Where did you get your training?
Some states do not require that Electrologists attend a school. They can
simply buy an epilator and go to work. Ask to see a diploma from a state
approved school. As for laser techs the doctors for whom they work train
some. There are two schools that train laser technicians with a 30 hour
course (Lasertrolysis of Naples)
and a 40 hour course (Rocky
Mountain College). The latter gives the title of Certified Laser
through the Colorado State Department of Higher
Education, Division of Private Occupational Schools, Health Occupations
Section, under supervision of the Colorado State Board of Medical
* Formerly CLT (Certified Laser
Technician). CLT and CLS are, therefore, equivalent.
Are you a member of a national and/or
regional professional organization?
The Society of Clinical and Medical Electrologists (SCME), the
International Guild of Professional Electrologists (IGPE), the American
Electrology Association (AEA) and the American Society of Laser Medicine
and Surgery (ASLMS) are national organizations. There are many local/state
organizations and a regional organization (Electrolysis Society of the
North East – ESNE). Doctors, of course, belong to the AMA. LOOK FOR A
CURRENT MEMBERSHIP CERTIFICATE!
Are you certified?
In states that do not require a license you should ask the Electrologist/
Laser Specialist if she/he is certified by a national organization. These
certifications are Clinical Certified Electrologist (CCE)* or Clinical
Medical Electrologist (CME)* through the Society of Clinical and Medical
Electrologists (SCME) or Certified Professional Electrologist (CPE)
through the American Electrology Association (AEA). See above (#1) for
Laser Specialists. ASK TO SEE HER/HIS CERTIFICATE!
below: What do the CCE and CME
Is the certification current?
These organizations require that their certifications be kept up to
date through Continuing Education Units (CEUs) and re-certification every
five years. LOOK TO SEE IF THE CERTIFICATE IS CURRENT BY EXAMINING THE
How long have you been in the hair removal
are the hair removal experts. Ask the practitioner how much experience
they have had with hair removal. This should include the MD that you may
go to for laser hair removal. What is his/her specialty?
Do you offer more than one type of hair
removal (makes for unbiased opinions if they do)?
If she/he offers both traditional electrology and laser hair removal you
can get the both the good and bad of each.
What kind of laser do you use and is it
ideal for my individual needs? There
are many different lasers out there each doing "their own
thing". The two brand names that are the most popular now are the
LightSheer diode laser from Coherent and the GentleLASE (GL and GL+)
alexandrite laser by Candela Corp. Both of these along with the Palomar
Ruby laser have received FDA clearance to be marketed for "permanent
hair reduction". There are others such as the Nd:Yag and ruby lasers.
Where they really differ are the spot sizes, coolant delivery and skin
types to be treated. (Go to the Laser Hair Removal
page for a discussion of the GentleLASE Plus cooling system.)
What modality of electrolysis do you use
and is it ideal for my individual needs?
There are three types of modalities for
electrolysis: short-wave (thermolysis); galvanic multiple needle and the
Blend (combination of both). Most practitioners today use either
short-wave or the Blend.
Are you going to do the treatment or is an
apprentice, trainee or office assistant going to do it?
This really goes back to numbers 1 and 2 above. If you are going to a
specific clinic because someone recommended Ms. Jones tell the
person who is conducting the consultation that you want Ms. Jones specifically.
What is your policy for treating hairs that
were missed with laser treatment?
Do they go over the area again for free or wait for the next treatment?
What is your pricing - do your have
"packages" or any discounts based on multiple treatments?
Hair removal, especially laser, is very
competitive therefore many clinics offer discounts. We do at our clinic
based upon the number of visits or new areas started. Talk to the practitioner but remember, as my mother
used to say, "cheap is expensive and expensive is cheap". In
other words you get what you pay for. Lasers are expensive as is overhead,
insurance, etc. Many good practitioners go to conferences and workshops
and are entitled to make a living.
How often do you suggest I return for
treatments and what is this opinion based on?
The treatments can be six to eight weeks
apart in order to coincide with the hair growth cycles.
Is hair removal your main business or a
sideline? You want a hair
removal expert - the full time professional electrologist or laserologist.
The following excellent questions were
asked of us by a client:
Do you service your GentleLASE Plus (or
whichever laser your practitioner uses) periodically. When was the last time the laser was calibrated?
Our laser was recalibrated in September
20, 2000, Preventive Maintenance on February 2, 2001, and a recalibration
on April 13, 2001.
Do you make sure that the Cryogen is
working properly? I read that someone had a bad experience with the
Cryogen in another office resulting in scabbing. We
change Cryogen canisters when the laser's computer notifies us to do so.
Have you had any patients that have had bad side effects? If so,
what was the end result? Actually,
Do most of your patients have minor side effects? Only
a few, out of over 150 patients, have had minor skin discoloration that
resolved itself in less than two months.
I heard that the actual procedure might be more invasive than the test
spot. Can I expect my skin to react pretty much the same as the
test? Yes. This is the reason
for test spots.
© Joel M. Kutun 2000 - 2001
This article also appeared as the
October 2000 "Cat Bird Seat" Article at:
do the CCE and CME designations mean?
The Society of Clinical and
Medical Electrologists (SCME) offered the first certification of
Electrologists in the world. Their designation is Certified Clinical
Electrologist, or CCE.
SCME also is the only one
at this time to offer an advanced certification for electrologists who are adding laser hair removal to their practices. This certification is
CME for Certified Medical Electrologist. If there is no CCE or CME in your
area, it is recommended that you consult with your dermatologist or other
physician for a recommendation.
With the addition of new technologies, such as
the laser, to the Electrologist's arsenal, it became crucial to develop a
new credential which will signify to the public that those who hold it
possess superior knowledge and skills in the field of laser-based hair
removal. The Certified Medical Electrologist (CME) credential,
developed by the SCME in collaboration with Professional Examination
Services (PES) of New York City can be attained by those professional
electrologists who already carry the CCE or CPE designations. Its course
work focuses on the newly emerging laser technologies and it provides Electrologists
with in-depth knowledge of how laser work, and how they are used for hair
removal. As with first-level credentialing, this second level credential
also requires continuing education, thus assuring that the knowledge of
those who claim it is current.
This new program seems to meet a key need in our
profession---education. In a recent SCME survey to electrologists, over
90% of respondents indicated that adequate training and credentialing in
the new laser-based hair removal technologies was a major concern. State
legislation, on the other hand, is also an issue. At this time, all states
but one believe that non-physicians who have had adequate training are
capable of operating laser hair-removal systems. Education, therefore, is
the key to ensuring that state legislators continue to view electrologists
in a favorable light.
©Society of Clinical and Medical