What is Blemish Removal?
Blemish Removal is a safe, effective and quick treatment procedure that involves the removal of many vascular or viral skin conditions or lesions.
Telangiectasia (Thread Veins)
Spider Naevi ( Thread veins emanating from a circular spot )
Cherry Angiomas (Blood spots)
Dermal papillosa nigra
What are the treatments?
We treat these with Short Wave diathermy or Galvanic current at Crysallis Skin Clinic , and you may need several treatments to remove the lesions completely. We are careful in how we apply the Short wave diathermy so as not to cause damage to the skin, or pigmentation
Both modalities use the electrical current and is extremely safe with very effective removal of the target tissue. Another method of blemish removal is Cryotherapy which works in the opposite way to SWD as it uses freeze techniques.
How does Short Wave Diathermy/Thermolysis work
The Treatment principle of SWD is that we target the affected tissue by means of cauterisation or decomposition. The machine creates an alternating current that produces oscillating, high frequency waves. The current alternates between positive and negative poles.
Current is conducted through a needle, the size of which is chosen to match the size of the lesion. The high frequency current can range from 3-30m oscillations per second and moisture in the tissues is the conductor that causes molecules to be attracted to the needle and then repelled when the current changes directional flow to negative. This “molecular friction” or electrostatic attraction and repulsion of tissue fluid creates heat which dries up excess moisture, living cells and the blood supply
The heat causes targeted tissue to undergo coagulation and destruction, and we use the term electro-cauterisation or coagulation to describe this.
We effectively cut off the blood flow to lesions, and this initiates a wound healing response from the body. We must therefore always ensure that the client has a healing capacity for this.
Galvanic current is a direct current that will produce one direction, smooth and flowing current which flows negatively and continuously. The client will hold an indifferent electrode to as to ensure the electrical circuit is complete. A chemical reaction occurs in this instance and sodium hydroxide or lye is made around the needle. This chemical solution is very caustic alkaline balance and the aim is to destroy the targeted tissue completely.
Sometimes we use a Blend of currents which is a combination of both short-wave diathermy and galvanic current. Each modality will withhold its strength and power to accomplish the targeted tissue to be destroyed making this technique unique
Are there any side effects?
For a few days post treatment, the area treated can be sensitive, redness may be apparent and possible swelling if larger lesions have been treated. Small crusts will often appear for a few days whilst the lesion treated heals. Providing that the aftercare instruction is followed, and no infection develops there should be no risks of any scarring. In some cases, a small pigmented mark can be visible where the lesion resided however, this will be minute and no normally even noticeable.
Blisters can form but again rare and if treated correctly should heal quickly with no other skin issues to be concerned about.
We assess if the client is prone to post inflammatory hyperpigmentation, scarring such as keloid as these issues will either contraindicate or restrict the treatment from taking place.
Is it important to assess the client’s skin Types?
A thorough consultation must be carried out to review the client’s type on the Fitzpatrick scale which are groupings according to the genetic predisposition to melanin/pigment in skin cells. This indicates how their skin will react to sun exposure and their proneness to pigmentation from the treatment.
We also need to assess if the client’s skin is dry, dehydrated, oily, sensitive etc to know if skin reactions are within what is normal for their skin type and whether we should actually be doing the treatment on them. It also indicates healing capacity and time this will take, and the amount of erythema we should expect to see.
It also helps decide on level of aftercare product may be required for healing.
We also review skin type, and body conditions to determine any contra-indications.
Why do we carry out a patch test for electrolysis?
The practice of Patch Testing for allergies is a legal requirement under the COSHH Regulations of 2002. It is also and part of the Cosmetic Practice Standards issued by the CPSA.
Patch testing safeguards you against any allergic Histamine skin reactions that could be caused by the treatment. It also can check if the client’s skin reaction would result in pigmentation or scarring. This is especially relevant in exposed areas, like the face. If necessary we would wait 3 weeks until after patch tasting before treating.
We legally need to patch test every 6 months as the body can build up allergies in that time.
