Why is sanitization of electrolysis equipment important?

Electrolysis, as a method for permanent hair removal, has been in use since 1875. Over a period of time, it has come to be recognized as an Allied Health Profession, and standards have been developed for the same by state organizations as well as national organizations like the American Electrology Association (AEA). And today, electrolysis is the only method of permanent hair removal that is recognized by the FDA.

One of the primary concerns during the sessions of electrolysis is preventing the spread of infections and diseases. The AEA infection prevention standards state that “A proper hygienic environment should be maintained and infection prevention procedures followed to minimize the risk of transmission of infectious diseases between the practitioner and the client.” While the electrolysis needle does not regularly come in contact withhumantissue, there have been cases where the needle has been contaminated with material like serum or blood.

Diseases that you may contract

Contact with blood can spread the Hepatitis B (HBV), Hepatitis C (HCV) and Human Immunodeficiency (HIV) viruses. HBV and HCV affect the liver and can become chronic conditions that, in extreme cases, can cause death.On the other hand, HIV attacks specific cells of the body’s immune system called CD4 cells and can cause Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) in the long term. Due to these reasons,professional organizations put great emphasis on the sterilization of equipment as well as the facility in which this equipment is being used.

The process of sanitization

Believe it or not, sanitization begins with the personal hygiene of the practitioner, who is expected to be clean at all times. They should alwayswash hands with soap and then clean them via hand antisepsis before and after wearing disposable gloves. Washing hands with soap removes visible dirt, but it is also important to check the growth of microorganisms on the soap used, through the use of disposable soap dispensers. For those who don’t know, hand antisepsis is the treatment of hand with anti-microbial agents, which prevent the growth of microorganisms on the skin. The practitioner should also ensure that gloves used for a procedure are not reused.

Sanitization of the equipment

The equipment used in the electrolysis process can be sterilized either in an autoclave or through the use of dry heat sterilization. The word autoclave is derived from the Greek word “auto” and the Latin word “clavis” to mean a self – locking device. It is essentially a closed chamber where equipment is sanitized through the application ofhigh pressure saturated steam for a short duration of time. It is important to remove the air from the device before sterilization because the presence of air will reduce the effectiveness of the sterilization process. Dry heat sterilization works by causing the heating of equipment through the application of water vapor free hot air. This process takes much longer than the autoclave method to achieve sterilization because it works by the conduction of heat through the different layers of the equipment being sterilized.

Sanitization of the needle

The electrolysis needle, a key element in the process, has the potential of causing extensive contamination. It is necessary that the needle used is disposable and a new needle is used for each client. Needles that are disposed of should be stored in FDA-cleared sharps disposal containers which are puncture resistant and leakage proof. They should not be manipulated in any manner after use to prevent accidental puncture injuries. Since the forceps used during the process come in contact with the needle too, it is important to sterilize or better yet, use a disposable variety of the same.

Here at Forever Bare Electrolysis, I always ensure that all the FDA approved sanitization protocols are in place, that routine infection prevention procedures are followed and will even display information about steps takenby them to maintain a sterile facility.


What is Electrolysis? (n.d.). Retrieved November 19, 2015, from http://www.electrology.com/faqs-about-permanent-hair-removal/

Infection Prevention Standards for Electrologists | American Electrology Association. (n.d.). Retrieved November 19, 2015, from http://professionals.electrology.com/be-an-electrologist/infection-prevention-standards.html

Electrolysis for Removing Hair. (n.d.). Retrieved November 19, 2015, from http://www.webmd.com/beauty/hair-removal/electrolysis-for-removing-hair

About HIV/AIDS. (2015, January 16). Retrieved November 19, 2015, from http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/basics/whatishiv.html

About Hepatitis C. (2015, May 31). Retrieved November 19, 2015, from http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/hcv/index.htm

About Hepatitis B. (2015, May 31). Retrieved November 19, 2015, from

Syringe Reuse (2011, May 16). Retrieved November 19, 2015, from http://www.cdc.gov/injectionsafety/patients/syringeReuse_faqs.html

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