To gauge the skin’s reaction to electrolysis treatment, it is best to perform a patch test before commencing a full electrolysis appointment because it:
• Enables the client to experience the sensation.
• Establishes client tolerance (although this improves with familiarity).
• Shows the skin’s initial reaction and how soon the erythema fades.
• Allows the beauty therapist to familiarise themselves with the client’s hair, skin type and ease of hair removal and therefore plan better for future treatments.
• Shows skin healing properties, thus allowing you to establish healing time required.
The patch test area should be prepared and treated in just the same way as if you are performing a normal treatment, the only difference being that just a few hairs will be treated, allowing the client a little time in between to adjust to the sensation. Treatment time should last approximately five minutes. Provided the client is not treated precisely in the area of the patch test, they can return for treatment in approximately four to five days. This will have given the skin time to settle and heal and allow the beauty therapist to see any remaining reaction. However, if the patch test area has to be treated, 10-14 days must be allowed for full skin recovery.
Steps for conducting a permanent epilation including a patch test.
• Prepare the couch and treatment trolley as previously described.
• Have a treatment plan ready for recording client information.
• Proceed with the consultation and a close examination of the area to be treated. Always finish by informing the client of the aftercare and homecare treatment they should perform.
• Lay the client down comfortably on the couch and wash hands before putting on gloves.
• Wipe the treatment area with a solution of 70% isopropyl or ethyl alcohol to cleanse it before treatment.
• Begin permanent epilation using appropriately selected techniques.
• Apply antiseptic cream or soothing lotion to the area after treatment.
• Take the probe out of the holder and dispose of it properly in a sharps container.
• Following treatment, assist the client off the couch and remind them of homecare measures.
• Complete the client treatment plan and wash your hands.