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Kimberly Williams, R.E., Dean Say," Test your Electrolysis IQ."

 The Electrologists Diagnostic Case History Course & Examination©



Kimberly Williams, R.E., Dean
Owner & Founder Of Boston Electrolysis® Inc. 
Massachusetts Licensed & Registered Electrologist
Utah Licensed & Registered Electrologist
7330 East Earll Drive Suite J
Scottsdale, Arizona

Entry Information for The Electrologist Diagnostic Case History Card©

The Electrologist Diagnostic Case History Card© is a challenging course and examination to test your "Electrolysis IQ" . To enter the Boston School of Electrolysis Online Award for the The Electrologist Diagnostic Case History Card© you must be a currently licensed and registered electrologist or a Student Electrologist at a Nationally Accredited Electrolysis School. Electrologists who achieve a perfect score of 100% will receive an 8 1/2" X 11" Master Copy of The Electrologist Diagnostic Case History Card© that you may reproduce for you own use only as long as you practice electrolysis. Furthermore an article about your scholastic prowess and skills will be posted on The Five Star Electrologist© online Electrolysis Newspaper. Winners of The Electrologist Diagnostic Case History Card© award cannot sell, reproduce or transfer copies of The Electrologist Diagnostic Case History© Card  for distribution in any form or manner.  Only 50 winners will be allowed in this contest that officially opens on October 1, 2010 and instructions were to email your test results will be on the last page of this examinaton.

The Electrologist Diagnostic Case History© Course & Examination
Part One Information

Hereditary and Medical   


Although permanent hair removal is a service that bridges the medical and the aesthetic fields of personal care, it is perceived by the consumer primarily as an aesthetic service. The educated electrologist who has studied a thorough course of histology, endocrinology with requisite electrolysis understands the breadth of knowledge that is essential to proper care and treatment of the patient. Diagnosis is not a skill reserved solely for physicians; it is for the professionally trained licensed and registered electrologist, as well. Diagnosis is not merely a word to the professional electrologist, but one of our most valuable skills. Proper diagnosis requires training, education, patience, and practical expertise and means the difference between an average electrologist and a professional. It is therefore of paramount importance that at the onset of the clinician and patient relationship, the electrologist complete a thorough evaluation and diagnosis of the patients' hair problem and skin type. 
Today's electrologist must learn new ideas, methods, and techniques which will ultimately benefit the patient, the profession and the professional pride and reputation of all practicing electrologists.  Many patients arrive at the electrologist's office with a history of attempts at dealing with unwanted hair. Many methods and techniques have deleterious effects on hair growth and skin condition. Documenting a patient's overall appearance and skin condition is a prerequisite foundation to evaluate a patient's health before the start treatment. 
When completing a thorough case history, the electrologist should address factors that will ultimately affect the patient's progress. For an electrologist to neglect patients case history is unprofessional and jeopardizes the patient's health and welfare, and it limits the clinician's ability to best treat the patient. A thorough case history card documents: current skin condition of the patient, a history of past treatments, all pertinent existing medical conditions and all topical and internal medications that the patient is using. Ignorance of any of these details could result in unforeseen complications and could be construed as negligence on part of the clinician. In preparing a thorough case history, everything that a clinician needs to learn about a patient's condition will present itself if the approach is methodical and rigorous. A clinician should allocate from ten to fifteen minutes for the assessment and diagnosis interview which should be completed face to face in the office. The content of an assessment is confidential material and it is a clinician's legal obligation to properly file and store all patient records.  
A patient file that meets a professional standard electrologist should outline a patient's history and include: Patient's name, address, telephone, date of birth, marital status, and emergency contact person. For the purpose of business promotion, it is advisable for the electrologist to note the referral or advertising source.

Below is an example of a data card that an electrologist would complete with the patient in the initial assessment.


Best time to call________________________________________ 
Birth date____________________  
Bank guarantee card#_____________________________ 
Referred by__________________________________________ 

Note ** Diagnostic Case History Cards Are Held In the Strictest Confidentiality.  
With the ascertainment of this basic contact information, the clinician should proceed to completing a comprehensive questionnaire which identifies past treatment methods of unwanted hair, past and current medical history, and past or current topical or internal medications. This type of thorough investigation holds several responsibilities for the clinician.  Often through outlining a patient's overall health profile, a trained clinician will identify possible medical causes underlying the unwanted hair growth problem. An electrologist, however, must remember to operate within her or his scope of practice which is one of education for the patient and not the official diagnosis of a patient's medical issues. A trained electrologist shares information with tact and always refers a patient to a qualified physician for medical screening and pharmacological prescriptions.

