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#125994 - 03/07/18 11:53 AM When Electrolysis goes horribly wrong.
Iluv2zap Offline
Top 10 Contributor

Registered: 11/19/14
Posts: 1438
As many of you know, I'm generally first up to defend an electrologist where things go horribly wrong. I'm not a "sue em" kind of girl. Others have indicated to me that sometimes, it's the only way when things go horribly wrong.

In the last day, I have been advising on a case where things went VERY wrong. I and many of the electrologists from this site, have been exaluating the case in a closed facebook group. It is the worst case of electrolysis caused scarring any of us have ever seen.In almost every case, you will see Michael, me, Dee, or one of the other professionals advising a "wait and see" approach to possible scarring. In almost every case, this is good advice. But what about the odd case that it isnt?This is just such a case.This particular case, is such that you the hairtell reader, will never know or see details of. This is a privacy issue for the client . But there are still important things you can take from it , so I'm going to talk about this some.


Electrologists are human. They can , and will made mistakes. Sometimes that can result in undesireable outcomes.In every case where something does go wrong, the best approach is an even handed one, on the part of the electrologist, and of the client. For the electrologist, it's important to not take such an issue defensively, but this is a common reaction. There is a tendancy to "blame the client, blame acne, anything but their treatment. This is a poor approach, and in all cases makes the issue worse.This extreme case, is no different however.

Every electrologist who has seen the pictures of this treatment, has taken a "kick at the can" as to cause and resolution. I've dealt with lots of questions where people ( myself included) of great skill and experience, thought damage was pre-existing from Acne. It wasnt. The client in this case had faith int he recommendation of the electrologist they recieved from their therapist, someone who is LISTED on the hairtell practitioner finder.

So what to do? Well, I cant show people here the damage. I constantly advise everyone here not to panic when something happens or doesnt turn out quite right. But what about the extreme cases where it ISNT alright? They do exist.

Sometimes, the legal approach is the only way to go, as much as I dislike it. Others the best solution is one of education, what to look for in the part of the client, how to deal with a minor problem with the electrologist, before it becomes a major one. In this case, the client had concerns 40 hours into treatment, but still did 70 some hours of treatment and let it go, because of their faith int he eelectrologist and the procedure itself.

SO contrary to my usual advice, I'm going to talkabout what to do, as a client when you thing something isnt going as expected.

Step 1: recognize the issue and discuss with your electrologist. They may be defensive, so be prepared for this.Do not be accusatory. If discomfort is the issue, or skin reaction, often consumers gut rection isnt too far from the mark. Be diplomatic as possible.

Step 1.5 - This is part of the same step. Cease all electrolysis treatments, immediately until you have a firm good opinion from an outside source. You want to give the most time possible fo the skin to heal, and let the temporary manifestations resolve themselves.It's not adviseable to jump from one electrologist immediately to another. IF there is permanent damage, it will be impossible to litigate if someone else has touched the area and the 2 treatments are indistinguishable from each other.

step 3- when consulting with someone else, give COMPLETE and accurate information.What modality? When was the first and last treatment? When did you first notice the issue?Did you pick at the area before hand? Have significant acne? This isnt about assigning blame, these things can help us help yu. We need an accurate picture. Speaking of, include clear closeups of the issue we are talking about.

I'm sure I will have more to say on this issue, but for the moment, I have to go treat a client.


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

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#125995 - 03/07/18 11:57 AM Re: When Electrolysis goes horribly wrong. [Re: Iluv2zap]
Iluv2zap Offline
Top 10 Contributor

Registered: 11/19/14
Posts: 1438
I'm still going to have some towels printed up with "Dont panic" embroidered on them.
_________________________
Seana Richmond
Certified Electrologist.
Electrolysis By Seana
http://electrolysisbyseana.com

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#125996 - 03/08/18 03:44 PM Re: When Electrolysis goes horribly wrong. [Re: Iluv2zap]
zapmyface Offline
Top 20 Contributor

Registered: 02/18/18
Posts: 218
Very well said!

If I may add something having went through the same thing myself, with I'm sure less damage than the case you're referring to.

As a client, you should know that permanent scarring is extremely uncommon so don't worry about it before starting! Take pictures before and after treatments for precaution, but especially for progress. With the amount of ''is this reaction normal?'' posts I've seen on the internet, my guess would be the communication on both side isn't always adequate, as I'm sure some electrologists will tend to minimize the gravity of normal skin reactions and also people love to jump to their own conclusion two days after a treatment.

I'm sure it would've been quite a different story if my electrologist could've been a bit more helpful or apologetic (still no apologies to this day). I was constantly bombarded with useless creams, personal blame and reminders that my damage ''could barely be seen'' (which it relatively was compared to a car crash, but that's besides the point lol). I never intended to sue, however after several months of this nonsense, I took the legal route as it seemed to be the last resort to not feel ignored anymore and have some kind of closure.

