Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormonal disorder affecting women of reproductive age. It is characterized by the presence of multiple cysts on the ovaries and is often accompanied by symptoms such as irregular periods, excess hair growth, and infertility. While there are various treatments available for PCOS, one that has proven to be effective is electrolysis. Electrolysis for PCOS involves the use of a low-level electrical current to destroy the root of the hair follicle, thus preventing hair growth. This method is highly effective and can provide permanent results, making it a popular choice for women struggling with the symptoms of PCOS. By targeting the root of the hair follicle, electrolysis for PCOS can help to reduce hair growth, improve self-esteem and boost confidence in women affected by the condition. Electrolysis is a hair removal technique that uses electric current to destroy hair follicles. Multiple sessions of this procedure are needed to prevent hair growth.
What is PCOS?
PCOS or Polycystic ovarian syndrome is a condition that affects a female’s hormone levels. Females with PCOS are known to produce higher than normal amounts of male hormones leading to skipping periods and difficulty in conceiving. PCOS affects females between the age of 15 to 44 years and 2.2 to 26.7 females in this age group are known to suffer from it.(1)
The exact cause of PCOS is not known but it is believed that higher levels of male hormones prevent the ovaries from producing hormones and making eggs normally. Excess androgen production may be influenced by genes, insulin resistance, and inflammation.
PCOS can also lead to hair growth on the face and body, and baldness, and contributes to long-term health conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. The common symptoms of PCOS include:
- Irregular Periods: Lack of ovulation prevents the shedding of the uterine lining. Some of the females with PCOS get less than eight periods a year.
- Abnormal Hair Growth: It is observed that more than 70% of females with PCOS grow hair on the face, back, belly, and chest.(2)
- Acne: Excess male hormone make the skin more oily than usual and causes acne breakdown.
- Weight Gain: Obesity affect 80 percent of females with PCOS.(2)
- Dark Skin: Wherever there is a crease, there is darkening of the skin of the neck, groin, or breast
PCOS and Hair Growth
PCOS leads to an excess of androgen in females that leads to excess hair growth or hirsutism. There may be thicker than normal hair growth on the face, back, belly, and chest.
Hirsutism caused by PCOS may be treated with medications to regulate the hormonal levels, which include birth control pills or anti-androgen drugs. The symptoms of PCOS can also be managed with lifestyle changes, regular exercise, and eating a healthy diet.
Some females may also opt for hair removal techniques including laser hair removal and electrolysis.
What is Electrolysis?
Electrolysis is a hair removal method that destroys the hair follicle permanently with the help of an electric current. It is performed by a licensed professional known as an electrologist.
It is a permanent hair removal method that can be used to remove hair on the face (chin, jawline, and upper lip), underarms, shoulder, breasts, feet, and bikini area.
It is an outpatient procedure requiring little anesthesia to numb the treatment area.
During the procedure, the technician inserts a fine needle into the person’s hair follicle and sends an electric current into the follicle. This kills the hair at its roots and prevents further hair growth.(3) After the hair follicle is destroyed, it is removed with a tweezer.
To get an effective result multiple sessions of electrolysis are needed. The length of time and the number of sessions depends on the following:
- Amount of hair growth
- How many pins a person can tolerate
- Size of the area that needs to be treated
- Number of treatment areas
A person may feel moderate pain during the procedure that may even worsen in sensitive body parts.
Not much preparation is needed before the procedure and the person can resume normal activities following the procedure.
Benefits of Electrolysis
There are several benefits of electrolysis, which include:
- Permanent Hair Removal: Electrolysis is a permanent hair removal method used for any part of the body.(3)
- Safe For Any Skin Type: Unlike other hair removal methods, electrolysis can be used on any skin type and color. This makes is a good hair removal option for a wide range of individuals.
- Precision: Electrolysis removes hair with precision targeting individual hair, making it possible to remove hair in small and difficult-to-reach areas.
- Effective For All Hair Colors: Unlike laser hair removal which is most effective on dark hair, electrolysis can be an option for removing hair of any color
- No Skin Damage: Electrolysis does not cause any damage to the skin like other hair removal techniques including waxing and hair removal creams.
- Prevent Ingrowing Hair Risk: After electrolysis, there is no risk of ingrown hair which is a common side effect of hair removal techniques including waxing and shaving.
- Reduces Depression Symptoms: Electrolysis may make the unwanted hair less noticeable and may prevent depression symptoms associated with PCOS.(4)
This effectiveness may vary depending on the individual and the thickness and color of hair. It is therefore important to discuss with a healthcare professional and know about the possible outcome.
Drawbacks of Electrolysis
While electrolysis can be an effective hair removal technique, it also has several drawbacks to consider:
- It is a painful technique and some may need pain medication or numbing cream to make the procedure tolerable
- It is a time-consuming procedure and may require multiple sessions to achieve the desired result
- As multiple sessions are needed, it may prove to be expensive. Also, the cost may vary depending on the area to be treated.
- There may be a risk of skin irritation, redness, and infection if proper aftercare is not followed
- There is also a risk of scarring, especially if the procedure is done by an unexperienced electrologist
Even after electrolysis, hair may grow back. Therefore, there may be a need for multiple sessions to maintain the result.
Electrolysis is a permanent hair removal method that involves killing the hair follicle with an electric current. Females with PCOS may benefit from this procedure to manage the excessive hair growth caused due to hormonal disorders. There are a few risks associated with the procedure, therefore consulting a licensed electrologist is important to help in being informed about the procedure and the expected result.