Wagner, 1997 (galvanic electrolysis history)

Title: Revisiting the Michel/Green controversy of 1879: was Carron du Villards the first to use probe/needle electrolysis for permanent hair destruction?

Author: Wagner RF Jr, Brysk H, Tyring SK

Journal: Int J Dermatol 1997 Dec;36(12):947-51

PMID: 9466208, UI: 98127356

Affiliated institution: Department of Dermatology, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston 77555-0783, USA.

This historical article looks at claims by both sides in the controversy. In 1879 Dr. John Green claimed that Charles Joseph Frédéric Carron du Villards deserved credit for inventing hair removal using electrolysis. Charles Michel had been getting credit in the English-speaking world.

Carron du Villards appears to deserve credit for being the first (1835) to attach a probe/needle to a battery for the purpose of heating the probe/needle and cauterizing the tissue responsible for hair growth.’ Michel (1875) was the inventor of probe/needle electrolysis.’ In 1879, he also described early attempts to insulate the probe/ needle, so that the germinative cells responsible for hair growth could be selectively destroyed, while other tissue damage could be minimized.’ With modem materials and production methods, Michel’s dream of insulated needles is now a reality to electrologists.


Carron du Villards. Sur une nouvelle mĂ©thode d’opĂ©rer le trichyasis. Un mot sur la rage, la pupille artificielle, la cataracte artificielle. Bulletin GĂ©nĂ©ral de ThĂ©rapeutique MĂ©dicale et Chirurgicale, Paris 1835; 9: 356-359.