Michel, 1875 (galvanic eyelash removal)

Publication data

Title: Trichiasis and distichiasis; with an improved method for their radical treatment

Authors: Michel CE

Journal: St. Louis Clinical Record, 1875 Oct; 2:145-148


This is the first published clinical report of permanent hair removal with  electrolysis.

Dr. Charles E. Michel, a St. Louis ophthalmologist, devised electrolysis to treat ingrown eyelashes. He reports, “In 1869, I devised and had made a delicate electro-cautery, with which I proposed destroying the follicle and hair papilla.”

He used galvanic current with a fine needle. Galvanic electrolysis performed today operates on the same principles and with the same results, although machines now use modified current from a wall outlet and have gauges to measure and regulate intensity.