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#124124 - 06/06/17 11:01 AM Painful Pustules After Treatment
Fuzzypeaches Online
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Registered: 03/28/17
Posts: 10
Hi guys. Posted here before about my treatments with my electrologist. Great guy and I've had few problems but we can't figure this one out. I have been getting treatments every day for a few months now; I'd like to finish this before I leave the country and travel for a year. My skin generally does fine but I get two types of spots. One is a painless pustule that slowly forms. As Michael on these forums has recommended, I just get the junk out. Those usually heal up. Then I get these little bumps that slowly develop a white spot and they are very very painful. I have to wait and keep removing the pus. They heal fine but again painful when they are there, red, and the pus is gross.

I started electrolysis because I work in sales and felt conscious about my hair. Having little pus spots is not necessarily better. I have spoken to my electrologist but we aren't sure what to do. Most of these aren't ingrown hairs. They don't happen everywhere but when they do, they hurt. My after care is a gentle cleanser with warm water, cream with benzoyl peroxide and some vaseline to prevent everything from drying out. I also use witch hazel before or after. My electrologist does not prep the skin beforehand with alcohol because my skin is normally so dry.

This is stressful and painful. The bumps are not huge - just 1 - 3 mm and slightly raised. They are not deep but they keep producing more stuff..again do not really scar but sure what to do

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#124125 - 06/06/17 11:13 AM Re: Painful Pustules After Treatment [Re: Fuzzypeaches]
Fuzzypeaches Online
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Registered: 03/28/17
Posts: 10
Also I don't think these are cystic acne because there is almost always a white head to them but they are so small

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#124126 - 06/06/17 11:30 AM Re: Painful Pustules After Treatment [Re: Fuzzypeaches]
Iluv2zap Offline
Top 10 Contributor

Registered: 11/19/14
Posts: 968
I've never had a client present with pustules like this, It sounds like there is infection forming, and this is usually caused by contamination of the treated area.I once had a client who developed significant white pustules overnight but that was on an area tha had developed some swelling due to many hairs removed from a small area, and completely resolved with the wipe of a washcloth.

The commonality to the appearance of this issue is that you must undergo treatment for it to occur.

Here's what I would advise any client experiecing this type of issue. First, make 100 % posative that all infection control routines are being observed. Wipe the area with witch hazel before treatment. Ensure New Sterile needles are used each time and your electrologist is wearing gloves. Then dont put ANYTHING other than cool water on your face for the 48 hours after treatment. The probability is,that there is some other contaminant probably mixed with the benzoil peroxide causeing the issue. I recommend clients dont use makeup, suntan lotion, or anything else un-necessary on their skin for 48 hours post treatment, and make an effort not to TOUCH the treated area either as contaminants are often from fingers.

Seana
_________________________
Seana Richmond
Certified Electrologist.
Electrolysis By Seana
http://electrolysisbyseana.com

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#124127 - 06/06/17 01:21 PM Re: Painful Pustules After Treatment [Re: Iluv2zap]
beate_r Offline

Top 10 Contributor

Registered: 07/25/05
Posts: 867
Loc: Hattersheim, Germany
Originally Posted By Iluv2zap

Here's what I would advise any client experiecing this type of issue. First, make 100 % posative that all infection control routines are being observed.


Which is clearly not the case here!!!
Because:

Originally Posted By Fuzzypeaches

My electrologist does not prep the skin beforehand with alcohol because my skin is normally so dry.


Thorough disinfection before the treatment and if appropriate also during treatment is mandatory. You symptoms mainly demonstrate the importance of infection control.

So please ensure proper disinfection first, before and because of Your symptoms even after treatment. Ensure that the needle is sterile, and the forceps, too (i have experienced an electrologist just wiping their "one and only" and "favorite" forceps between two treatments...).
_________________________
Beate Ritzert

Elektroepilation Dr. Beate Ritzert
http://epi.ritzert.net/en/

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#124128 - 06/06/17 02:10 PM Re: Painful Pustules After Treatment [Re: Fuzzypeaches]
Fuzzypeaches Online
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Registered: 03/28/17
Posts: 10
So in this case should I just disinfect my face myself? What should I use?

I am a nurse myself so I am pretty diligent on my end. Clean q-tips or freshly washed hands to apply my products. I don't touch my face unless to wash or wipe with witch hazel. I change my sheets often as well. My electrologist was a nurse himself prior to switching careers and hasn't had any of his other clients have this. He's wondering if maybe my skin is too sensitive for back to back treatments but again, this doesn't happen everywhere. Let's say he treats my left cheek 3 times a week - I will get maybe two spots on that side during that time period. I always seem to get these on my chin no matter what I do. I am careful with food and even take off my necklaces now worrying that maybe that is the contaminant. My chin is probably the most heavily treated area. I don't wear makeup and just the benzoyl peroxide and the products mentioned which are all from closed tubes or jars - either way, I use clean q-tips. I am wondering whether it might be the vaseline but it does seem to heal the area very well, so again, not sure.

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#124130 - 06/06/17 02:39 PM Re: Painful Pustules After Treatment [Re: Fuzzypeaches]
WeRNotAfraid Offline
Top 10 Contributor

Registered: 07/28/02
Posts: 376
Loc: Dallas
Originally Posted By Fuzzypeaches
So in this case should I just disinfect my face myself? What should I use?

