Tuesday, 25 June 2019 05:17

Hot and Cold: Treating Acne with Contrast Hydrotherapy

Written by   Cynthia Malcom




The less established way of treating acne is to use hot and cold hydrotherapy techniques also known as contrast hydrotherapy. This aids the lymphatic system and allows skin to rid the body of excess waste and inflammation, like acne. Since there is no routine acne and acne can be triggered in many ways, this a great solution to unclog the lymphatic system and alleviate acne while determining its triggers.


Hydrotherapy was borne in the Roman baths era and includes everything from hot mineral springs to floatation therapy, steam showers, and saunas. Many cultures throughout the world have used water for centuries to treat health concerns. Modern contrast hydrotherapy was created by Father Sebastian Kneipp, a 19th Century Bavarian monk – his methods are still used today.


Contrast hydrotherapy can vary, but a great visual is when the full body or a designated body part, like the face, is exposed to blasts of hot followed by blasts of cold in succession for a measured amount of time. A good example is to turn the water from tolerable hot water to tolerable cold water in the shower for several rotations, always finishing on cold to close the pores. Another option for the full body is to sit in a sauna and then take a cold shower immediately after and repeat several times consecutively within a short window, always completing the treatment with the cooling portion. This will allow the lymphatic system to delete sluggish lymph and waste-like acne.


Hydrotherapy compressions is one of the best ways to boost the health of the skin. This method will speed up the recovery from various health problems, especially those associated with weak immunity, sluggish blood circulation, and poor metabolism. Hydrotherapy works even better when combined with healthy lifestyle, regular physical activity, healthy diet, and good quality supplements and herbal remedies. Alternating several rounds of hot and cold treatments is thought to decrease inflammation and stimulate circulation and lymphatic drainage.




A peak functioning lymphatic system is key to the health and vitality of skin. This critically important part of the body is one that most people do not recognize the value of. The lymphatic system is the body’s built-in sanitation epicenter, with a drainage system that carries away and filters out toxic waste products from every cell, tissue, and organ in the body. It absorbs fats and fat-soluble vitamins from the digestive tract and delivers them to the cells of the body. It is also a vital part of the immune system that maintains fluid levels, fights infection, and produces disease fighting white blood cells. It is twice as extensive as the blood vascular system, which brings oxygen and nutrients to the cells. Lymph is the garbage collector and is the largest circulation system in the body. The lymphatic system’s pump is the skeletal system, so those who are active, get regular massages, or exercise frequently give their lymphatic systems the movement they need. But, for those with sedentary jobs or who sit frequently, like most aestheticians, the lymphatic system needs help to move the fluid through the body because it does not have an automatic pump, as in the case with the heart. The heart is the pump for the circulatory system; it moves the blood in the circulatory system automatically.


When there is a delay in filtration to pores that are already fraught with excess sebum, like skin that has estrogen or testosterone dominance, there is a breeding ground for a serious onset of acne. Because of this delay, acne will appear more so in areas where the lymph nodes are more concentrated, like around the ears, neck, and jawline.


According to principles of hydrotherapy, cold water causes superficial blood vessels to constrict, moving blood flow away from the surface of the body to organs. Hot water causes superficial blood vessels to dilate, activating sweat glands, and removing waste from body tissues. When rotating from hot to cold, as in the case with contrast hydrotherapy, it works as a lymphatic pump allowing the body to empty the waste. If the client has acne, this is the waste the body will attempt to dump.




Compresses: Towels are soaked in warm or cool water and then placed on an area on the body. Cool compresses reduce inflammation and swelling, while warm compresses promote blood flow and ease stiff and sore muscles. Rotate from hot to cold – always finish with a cool towel.


Hot and Cool Mists: Use continuous sprayers, pressurized spray automizers, or a Lucas sprayer to offer the skin very warm and cooling mists, moving from hot and then to cold within the transitions of a treatment. Do this several times, finishing with a cool mist.


Hot and Cool Steam: Use a double steamer that has hot and cool vaper and every 90 seconds to four minutes give the skin a cool or warm mist. Do multiple rotations for eight to 20 minutes. Complete the treatment with the cooling mist.


Hot and Cold Stones: Starting with warm stones, glide gently with no pressure to the acne lesions and move stones in a downward direction. Massage or leave the stones on the skin for four minutes and then immediately follow with a cold marble or jade stone treatment; repeat this step four to six times finishing with the cool stone.


The methods above are just a few of many contrast hydrotherapy treatments you can add to your menu to treat acne quickly and effectively.




Hydrotherapy, when used with essential herbs and oils in the bath water, can also cause a risk of an allergic reaction known as contact dermatitis for some clients.


Overheating is the most likely side effect of hydrotherapy, which can be very harmful. This may occur when an individual spends too much time in the heated water.


Cold baths should not be used for elderly people or young children.


People suffering from heart disease must avoid sauna baths.




Lymphatic congestion is a major factor leading to inflammation and disease. If the lymph nodes are not flowing well, the cells are poisoned from their own waste and the lymph fluid becomes a toxic cesspool, resulting in fatigue, swelling, infection, inflammation, disease, and more symptoms. A combination of a sedentary lifestyle, poor diet, and a toxic environment all contribute to this backup.


Hydrotherapy helps in regulating the body’s temperature by improving the efficiency of perspiration glands. This releases the toxins from the body, leading to a healthy glowing complexion, helps reduce fluid retention, and even has a remarkable effect on other ailments, such as cellulite.


Rapid improvements in the quality of the cells and blood occur once the lymphatic system is activated and working efficiently.


Hot and cold wet compresses are also a form of contrast hydrotherapy and are great treatments to cure acne. Adding contrast hydrotherapy to acne protocols will leave the skin looking clear and radiant.



  • acne, dry skin, or other skin issues
  • itchy skin
  • swollen lymph nodes or tonsils
  • lack of energy
  • recurrent sore throats
  • headaches
  • brain fog
  • morning mucous
  • mucous drainage (especially after dairy or flour)
  • fluid backup in the ear (especially in children)
  • ear popping and ringing
  • reduced ability to fight infection (frequent cold or flu)
  • constipation or sluggish bowel function
  • inability to lose weight
  • soreness or stiffness in the morning
  • bloating, swelling, or heaviness in extremities
  • arms or hands falling asleep while sleeping
  • pain, pressure, or stiffness along the spine and shoulders
  • sore breast or breast swelling with menstrual cycle



Cynthia Malcom 2019Cynthia Malcom has 20 years of experience in the beauty industry. In 1998, she started as a nail technician, owning and operating three Hand Candy Mind & Body Escape Day Spa locations for nearly a decade. In 2006, she received her continuing education approved and licensed class for massage. Since then, the CIDESCO diplomat has shared her expertise in advanced skin care at several conferences throughout the United States and on the international level under the moniker of Edgar Renee. In 2013, Edgar Renee became the first and largest advanced beauty education company of its kind in Ohio. Edgar Renee focuses on delivering advanced education concepts and techniques in a manner that professionals can easily understand and put into practice. Although they are a Midwest-based aesthetics company, Edgar Renee has proudly educated instructors, aestheticians, cosmetologists, manicurists, massage therapists, business owners, and nurses from all over the globe.

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