Hair removal - part 2

Do you do genital?

Some surgeons require genital electrolysis before SRS to remove the hair at the base of the penis and the part of the scrotum used for the vaginal graft. I recommend getting genital electrolysis even if your surgeon cauterizes the hair roots during surgery, since there's a chance of regrowth.

Q: What would you recommend for me to use on my face after electrolysis? Last week I came home and the next day I had little packets of fluid coming out of each pore. I guess I should have realized that my skin was actually being burnt in a sense. So, would you recommend the use of Neosporin, etc?

This is not a normal reaction and a sign that your electrologist is using too high settings! She's burning your skin that can lead to scarring. She may be trying to clear your beard quickly, but it's not worth potential permanent scarring! To use after electrolysis: I recommend Bacitracin, Neosporin, Water Gel Burn Gel or a soothing face cream. Aloe vera gel is good for the skin, but it can be drying. You may want to follow with some lotion.

Home electrolysis devices

Some of them work, but are painful and slow. They are strictly galvanic (DC) current devices. You'll need hours of patience and a steady hand. If you're going to buy a home unit be sure it's a "One-Touch" needle type. The ones that don't work are the IGEA and "Finally Free" devices that have a clip, or tweezers, at the end of a wire. These devices supposedly send an electric signal down the hair shaft to the root. The problem is hair isn't a good conductor, so basically all you're doing is tweezing the hair. Some of the tweezer units come with a conductive gel that's supposed to increase hair's conductivity. But since electricity follows the path of least resistance, any energy applied by the device is not going to travel selectively down a hair, it's going to dissipate across the gel on the skin's surface. Needle One-Touch units are available for about $30 at drugstores, some department stores, beauty supply stores (i.e. Sally's Beauty Supply) and on onIine. Do a search under "one touch electrolysis." The professional electrolysis devices costing $1000 or more are much faster and more effective and should only be used by a trained technician.

Topical anesthetics

EMLA is the commonly prescribed topical anesthetic for electrolysis. There's a new version called EMLA Max. I've used EMLA, but not EMLA Max (I asked my electrologist about it and she said it wasn't much better than the regular EMLA). If you want something stronger there's a product called Eutectic Blast that's twice as strong and doesn't require occluding (covering with plastic wrap). It's specially compounded, not widely available and requires a prescription. If there's none locally you can mail-order from Flander's Pharmacy in Clackamas, OR at 888-289-8976 or 503-722-4171 (Tell John, Tara recommended him!). There are also OTC (Over the Counter) topical anesthetics. Ask your electrologist what he or she recommends.