Galvanic tweezer reaction

Schuster, 1992

James Schuster is a Wisconsin dermatologist who has prepared several videos and slide presentations on hair removal. Dr. Schuster performed several controlled tests of electric tweezers to demonstrate that the devices cannot perform as claimed.

This demonstrates the chemical reaction that takes place with an electrified probe using direct (galvanic) current. The analog medium turns purple in the presence of sodium hydroxide (NaOH). This is the chemical that can permanently damage a hair follicle in galvanic and blend electrolysis.

Dr. Schuster prepared several hair follicles by leaving the surrounding skin intact. He then slid an electrolysis probe into the follicle and immersed the specimen in an analog solution that turns purple in the presence of lye.

Results of galvanic needle reaction

Dr. Schuster repeated the galvanic needle experiment with galvanic tweezers. Note that there is no change in the analog in the first two photos, indicating the the current is not traveling down the hair as claimed by electric tweezer makers. To prove the tweezers themselves conducted galvanic current, he dipped the second hair deeper so the tweezers came in contact with the analog solution. This caused a bright burst of purple, indicating the presence of lye. Note that the lye is only at the top od the hair follicle near the tweezer. This indicates that even with direct tweezer contact to the skin, energy will not travel down a hair as calimed by tweezer manufacturers.

(slides courtesy of James Schuster, M.D. Reprinted with permission.)