There is no doubt that acne can be extremely stressful for clients. However unsightly a breakout may be, clients look forward to the future because they know that the unsightly blemishes will not last forever; that is until they realize that once the blemishes heal, they sometimes have to deal with unsightly dark spots. They often cannot help but wonder what is really going on.
Breakouts can occur out of the blue and cause teenagers to feel as if everyone is staring at their oily complexion that shines out of control. The teenage years can be riddled with a number of skin problems. Teenagers can often feel like they are the only ones that are affected, but that is not true; skin problems are very common in teenagers.
The first thing that usually comes to mind when thinking about teenage skin care is acne treatments. A teenager, or even tween, will usually make their first visit to a spa in a state of desperation, no longer able to self-manage a condition that has probably spiraled out of control and has now become visibly and physically uncomfortable. Furthermore, the treatment of cystic or impacted acnelesions can be very uncomfortable. Lancing acnelesions and the application of antibacterial products can create a negative impression on young clients, resulting in them having a negative impression of the spa.
Acne is the most common skin condition in the United States, affecting approximately 40 to 50 million Americans and 650 million people worldwide, each year. Eighty-five percent of teenagers and young adults between the ages of 12 and 24 experience acne during their lifetime; this condition can be a major source of embarrassment. A recent survey found that teenagers suffering from acne experience feelings of low self-confidence, shyness, embarrassment, helplessness, difficulty with social interactions, and challenges at school.1
Teenager appears to be the expressive idiom for uncontrollable hormones as adolescent bodies experience various physiological changes, including skin and body transformations. These changes can result in unwelcome acne and weight gain, which can directly affect a teenager's self-image. It is a complicated time of life for these young men and women. Professionally speaking, skin care professionals should pay close attention to this important, youthful consumer market and offer specialized skin treatments in their spas to serve teenage skin care needs.
When treating the acneic client, successful results come from a combination of a consistent homecare routine and professional treatments that are tailored to their acneic problems. One of the most important things to remember when treating clients that suffer from acne is that cross-contamination must be eliminated.
It is generally accepted that the primary event in acne is the obstruction or occlusion of the pilosebaceous follicles resulting in the formation of the microcomedone. This process is caused by keratinization within the follicular infundibulum (hyperkeratinization) or hyperproliferation of keratinotycytes, along with increased adherence to the follicle wall.
Acne is a genetic, treatable condition with no true cure. Most adult sufferers will be tied to a basic, acne-fighting regimen and an acne-safe lifestyle to help clear acne and prevent new breakouts. To get clear and stay that way, clients need an easy-to-follow regimen that is suited to their skin type, skin tone, sensitivity, lifestyle, and grade of acne, treats hyperkeratosis in the pores, the root cause of acne, penetrates the follicle to reduce inflammation, and controls the anaerobic P. acnesbacteria that fuels acne.
A simple definition of acne is that it is a disease of the sebaceousfollicle, primarily affecting the face, back, and chest. It is caused by an inflammation of the oil glands that varies in severity, depending upon how much obstruction exists within the follicle.1 The challenge of acne emerges during a period in life when the first recipients of this outbreak are normally growing teenagers.
Acne is, by far, the most common skin condition in the United States. In fact, the American Academy of Dermatology estimates that 85 percent of people will have it at some point in their life, whether that be during the teenage years – the decade when acne is most expected – or during the 20s, 30s, 40s, or even 50s and beyond.
During a recent three-country lecture tour, I happened to attend a conference where a video was being presented, showing a local skin guru performing an acne treatment on what appeared to be a teenaged boy.
His face, back, and chest were infested with papules and pustules, and the therapist was very professional appearing with her standard softening of the cuticle cuirass with various cleansers, steam, and masks. She did lancing work and extractions very skillfully, alternating with animated illustrations of the shunts in the skin where most of the P. acnesbacteria was inflamed. A few moments later, the actual therapist in the film sat down in the row in front of me – I recognized her as an attendee from my early classes in Russia several years ago. She turned to me and said “We do not have these kinds of cases anymore.”
