IN 1879 Michael1 introduced the use of electrolysis for the permanent removal of hair, and since then it has been the method generally employed by dermatologists. According to Kovacs2 the hair follicle is destroyed by electrolysis in the following manner: the sodium ions have positive charges and go to the negative pole (the needle) where they lose their charges and react on the water in the tissue to form sodium hydroxide (NaOH) and liberate hydrogen. The sodium hydroxide in turn destroys the cells adjacent to the needle. Hand3 introduced a new type of apparatus equipped with a "switch" designed to decrease the shock and burning caused by rapid "make and break" of current. Marton4 attempted to improve the rapidity of the operation by using multiple needles, but Cipollaro5 disapproved of the use of more than one needle because of the difficulty of trying to insert
ELLIS FA. ELECTROLYSIS VERSUS HIGH FREQUENCY CURRENTS IN THE TREATMENT OF HYPERTRICHOSISA Comparative Histologic and Clinical Study. Arch Derm Syphilol. 1947;56(3):291–305. doi:10.1001/archderm.1947.01520090011002
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.