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Since electrologists are not licensed or regulated in New York State, you should be selective in choosing a technician.

Start by asking your family physician, dermatologist, endocrinologist or even your gynecologist to recommend someone.

Before undergoing treatment, ask questions.

Inquire about the electrologist's credentials.

The International Guild of Professional Electrologists recommends that technicians compete a minimum of 600 hours of schooling at an accredited or state-approved school. However, finding a technician with that much schooling is often difficult. Therefore, "If you have four or five electrologists in your town, try and find someone who has the most training," advises Trudy Brown, president of the International Guild of Professional Electrologists.

Although electrologists in licensed states use initials such as "RE" (Registered Electrologist) or "LE" (Licensed Electrologist) after their name, in unlicensed states it is wise to look for an electrologist who is either a CPE (Certified Professional Electrologist) or CCE (Certified Clinical Electrologist).

These credentials, offered by the American Electrology Association and the Society of Clinical and Medical Electrologists, respectively, are the only two national board certifications.

National board certification -- which has been available only for the past five years -- requires a written test, not a practical one. Therefore, it indicates that the practitioner voluntarily submitted to an exam and is recognized as a professional. It does not ascertain the quality of the technician's work.

The electrolysis procedure should be thoroughly explained to you before your initial treatment.

If, for any reason, you do not feel comfortable with a particular electrologist, do not undergo treatment. Try another technician.

For a free brochure on electrology and/or to obtain a list of electrologists in your area, send your request and a stamped, self-addressed envelope to the International Guild of Professional Electrologists, Professional Building, Suite C, 202 Boulevard, High Point, N.C. 27262 or the American Electrology Association, 106 Oak Ridge Road, Trumbull, Conn. 06611.

A bill that would have regulated and licensed electrologists in New York State was introduced to the state Assembly and Senate in February. It was never acted upon.

The bill will be reintroduced in January. If approved, it will set education, training and disciplinary standards for electrologists.

"Until the public starts demanding it, (licensing) is not going to happen," said Ms. Brown.

"Legislation is to protect the consumer."

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