Heredity and medical histories play a significant role in unwanted hair. An electrologist should be competent in recognizing syndromes that correspond to the hereditary and medical factors that can cause or exacerbate the growth of unwanted hair. The Electrologists 5 Star Diagnostic Case History is a model format for thoroughly investigating the factors that could contribute to a patient's hereditary and endocrine-induced conditions.  The 5 Star Electrologists diagnostic case history and evaluation method and form offers the electrologist more than protection from contagion, it also allows the electrologist to better understand the patient's medical condition and needs. This improves the electrologist's professional image and standing in the eyes of the patient while also establishing a higher standard of practice for the field.   
Electrolysis treatments, methods and techniques practically applied will eliminate unwanted excessive hair growth and, with exceptions, control the more severe endocrine and genetic hair problems. These techniques improve the electrologist's professional credibility.  They might seem new to the electrologist, and they are probably different and more comprehensive than what the electrologist was taught in training. The end result, however, is better protection for the electrologist and the patient. With practice, it should not take the electrologist more than fifteen or twenty minutes to complete a thorough history.  
Professional expertise and knowledge open the doors to success and protect both the electrologist and the patient's health and improve the possibility of clearing up sooner. Some of the primary conditions that an electrologist should be able to recognize are listed below.  It is emphasized again that in the case that a patient shows the signs and symptoms of any of these disorders, an electrologist should tactfully explain the reasons why a prodrome warrants further investigation and then make outside referrals to a qualified physician for comprehensive diagnosis and treatment. 

Epileptic patients warrant particular attention from the electrologist.  It is critical that a clinician be alerted to the possibility of a seizure. Further, Dilantin is one of the standard medications taken by epileptics. Dilantin can cause excessive body and facial hair growth in women and men. Yet it is very safe to treat epileptic patients as long as they are taking anti-convulsant medications.  The electrologist should educate the epileptic patient aware that his or her medication can cause a significant unwanted facial and body hair in the woman. Under no circumstances should the electrologist discourage the patient from following his or her prescribed course of medication, however, there are other medications prescribed for epileptic patients that do not cause unwanted hair problem. By informing a patient of other options, an electrologist may be able to assist a patient in working with her or his doctor to eliminate the cause of the hair problem, by having the patient contact their neurologist to change to another medication that does not stimulate new hair growth like Dilantin. This act alone eliminates the root cause of the unwanted hair growth while expediting their electrolysis treatments, which in turn results in the patient clearing up much more rapidly to achieve permanent hair removal. Possessing knowledge of medications that cause unwanted hair problem is essential to attain the best possible outcome.

Diabetic patients should be treated only with their doctor's permission. A diabetic patient should never be treated without a qualified physician's written permission. To do so risks the health of the patient and leaves the electrologist unprotected in a lawsuit. A patient's case history and medical condition must be updated every six to eight weeks depending on their type of diabetes. Diabetic patients are extremely prone to infection and inflammation of the tissue.

Hodgkin's disease. A patient with Hodgkin's disease, the most common of the lymphatic system cancers, has a challenged immune system. Cortisone is one of the medications prescribed for this disease, which also cause moderate to severe unwanted growth and leaves the tissue exposed to bruising at the slightest touch. Electrologists should request a letter from the patient's physician stating that electrolysis treatments are appropriate and safe to perform.

Hepatitis A, B and C. Hepatitis are a potentially deadly disease which can result in necrosis and cirrhosis of the liver or liver cancer. Avoiding the spread of hepatitis is one of the major reasons for using disposable needles. A hepatitis patient can only be treated with a physician's letter of approval, stating that the patient's hepatitis is not in a contagious stage. If the electrologist contracts hepatitis, not only can the electrologist infect the electrologist patients, the electrologist will be unable to work. There is a vaccine for Hepatitis B and all electrologists should consider immunization. The vaccine is synthetically made with recombinant RNA/DNA using no human blood products, therefore, the electrologist runs no risk of contracting AIDS.

Carcinoma. Unless undergoing chemotherapy, cancer patients can be treated immediately. Those with cancer, however, sometimes display unusually prolific hair on the face and body. If the electrologist has ruled out endocrine and genetic complications, stress, and pharmaceutically induced hair growth, cancer is a possibility that should be ruled out by a qualified physician. The electrologist should recommend that the patient have a medical evaluation to evaluate excessive hair problems. Despite the validity of the concern, an electrologist should never mention cancer because put the electrologist patient's emotional well being at risk. The electrologist is not a physician and so must exercise professional tact.

Rheumatic fever. This complication requires a mandatory letter from the physician because of the risk of a cardiac infection. Some patients that have had rheumatic fever require prophylactic antibiotics before any medical or dental procedure because of their susceptibility to cardiac infection. Rheumatic fever patients who are anticipating electrolysis treatments should consult their physician for medications or permission from their doctor for electrolysis treatments. Some patients who have mild rheumatic fever require no medications. A patient's status should not be taken lightly. There is no doubt that cardiac infections can kill.  A physician's prescription for treatment is also mandatory.