I am a nurse myself so I am pretty diligent on my end. Clean q-tips or freshly washed hands to apply my products. I don't touch my face unless to wash or wipe with witch hazel. I change my sheets often as well. My electrologist was a nurse himself prior to switching careers and hasn't had any of his other clients have this. He's wondering if maybe my skin is too sensitive for back to back treatments but again, this doesn't happen everywhere. Let's say he treats my left cheek 3 times a week - I will get maybe two spots on that side during that time period. I always seem to get these on my chin no matter what I do. I am careful with food and even take off my necklaces now worrying that maybe that is the contaminant. My chin is probably the most heavily treated area. I don't wear makeup and just the benzoyl peroxide and the products mentioned which are all from closed tubes or jars - either way, I use clean q-tips. I am wondering whether it might be the vaseline but it does seem to heal the area very well, so again, not sure.


I've been having similar issues when I never did before, even after a lot of electrolysis. I, too, used Vaseline to keep the area moist, and I think (but am not sure) that that is the problem. I never used it before (I typically just used Witch Hazel) but after starting some body work I decided to take extra good care of my skin. Well, that's when the problem started. I don't know if the heavy coating of grease somehow trapped debris under the skin, or somehow reacted badly with bacteria, but I stopped using it immediately and noticed the problem starting to clear. My electrologist does clean my skin so I don't think it's an infection from lack of sanitation. From now on I am only using Witch Hazel and pure aloe vera long with gentle soap. No more heavy ointments for me.

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#124131 - 06/06/17 03:18 PM Re: Painful Pustules After Treatment [Re: WeRNotAfraid]
Fuzzypeaches Online
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Registered: 03/28/17
Posts: 10
Thank you for your post! Sorry if the formatting comes off weird but I am on my phone.

I have two things to try I guess - I'll go back to using witch hazel with alcohol for some of that antiseptic and then use my regular moisturisers instead of the vaseline though I am worried that the scabs and stuff won't heal as well or that some of the deeper spots from releasing trapped hairs will not do quite so good. Then again I have heard that lots of pros have patients with some bleeding and scabbing after who put nothing on their face and do fine

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#124132 - 06/06/17 03:36 PM Re: Painful Pustules After Treatment [Re: Fuzzypeaches]
beate_r Offline

Top 10 Contributor

Registered: 07/25/05
Posts: 867
Loc: Hattersheim, Germany
That's probably the best You can do: disinfect before treatment, and let it heal. It'll heal by itself. Let it heal also means: do not treat an area too often and give Your skin time to recover before doing that are again!
And accept scabbing to occur: killing a hair root is just another word for "there is a wound". And that will heal like any other wound. Biology cannot be tricked.

If You had cut Your finger and the skin has just closed again, is still red - would You take a needle and stitch into that cut?
Hence:
Three times a week on the same area would be an absolute no go for me.
_________________________
Beate Ritzert

Elektroepilation Dr. Beate Ritzert
http://epi.ritzert.net/en/

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#124133 - 06/06/17 07:00 PM Re: Painful Pustules After Treatment [Re: Fuzzypeaches]
fenix Offline
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Registered: 03/17/12
Posts: 410
I would add that using bezoyl peroxide on treatment area will only trigger more irritation and longer healing time. BP is harsh on the skin.

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#124134 - 06/07/17 12:16 AM Re: Painful Pustules After Treatment [Re: Fuzzypeaches]
Iluv2zap Offline
Top 10 Contributor

Registered: 11/19/14
Posts: 968
Well, Beate, While my initial advice still stands ( cleanse, watch infection control, no crap and wash with plain water, still stands. I would skip the "lotions" too. In fact , skip the soap.And otherwise, keep your hands off. All the same advice I started with in this thread.

I've thoroughly disproven the "dont treat the area too many times" theory to hell this year. I had a client walk in september who did MASSIVE amounts of work in the first 3 months. Up to 3 hours 4 or so times a week.No negative effects. After 9 months I am thoroughly pleased with her progress ( if not the number of hours it took to get here) . I dont disagree at all with this consumers strategy if that's "doing what it takes" to get the job accomplished. Every so once in a while someone walks into our offices who has a SEVERE issue. Doing what it takes, sometimes does take that much work and having pulled it off successfully, I can say it's not a cheap or easy fix, but it sure gets the job done.

Seana
_________________________
Seana Richmond
Certified Electrologist.
Electrolysis By Seana
http://electrolysisbyseana.com

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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: 3092
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: 3092
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.

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

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Registered: 10/27/03
Posts: 9507
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
_____________________
ELECTROLYSIS FAQ'S:

British Institute & Association of Electrolysis

http://www.electrolysis.co.uk/?page_id=16

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#124162 - 06/13/17 11:55 AM Re: Painful Pustules After Treatment [Re: Fuzzypeaches]
Fuzzypeaches Online
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Registered: 03/28/17
Posts: 10
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

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#124163 - 06/13/17 11:56 AM Re: Painful Pustules After Treatment [Re: Fuzzypeaches]
Fuzzypeaches Online
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Registered: 03/28/17
Posts: 10
I also wear no makeup so pus is a big no no

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

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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