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, acne affects over 40 million Americans. Over $2.2 billion was spent in acne treatment alone in 2004. As skin care professionals, we know that acne is not limited to teenagers; more adult women are experiencing acne symptoms as a result of hormonal imbalances. Its effects are physical and emotional, which makes acne therapy a solid market for professional treatment and retail growth – if you know the condition, treatment limitations, and are realistic with client expectations.
Many clients want to look and feel better without delay and downtime, and at a price that is budget-conscious. They also want safe skin care solutions. In my experience as a skin care facility owner and product distributor, I have noticed a growing demand for natural skin care solutions without chemical ingredients that work. First, skin care professionals must understand the condition prior to treatment, which puts consultation and skin analysis at the forefront of acne therapy. Then, based on the client’s individual acne characteristics, they need to define what natural and chemical solutions are available and have the opportunity to deliver those treatment plans. With expertise and thorough product knowledge, the best solution can be deciphered to help acne clients the best manager their acne.
When working with teenage skin, there are various factors to consider. The biggest concern with teenagers is acne. With the approach of puberty, most teenagers become self-conscience of their appearance, and the onset of acne comes with changing hormone levels. As a skin care professional, you should approach your teenage client with sensitivity towards their concerns. Often times, parents of teenagers are searching for help and are frustrated and confused as to what treatment works best. When working with minors, it is most professional to consult with parents and make them aware of what choices they have. To avoid liability, the skin care professional should never work on a minor without the parent or guardian’s consent.
During the consultation, a complete health history should be completed and updated with each consecutive treatment. The skin care professional should make note of any previous or current dermatological therapy, including any oral or topical medications. Certain medications can affect clinical outcomes and can cause contraindications with some forms of therapy. If unsure, it is best to have the parent consult with a physician prior to any treatment.
Acne cosmetica is a term that was first coined in 1972 by dermatologists Albert M. Kligman and Otto H. Mills to represent the post-adolescent acne they believed was caused by cosmetic use. This is a complicated topic as its discussion involves the debunking of the common term “comedogenic,” the discussion of raw materials versus finished cosmetic products, as well as the fact that acne cosmetica affects both males and females. When properly identified, it is typically easy to clear and rarely causes scarring, making it a relatively easy form of acne to treat. We will address the salient points about this condition, in addition to highlighting effective strategies for treatment.
The world is a teenager’s oyster. The teenage years are jam-packed with fun, friendship, sports, freedom, change, growth, and promise. Well, unless said teenager has skin conditions like acne, eczema or psoriasis that are causes emotional pain or embarrassment.
Skin conditions do not just affect a teenager’s appearance. The teenage years are the time of life when first dates, first kisses, homecoming queens, and proms all occur – the success of which more often than not is dependent on one’s perceived level of physical attraction. However, skin conditions can affect teenagers on a much deeper level. Face it: kids can be mean! The teenage years are also where “mean girls” and bullies rise up and use cruelty, intimidation, and emotional or physical abuse to assert dominance over those they deem “losers,” “freaks,” “nerds,” or “uncool.” While those with perfect skin are not always exempt from bullying and cattiness, teenagers with visible skin conditions are often targeted.
Skin care professionals often have the opportunity to ease the physical discomfort and the emotional trauma of dealing with teenage acne. By incorporating teenage services in the spa, you can also to help a young person develop healthy skin habits for life.
During a recent three country lecture tour, I happened to attend a conference where a video was being presented showing a local skin guru performing an acne treatment on a teenaged boy whose face, back and chest were infested with papules and pustules. The therapist was very professional, appearing with her standard softening of the cuticle cuirass with various cleansers, steam and masks. She did lancing work and extractions very skillfully alternated with animated illustrations of the shunts in the skin where most of the P. acnesbacteria was inflamed. A few moments later, the actual therapist from the film sat down in the row in front of me – I recognized her as an attendee from my classes in Russia several years ago.