With that being said, I would love to know what the repair treatments the person you're referring to has undergone, if it's not too private of course, and hopefully begin a discussion regarding them as I fear they are quite unknown (not just electrolysis related, but other skin damages too).


Edited by zapmyface (03/08/18 05:38 PM)

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#125997 - 03/08/18 05:50 PM Re: When Electrolysis goes horribly wrong. [Re: Iluv2zap]
Michael Bono Offline

Top 10 Contributor

Registered: 01/11/11
Posts: 3425
Loc: Santa Barbara, CA USA
And, what you've said is the KEY to this whole thing.

I worked, for a few years, with a plastic surgeon who NEVER took responsibility for anything (Dr. P). I mean, your cheek implant (slipped and didn't stay in the "pocket"), could be at a 90 degree angle and he would say, "Oh that looks reasonable." Patients were pissed off, and rightly so.

The surgeon I work with now? A completely different story ... and "then some." One woman (my electrolysis client) had a simple blepharoplasty (eye lids). A few months later, she claimed that she now had a "funny bulge" on her chin. No possible way the procedure caused this, but Dr. Chapple just went ahead and fixed it for free. He said it would be much easier to just make the patient happy than to hear all the negativity. The patient was super-happy. Instead of a lawsuit, we ended-up with a fine patient.

It's ALL about taking full responsibility for the client and offering any and all help (and information) possible. If "you" don't know; find out! The doctors that never take responsibility are the ones frequently sued. Clients just want help ... not evasiveness.

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#125998 - 03/08/18 05:52 PM Re: When Electrolysis goes horribly wrong. [Re: Iluv2zap]
Michael Bono Offline

Top 10 Contributor

Registered: 01/11/11
Posts: 3425
Loc: Santa Barbara, CA USA
Zapmyface ... I'm going to copy and frame your comment!

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#126006 - 03/11/18 09:28 PM Re: When Electrolysis goes horribly wrong. [Re: Iluv2zap]
WeRNotAfraid Offline
Top 10 Contributor

Registered: 07/28/02
Posts: 396
Loc: Dallas
Just an FYI, I have had considerable success improving electrolysis damage (wrinkles, pitting, poor texture) around my mouth/chin area by undergoing fractional laser treatment along with a "light" laser peel. Deep laser resurfacing should not be done after extensive facial electrolysis because the skin structures needed for healing (pilosebaceous glands) have been compromised or destroyed. One treatment with a 40-80 micron erbium laser peel to my full face, along with Profractional treatment in my perioral area, has led to greatly improved skin texture with the pitting and lines reduced or mostly eliminated save for the deepest ones. I am having a second, more aggressive touch up (around my mouth only) later this spring for even more improvement. I can share before/after pics if it would be helpful.

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#126007 - 03/11/18 10:25 PM Re: When Electrolysis goes horribly wrong. [Re: WeRNotAfraid]
zapmyface Offline
Top 20 Contributor

Registered: 02/18/18
Posts: 218
Please do!

I've had micro-needling (Dermapen) done on my electro damage, however I'm not 100% convinced it did anything. Sure it improved, but what's to say that time itself wouldn't have done the same thing?

I don't think anyone will ever know since no one in their right mind would actually test it, and by testing it I mean take a damaged area and only do the repair treatments on half of it then compare... When the dermatologist tells you that you need to start the repair treatments as soon as possible you sadly don't wanna risk it.

I believe all methods of repair treatments use some form of destroying the skin (either laser, needles, chemicals, scraping) to then promote the healing on its own. In my opinion, the only difference is the depth and price of those treatments, but again I'm very skeptical about cosmetic dermatology so I'd love to be proven wrong.

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#126008 - 03/11/18 11:37 PM Re: When Electrolysis goes horribly wrong. [Re: zapmyface]
WeRNotAfraid Offline
Top 10 Contributor

Registered: 07/28/02
Posts: 396
Loc: Dallas
Originally Posted By zapmyface
Please do!

I've had micro-needling (Dermapen) done on my electro damage, however I'm not 100% convinced it did anything. Sure it improved, but what's to say that time itself wouldn't have done the same thing?

I don't think anyone will ever know since no one in their right mind would actually test it, and by testing it I mean take a damaged area and only do the repair treatments on half of it then compare... When the dermatologist tells you that you need to start the repair treatments as soon as possible you sadly don't wanna risk it.

I believe all methods of repair treatments use some form of destroying the skin (either laser, needles, chemicals, scraping) to then promote the healing on its own. In my opinion, the only difference is the depth and price of those treatments, but again I'm very skeptical about cosmetic dermatology so I'd love to be proven wrong.