Herpes Simplex or herpes cold sores. An electrologist should not work on an area with an active outbreak of herpes. To do so only inflames the tissue and is painful for the patient. A clinician should work around the area, being careful not to pull or touch the inflamed tissue. Only after the patient has fully recovered from the outbreak (there is no scab left from the previous outbreak) can the electrologist treat the area. Both oral and genital herpes is a contagious condition when it is in the "prodrome," active or inflamed stages. For legal self protection, an electrologist should obtain a letter from the patient's physician stating herpes is not contagious when in the dormant stage.

Hemophilia. Do not treat patients with hemophilia. They are too much of a risk, even with the new medications, which attempt to control blood-clotting capabilities.

 Allergies. It is very important to remember that a patient might have an allergic reaction to topical ointments used for pre- and post-treatment care.


High Normal Endocrine Results

 The endocrine system is most susceptible to stress, nervous disorder, dietary, and hereditary conditions. They all go together, but most important of all are medications, which can often be the direct cause of an unwanted hair problem. If a patient has an illness he or she is prescribed a medication; for instance, cortisone, used to relieve arthritis and inflammation of the joints and muscles. Granted, the patient has relief, but the end result is more unwanted hair.


More conservative therapies could be considered, such as physical therapy, myotherapy, massage therapy, or diet and relaxation. In some cases, medication is the only alternative. There are certain medications, which can control the endocrine disorder, but then all medications have side effects and although some people tolerate them well, they can develop other medical problems from them. For instance, blood irregularities; menstruation problems, spot bleeding and fluid retention may occur, which require other medications to compensate for them. Before the electrologist know it, the patient is on three or four different types of medications and the body's delicate system is compromised, and that leads to more complications. Therefore, they may eventually have poor diet, stress, and anxiety, weight gain or loss, fluid retention and unwanted hair problems.

Menopause. The menopausal patient status should always be recorded.  The menopausal condition is often the precursor to unwanted facial hair problem. 

Post menopause. When a woman is past menopause, the ovaries' function decreases. With decreased estrogen, the androgen or male hormones in the body do not increase although they can become predominant. This results in male secondary-sex characteristics; unwanted facial and body hair; certain post-menopausal conditions such as bone loss through calcium depletion; and drying and wrinkling of the skin. Estrogen-replacement therapy can relieve and improve the symptoms. This therapy will not make the hair go away, but it will make the treatments more effective than for the patient that does not take replacement therapy.

Birth control pills. Is the patient taking birth control pills and if so, the type and duration should be recorded. Birth control is just not prescribed to avoid birth, it is also prescribed to regulate menstrual periods. Irregular periods often are the underlying cause of an unwanted hair problem.

Regular periods. Regular periods do not tell the electrologist that no endocrine disorders exist however they indicate it is unlikely. Irregular periods warrant more questioning. For example, women with irregular periods have a predisposition to polycystic ovaries, a condition that thwarts or decreases the estrogen absorption in the body. When this happens, the androgen's in the body become predominant and this can cause unwanted facial and body hair, acne, and thickening and coarseness of the skin. There are certain medications and treatments, including surgery, which can alleviate this condition. A seasoned and skilled electrologist will be aware of this condition and see it quite frequently in her practice. I again stress the importance of knowing the electrologist patient's health, both for the electrologist's safety and for that of the patient.

Does the patient have an endocrine disorder? Detecting endocrine disorders is relatively simple if the electrologist considers that women with endocrine disorders usually develop unwanted hair problems at any life stage after puberty. In men, endocrine disorders cause excessively heavy beards with thick, heavy body hair.

Does the patient report another medical disorder? If the electrologist patient answers "yes," to the question, refer to the to the electrologist Merck manual under "symptoms." Usually the electrologist will find unwanted facial and body hair corresponds to medical conditions reported by the patient.

Hysterectomy patient. If a patient has had a hysterectomy or partial hysterectomy, she falls into the category of a pseudo-menopausal endocrine disorder. This is identical to a post-menopausal patient unless estrogen replacement therapy is prescribed after surgery an unwanted hair problem will result.

Have the patient completed a full-term pregnancy? 

When a woman undergoes a full-term pregnancy the female reproductive anatomy undergoes one last change, which can affect unwanted facial and body hair.

Does the patient have a borderline endocrine disorder? These patients' lab tests represent the spectrum of below normal, normal, and most important, high normal. High normal results of a test can reveal that the electrologist patient has a borderline condition. Usually these patients report that their doctor declared that blood-work showed endocrine results in the normal range. A physician may not discriminate between normal and high normal. This means that even though the patient had a normal test finding, the high-normal testing is the cause of their hair problem.  
Very few physicians prescribe medications for these patients because they feel the medication would not improve their condition. Furthermore many do not follow-up on these types of tests when the results are in the normal range.