What are the Contra-indications restricting treatment?
• Product allergies
• Bacterial infections
• Eczema (open or bleeding)
• Dermatitis (open or bleeding)
• Psoriasis (open or bleeding)
• Benign tumors
• Skin disorders
• Cuts and Abrasions
• Inflammation or swelling
• Lack of skin sensation
• Viral infections – Herpes Simplex (cold sore), herpes Zoster (shingles)
• Fungal infections – Tinea Corporis (ringworm), Tinea Pedis (athletes’
foot), Pityriasis versicolor (white, brown or pink patches of dry skin)
• Parasitic infestations – Scabies, Pediculosis (lice)
How do we adapt the treatment to suit different skin types?
Depending on the client and type of treatment we may delay until the winter.
Lower the current settings to start with as well, but also make sure the treatment is still effective. Excessive diathermy current and over treating the skin can lead to pigmentation in Fitzpatrick IV – VI.
Operate slowly so the client has time to adjust to the sensations.
Ensure the needle size is correct for the blemish, and space out taps more.
Ensure the client has not had any other treatments like microdermabrasion in the area, or on compromised skin from tanning or another event.
Keep treatment short and split the treatment up in 2 or 3 appointments 4 weeks apart, so the skin has time to recover.
Ensure aftercare is understood and strictly adhered to and I would insist on a follow up consult to check progress.
Aftercare advice following an advanced electrolysis treatment
We give clients a leaflet with the instructions in to refer to at home,
Stress the importance of taking care of the area treated for at least 48 hours.
Do not touch the treated area and must not remove any scabs or crusts that may appear. The area should be treated like a burn.
Avoid harsh soaps, perfumes, skin sensitising creams, and chemicals as much as possible, apply my after care products witch hazel and/or aloe vera meticulously. They should also allow skin to dry naturally after washing with water/gentle cleanser, and only pat dry.
Do not cause sweating or dilation in the area though heat from a sauna, facial steaming, or through exercise for at least 24 hours
No swimming until areas treated have healed, as the chemicals are harsh and irritating
No sunbathing/UV light for 48 hours
Explain thoroughly aftercare product use
Explain normal reactions and advise that you can expect to be erythmic and possibly very sensitive and not to use any other skincare products for 48 hours.
For clients with work done on their face, the erythema reaction will reduce in a short time circa 6 hours, but to advise me if it doesn’t, and that after 48 hours there may be healing crusts. Clients should not use facial scrubs and only after 48 hours makeup can be worn, and a normal skincare resumed. The crusts should be kept as dry as possible and must not be knocked or picked and should slough off after 5-7 days. SPF 50 should be used for at least 6 weeks after the treatment, and preferably thereafter too.
For clients with work done in areas of friction they preferably not wear constricting clothes like bras etc
Do not fly within 48 hours for clients having capillary treatments
What are the aftercare products recommend following electrolysis treatments?
Witch-hazel – keep in fridge to keep cool; use chilled wet cotton pads for help with vasoconstriction and reduction in oedema. It is soothing and cooling, mildly bactericidal, can help to reduce swelling, and has some moisturizing properties
Aloe Vera – keep in fridge to keep cool; use chilled wet cotton pads for help with vasoconstriction. It can reduce swelling, and is cooling, has healing qualities and cellular renewal properties, and heals the underlying skin for use anytime up to the next treatment.
The thicker/deeper the amount of gel the colder it will stay and reduce erythema and swelling more.
Sterex Après Cosmetic cream Clear – recommended of areas of high bacterial growth ( underarm/groin) and repeat 24-48 hours after. It can also be used as a moisturiser for oily, congested skin
Drying and soothing powder – apply in a firm rolling motion so that is fills in holes and encourages healing crusts to form quicker by drying out the area. To apply with a cotton pad morning and evening for 48 hours after treatment
Sterex Lightly medicated foundation aftercare creams – when applied hides redness and can be applied on top of other products above. Is also soothing for the skin.