I had Dermapen done, too, and I don't know that it did much of anything. At first it seemed like I had some improvement, and I do think there may have been a little bit of reduction in very fine lines, but it did nothing for the badly damaged skin and in fact I now have a new depressed area on my cheek where I broke out in a weird, huge pimple after a Dermapen session. Since that time I've become convinced of the truth of the saying "No downtime means no improvement" and it soon became clear to me that much more aggressive treatment would be needed. Skin damage, acne scars, and deeply etched wrinkles (especially around the mouth) are difficult to treat and often seem to require several sessions of powerful lasers. I should add that it is not true that all "skin injuries" heal the same and are interchangeable. For example, many consider the Co2 laser to be the "gold standard" when it comes to deep wrinkles and scarring due to the fact that it works via thermal damage, which triggers more collagen remodeling over time. In contrast, the Erbium laser is most often purely ablative, removing damaged skin with incredible precision, but avoids the long-term redness and higher risk seen in "hot" Co2 treatments. Newer Erbium lasers, like the one I had done, offer the ability to add coagulation (mimicking a Co2 laser) when needed for skin tightening.

My results with the laser were immediate and obvious. Unlike the skin needling, it was pretty uncomfortable at first and I had to practice meticulous skin care for days that involved washing my face 4+ times a day and coating my red, bleeding skin with a heavy ointment. I looked terrifying, as though I had been burned in a grease fire, and it scared my loved ones (though I felt almost no pain after the first day.) I looked bad for 5 days and very red for two weeks. After that point I looked much better, but I still have some pinkness around my mouth. The procedure completely eliminated some of my fine lines and greatly reduced the pitted, irregular skin on my upper lip and chin. The deep wrinkles around my lip that I believe were due to electrolysis overtreatment are much less visible or even gone. Even so, I am going in for a second treatment in a few months for even better results. My treatment was done under local anesthesia with oral sedation and pain relief, and the price was pretty reasonable. I am very happy with my results.

Here is a link to my account along with some pics. I hope this helps others who've had issues.

https://www.realself.com/review/portland-kim-thrilled-sciton-erbium-laser-treatment

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#126009 - 03/12/18 01:43 AM Re: When Electrolysis goes horribly wrong. [Re: WeRNotAfraid]
zapmyface Offline
Top 20 Contributor

Registered: 02/18/18
Posts: 218
Interesting pictures, I look similar (2nd picture) after I scrape my skin using a volcanic rock. Good for you if it worked, however I personally can't judge since the angle and light on that 1st picture are way too different than the others. To this day, I haven't seen a single picture anywhere on the internet clearly showing an improvement in the same angle and light, but I guess that's just the skepticism talking lol!


Edited by zapmyface (03/12/18 01:44 AM)

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#126010 - 03/12/18 08:55 AM Re: When Electrolysis goes horribly wrong. [Re: zapmyface]
WeRNotAfraid Offline
Top 10 Contributor

Registered: 07/28/02
Posts: 396
Loc: Dallas
Originally Posted By zapmyface
Interesting pictures, I look similar (2nd picture) after I scrape my skin using a volcanic rock. Good for you if it worked, however I personally can't judge since the angle and light on that 1st picture are way too different than the others. To this day, I haven't seen a single picture anywhere on the internet clearly showing an improvement in the same angle and light, but I guess that's just the skepticism talking lol!


I would say excessive skepticism, since I am telling the truth and would have nothing to gain by lying. If it hadn't worked, like the Dermapen did not, I would honestly say so. I'm a long-time Hairtell member who had skin damage and wanted to share how I improved it, not a plastic surgeon or somebody who would make money from this kind of thing. Using lasers to treat skin imperfections is a well-established treatment with pretty good success, though it depends on what kind of laser is used, the downtime involved, etc.

I just posted two updated photos using, as best I could, the same lighting and angle as my "before," at the same link I just shared. They give a very realistic view of the improvement as well as of the things I want to continue to work on such as some hyperpigmentation and a couple of deeper wrinkles that lessened but not as much as I would like. I am hoping other trans women, or anybody really, who's had skin issues post electrolysis, can at least look at my case and know there's stuff out there that can reduce the problem. I should add that I am thrilled with my electrolysis and have had extensive work done with NO skin issues; the only areas I had skin damage in were around my mouth area where I unwisely had full "stripping" with high power done until injectible anesthesia back in the late '90s and early '00s. I feel that was way too much treatment at once time in the densely packed lip/chin area, but it was a popular thing to do at the time. Today I would choose to have gradual thinning in those areas.

Hope this helps.

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