It is estimated that as many as 25 percent of men and up to 50 percent of women experience acne flares in their post-adolescent years, with recent studies claiming the prevalence is growing.1 Even into the 30s and 40s, many adults are still suffering with acne, whether it be the occasional breakout, or a full-face flare-up. Two different groups of acne sufferers can be identified: Those who suffer from persistent life-long acne, and those who develop late-onset acne after the age of 25.2 This acne is not limited to the face; many also suffer acne of the chest, back and buttocks.
Acne is the occurrence of an inflamed or infected sebaceous gland on the skin. Acne vulgaris, which is the medical term for acne, is the most common skin disease. Acne is present on the areas of the body in humans that contain the most sebaceous glands. The most common areas in which acne is present are the face, chest and back. Areas include, but are not limited to, the forehead, cheeks, chin, neck and shoulders. Acne can appear anywhere on the body except palms, soles and the top of the feet. Acne is classified into three different types of acne: mild, moderate and severe acne. One hundred percent of people will experience acne sometime in their life.
The teen years are a time of dramatic physiological changes in the human body, including puberty, growth spurts and, unfortunately, acne. Acne affects almost 85 percent of all Americans in varying degrees, at some point during their lives. This is not only a dramatic cutaneous occurrence often requiring treatment, but also typically carries with it a tremendous emotional burden for teen acne sufferers. In addition to understanding the etiology of acne, and the most effective and appropriate methods for teen treatment, it is critical not to under-value the importance of caring for the emotions of the teenagers you are treating.
Inflammation is often associated with infections and wounds, and while this association does have some validity, it is important to remember inflammation is not a synonym for either of those. Rather it is the response caused by infection or a wound. Inflammation is the body's response to trauma, and in fact, it is a very complex biological process. It indicates to the body to begin the healing process. Without inflammation wounds and infections would not heal; in this regards it becomes an important and necessary part of skin rejuvenation. When inflammation becomes dangerous is in chronic situations. As skin care professionals, it is important to understand the differences between acute and chronic inflammation and how it impacts the aging and rejuvenation process.
Rosacea and acne are often perceived as skin conditions that are of the same nature; however acne and rosacea are quite dissimilar in their clinical history and should be treated differently. It is often very hard to identify these conditions due to the similarities of the symptoms. Sometimes the two conditions co-exist, which makes it even harder to make a clear diagnosis.
Rosacea has been classified into three standard subtypes, reflecting common patterns of signs and symptoms. A further classification affects the eyes (which is called ocular rosacea) and presents with watery, bloodshot eyes that are quite irritated with a burning and stinging sensation. Many people may experience characteristics of more than one subtype at the same time.
Teens are at a stage in their lives where trying to identify with the world around them can become confusing, especially when their role models are just as confused. They are barraged with advertisements, TV personalities and trends that focus on exterior beauty, yet lack substance for personal development. Are these trends in our youth's best interest or are they feeding an already fragile self-esteem? To what length will this generation go in order to perfect their appearance?
What is Acne?
Acne/ak’ne/ is an inflammatory, papulopustular skin eruption occurring usually in or near the sebaceous glands on the face, neck, shoulders, and upper back. Its actual cause is still unknown but involves bacterial breakdown of sebum into fatty acids, wax esters, triglycerides, and squalene, irritating the pore surrounding the subcutaneous tissue. To put the full potential of this activity into perspective, one square inch of facial skin can contain up to as many as 5,000 sebaceous glands harboring millions of bacteria and infinite corneocyte corpses.
I've heard aestheticians counsel acne clientele to do everything from using all-natural, organic based formulations to lab-tested, clinically oriented products; from eliminating various stresses to eliminating specific foods; from changing one facet of a daily routine to changing an entire lifestyle. In truth, there is no one way to control a client’s acne. Different genetics, lifestyles, and chemical makeup leave a great deal of room for mixed results.
While good advice for at-home treatment is crucial to gaining control over the problem, making a client aware of what to avoid as the skin heals is equally important.
