-prone skin than a cause. So, I go-along with Beate that pre- and after-care, to diminish resident bacteria, is probably what’s lacking in this case. As Beate stated, your pimples result from your own resident bacteria; not an “outside infection.”

Still, alcohol doesn’t do much except de-grease the skin (and thus remove lots of bacteria), and as you say, your skin is very dry. But there is a nice solid recommendation, and one I’ve been using for years now.

If you are in the United States or Canada, go to your local drug store and buy “Hibiclens.” This is an amazing anti-bacterial product and it’s OTC (over the counter: no prescription). How good is it? My associate (plastic surgeon) only uses this as a surgical prep (no more messy and gross betadine). Since I’ve been using this product, my post-treatment pimple problem is “absolute zero!”

Wash the area with Hibiclens before your treatment (follow instructions). If you feel like it, you may wash with soap & water before using Hibiclens … if you have oily skin. Hibiclens reduces bacteria for 24-hours. Don’t get it in your eyes, or you’ll get conjunctivitis. After the treatment, have your electrologist wipe the area with full-strength Hibiclens. (Seems like a “no-no” … just do it!) Don’t get “carried away” using Hibiclens. Only use it for this specific reason. Afterward, don’t use anything else … just normal soap and water when you feel like it. Do not use any product for your “dry skin” for at least 24-hours!

Well … one interesting recommendation:

Let’s say you are going hiking with friends for the day. You don’t necessarily want to “stink,” but you don’t want to wear deodorant either (it may turn white & flaky and look horrible). So, the morning of the event, shower and wash your “pits” with Hibiclens (leave it on for 30-seconds or so and rinse it off). Presto … no odor for the whole day. (Again, do NOT overdo this trick or you can end up with irritated skin.)

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#124136 - 06/07/17 09:23 AM Re: Painful Pustules After Treatment [Re: Fuzzypeaches]
Michael Bono Offline

Top 10 Contributor

Registered: 01/11/11
Posts: 3409
Loc: Santa Barbara, CA USA
One interesting note about “retreating” the area, say, a couple times per week in the same area.

In my research I discovered that “wound-collagen formation” starts within 5-days after the wound. However, a re-injury starts-up the whole inflammatory process again, and likely breaks down the newly formed collagen in the original wound.

While this might actually happen (some disagreement), the experts say there is no negative effect. A case could be made that this effect is beneficial, although I doubt it. I think it’s probably okay to treat the area again if there is no swelling, pain, etc. In my own practice I wait specific time intervals with each very specific area, e.g., a man’s back … every day. An upper lip? I wait about 2-weeks. I error on the side of longer time intervals.

#124139 - 06/09/17 11:11 PM Re: Painful Pustules After Treatment [Re: Fuzzypeaches]
dfahey Offline

Top 10 Contributor

Registered: 10/27/03
Posts: 9672
Loc: Columbus, Ohio
Nice post, Mike. Thank you.
Dee Fahey, R.N., C.T.
Licensed by the State Medical Board of Ohio for Nursing license and Cosmetic Therapy/Electrolysis license

British Institute & Association of Electrolysis

Do not give up, the beginning is always the hardest.

#124162 - 06/13/17 11:55 AM Re: Painful Pustules After Treatment [Re: Fuzzypeaches]
Fuzzypeaches Offline

Registered: 03/28/17
Posts: 13
Thank you to everyone!!! Michael, I have used your explanations to understand things many times in the past and it is super exciting to hear from you directly!!!!!! I wanted to provide some updates.

I went to using witch hazel with alcohol before treatment as well as a gentle face wash. Wash first, witch hazel with alcohol after.

Then after treatment, I wash again, and use witch hazel (Thayer with aloe and cucumber - couldn't find a plain one) without alcohol. I apply my hypoallergenic dermatologist gel with some sligh benzoyl peroxide, I've had two treatments on Friday and Saturday and been working shifts so nothing since, so far, the skin has still been irritated and red and scabby (usual) but nooo pustules or big lumps. I get maybe three tiny pin prick pus points but they just wash away with a bit of warm water and alcohol free witch hazel.

I just had some questions at this point

If I'm getting back to back electrolysis sessions, how do I use the alcohol wipes before treatment without drying out the skin? We always clear/ clean my chin ((lotta hair)) and are thinning my sides because there is too much hair for full clearance. Upper lip we clear every 3 weeks or so - mainly just zap the really big hairs.

I know BP is harsh but because I'm an OR nurse and always wearing masks and surgery gets really warm, don't know how else to keep the skin clear. My skin is largely tolerant to it but the alcohol is drying along with the BP. On newly treated red areas, hard to keep it all controlled. Again the rest of my face handles this great. Just my chin with all the previous trauma from plucking, hyperpigmentation and now the stabbing and irritation from treatment. I don't mind that but I really can't deal with the pus on top of it all. BP alone is fine but the alcohol is quite intense. I see why my electrologist didn't want to use it.

I also don't know what to do re: warm or cool water. Previous threads recommend warm for pustules but cool for dry irritated skin

Also re: multiple treatments - I don't know what to do. We clear the hair but there is always more. I just want this to be over

#124163 - 06/13/17 11:56 AM Re: Painful Pustules After Treatment [Re: Fuzzypeaches]
Fuzzypeaches Offline

Registered: 03/28/17
Posts: 13
I also wear no makeup so pus is a big no no

#124210 - 06/21/17 03:25 AM Re: Painful Pustules After Treatment [Re: Fuzzypeaches]
Soft Touch Offline

Registered: 03/22/13
Posts: 8
Loc: Los Angeles CA
I use 70% isopropyl alcohol as an antiseptic right before treatment; this is the only time I use it. I figure my doctor wipes me with it before a flu shot, he can’t be that wrong. Hibiclens that Mike recommends is a surgery prep and is really good too, stronger at killing bacteria than alcohol, although it needs to be rinsed off and not left on the skin.

For after care, I recommend lots of aloe vera and witch hazel. You can’t overdose on it.

Really glad you stopped the Vaseline. At AIE school, we advise against using any heavy cream or oil for about 2 days after electrolysis. Also no liquid makeup foundation for about 2 days, but you might get away with brush on mineral foundation for work purposes.

I got the impression that you used the alcohol wipes frequently for oily skin, and the benzoyl peroxide all over your lower face? Would recommend using alcohol only right before treatment and using benzoyl peroxide only with your Qtip on individual pimple spots if you don’t want to be dry. Your skin will be overly oily at first once you stop BP and will need some time (2-3 weeks?) to rebalance itself and become less oily. Again witch hazel is also really good for oily skin.
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