Dermatologists' attitudes toward independent nonphysician electrolysis practice

Richard F. Wagner, Trudy Brown, Rebecca E. Archer, Tatsuo Uchida

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND. Dermatologists' attitudes toward independent electrolysis practice by nonphysicians has historically ranged from the critical to the praiseworthy. It is hypothesized that dermatologists' attitudes toward independent electrolysis practice by nonphysicians is related to physicians' perception of licensing requirements for independent nonphysician electrologists (INE). METHODS. Nine hundred and thirty-seven fellows of the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) residing in the Southern United States were anonymously surveyed about independent electrolysis practice by nonphysicians. The results of the survey were analyzed using the Pearson chi- square test. RESULTS. Dermatologists who perceived that licensing was required for INE were significantly more likely to refer patients to INE for hair removal (P = 0.001) and prescribe EMLA cream (lidocaine 2.5% and prilocaine 2.5%) to patients requesting it for electrolysis performed by INE (P = 0.001). However, those dermatologists who had electrolysis services available in their practice settings (15.1%) were significantly less likely to refer patients to INE (P = 0.001) and to prescribe EMLA cream to patients seeking electrolysis from INE (P = 0.034). Only 5.7% of responding dermatologists supported the use of hair removal lasers by INE. CONCLUSION. Dermatologists' attitudes toward INE generally appear to be positively related to perceived licensure requirements for INE, but these positive attitudes do not extend to independent laser use by nonphysician electrologists for hair removal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)357-363
Number of pages7
JournalDermatologic Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1998


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Dermatology

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