Thousands of products claim to stop acne. So how do you know the treatment you recommend will not only eliminate your clients’ acne symptoms, but also address the factors that cause the disease? Of all the skin conditions that lead consumers to seek treatment, acne is, by far, the most common. A chronic, inflammatory disease of the pilosebaceous units (hair follicles and their sebaceous gland) of the face, neck, shoulders, and upper trunk; acne affects between 40 and 50 million people in the U.S. alone.
A common conundrum that takes many forms. Acne is a common skin condition that plagues a great majority of men and women. The term acne has been used to describe everything from the occurrence of mild centralized breakouts to severe inflammatory conditions that can affect the entire body. Although there is no shortage of publications on acne, there seems to be little information on what aestheticians can do to help alleviate this common skin condition. As the first line of defense against acne, aestheticians can suppress the visible signs of this condition with routine cleanings and treatments, and professional skin care products.
The exact cause of acne is not known. It is one of the most common skin disorders and can affect teenagers and adults. Acne occurs when the skin's pores are blocked. Certain factors can worsen the condition, such as cosmetic and skin care products that contain oils and petroleum jelly or using make-up tools (brushes, sponges, spatulas and palettes) that have not been properly cleaned and sterilized, subsequently transferring bacteria onto the skin and into the pores.
In working with acne in skin of color, the best tools in your aesthetic “tool kit” are an understanding of acne, an understanding of post inflammatory hyperpigmentation, ingredient knowledge, and most of all a partnership with your client to progressively achieve healthy, balanced, beautiful skin.
The initial trouble with acne in skin of color is the actual lesion. The acnelesion is often observed as an unsightly spot. However, from the acnelesion the greater problem for skin of color is the dark spot, the X, marking the site of trauma and inflammation from the initial acnelesion.
More and more, aestheticians and trained spa professionals are promoting and performing acne face and body services, joining dermatologists in co-managing this common, often disfiguring disease. As they expand their understanding of acne conditions, they also are questioning popular treatment methods and the topical compounds commonly used to fight acne.
The next generation of care for acne will be a preventive and reparative approach of influencing hormonal imbalance, killing bacteria and reversing tissue scarring with a sharp focus on oxidation management.
A woman looks in the bathroom mirror, taking inventory. Her skin has seen thirty-something summers, perhaps more. There is a nick of indentation at either corner of her mouth, a deepening line or two beside each eye, some expressive wear, perhaps, to the forehead. She touches these places and considers her options. Maybe a series of exfoliation treatments before her next birthday, maybe some wrinkle fillers.
But these familiar indicators of the aging process don’t trouble her as much as the growing cluster of comedones and breakouts at the side of her chin or appearing on her jawline.
Perfection. It’s what we all strive for in life, our families, and business. But, beginning at a very young age, it’s the perfection of the reflection we see in the mirror that becomes a daily goal. From the moment we notice that first flaw, perhaps the small whitehead or the “it happened overnight” exacerbated and full-blown pimple, the first attacks on facial perfection can quickly escalate to a full-blown war.
Acne and breakout-prone skin is a very frequent issue in a skin care clinic or spa. It has been estimated that 80 percent of the U.S. population is afflicted by some form of acne condition, at some time in their lives. Aestheticians must be prepared to correctly answer client questions about acne-prone skin, as well as be able to recommend products and treatments that can help control these unwanted flares of pimples and clogged pores.
The wonderfully tough-talking Rhoda Morgenstern character from the old “Mary Tyler Moore Show” liked to say she had a “bad puberty. It lasted 17 years.” For adults who’ve lived through severe acne, this quip is an understatement.
Adolescence is when most people have their first experience, though not necessarily their last, with acne. Acne affects at least 85 percent of teenagers in the U. S. regardless of race, ethnicity, or gender. According to Dr. Jonathan Fielding, the L. A. County Director of Public Health, by their mid-teens, more than 40 percent of adolescents have acne severe enough to warrant treatment by a physician.