Eczema is a general term used to describe inflammatory skin conditions exhibiting one or more of the following characteristics (depending on the severity and type of eczema): dryness associated with redness and itching, raised patches, cracks, swelling, small blisters, oozing of a pale yellow or transparent fluid, red or brownish grey patches, raised skin with greasy looking patches, crusty flakes, burning, rash, and scaling. TYPES…
Summer is fast approaching. For aestheticians, that usually means the second phase of brightening season. Since suppressing skin activity actually makes skin more photosensitive, the fall is the best time for clients to complete a brightening series before the sun really starts to beat down. However, a new generation of ingredients are making it safe to address pigmentation concerns year-round. By now, most clients have…
From moles to melasma, there are various forms of hyperpigmentation for which clients seek treatment. Some are treated best under the care of an aesthetician; others require a dermatologist. And, sometimes, the two working together can lead to the greatest healing. Knowing the difference in these cases is vital. Requests for treatment of brown spots and irregular hyperpigmentation occur daily in skin care practices. To…
There are numerous skin anomalies that are observed with clients throughout the course of a professional’s practice. Identifying them, their underlying causes and possible remedies requires an understanding of the science of the skin, organs, and their disorders and diseases. Moreover, knowledge of performing a thorough assessment and possible reasons for the occurrence of various nodules, depressions, lesions, and pilosebaceous (hair follicle) abnormalities requires further…
Hyperpigmentation – one of the leading reasons individuals seek treatment from a skin care professional – has been a major skin concern for decades. It is a condition that affects men and women alike, regardless of background and skin type. Fortunately, with the right understanding of cause, common disorders, and available treatment options, there is hope for individuals facing the condition. What makes one person’s…
People often assume that stress only causes emotional distress or mental health issues; little do they know external appearance can also be adversely affected. Stress can easily affect overall health, including skin, nails, and hair. In addition to putting an individual at risk for high blood pressure, ulcers, and mood disorders, stress can also cause unwanted skin conditions. But how are stress and skin related?…
Rosacea is a chronic, and well-known, skin disorder primarily apparent in the center of the face cheeks, chin, nose, and central forehead and is often characterized by episodes of remissions and flareups. Rosacea’s symptoms can vary tremendously, but the affected person often looks flushed and red in the center of the face. Rosacea has many causes – from genetics to mites to vascular changes –…

Redness

Written by Erin Madigan-Fleck, N.M.D., C.D.T., L.E., co-owner of Intellective Aesthetic Advanced Esthetic Training and owner of Naturophoria
Cherry angioma: common skin growth that can develop anywhere on the body for individuals 30 years and older. It may be caused by genetics, chemical exposure, excess estrogen, a vitamin C deficiency, or fatty liver tendencies. Petechiae: occurs generally as a result of pinpoint bleeding beneath the skin. Causes include: trauma, sunburn, bacterial infections, excoriation, scurvy, injury, medications, and various autoimmune diseases. Malar rash: the…
Sun spots? Age spots? No matter what name is given to these little brown spots on the skin, they are all hyperpigmentation. The spots are the result of past sun damage – damage that has caused the skin to go into fight mode to protect itself. When skin senses the sun’s rays, it produces melanin to protect itself. These dark spots are often called age…
As time rolls on, many minor skin abnormalities appear, affecting aging clients’ psyche. Treatment for any anomalism is highly sought-after, as current society values radiant, youthful, and healthy-looking skin.There has been a dramatic increase in photo-aging, skin disorders, and cancers due to the declining ozonosphere. The destructive penetration of ultraviolet rays wreaks havoc on the skin. One of the least understood abnormalities is sebaceous hyperplasia…
While it seems logical that people who live in sunny, warm states – like Florida, California, or Texas – would have the highest incidence of skin cancer, the facts prove otherwise. The Centers for Disease Control reports that those who live in Utah, Delaware, Vermont, Minnesota, and Idaho have some of the highest rates of skin cancer. Why? It is most likely because they have…
Rosacea is an elusive skin condition that is not well understood. Until now, there has been no guaranteed method to eradicate it. However, recent advancements could offer new treatment options for the condition.
Folliculitis is a form of skin irritation characterized by tender red spots on the skin that originate from the hair follicle. It results when bacteria enter the hair follicle and becomes infected, creating a red spot or pustule on the skin. Folliculitis can occur on any area of the body, but it is most common on the more sensitive areas, such as the chest, back,…

Protocol for Sensitized Skin

Written by Natalya Rachkova, L.M.E.
Sensitized skin usually occurs due to the stratum corneum being compromised. Improper function of or damage to the stratum corneum results in moisture loss, irritation, and hypersensitivity.
American Academy of Dermatology reports that 50 percent of the United States population experience some form of sensitized skin. Almost a quarter of facial skin care users are interested solely in products with natural, organic ingredients that are designed specifically for sensitive skin.

Sensitized Skin: Where to Start and What to Do

Written by Kat Khadija Leverette, L.E.
Whether the struggle is with persistent redness and rashes; sensitivity to the sun; full-blown allergic reactions; or tightness, flaking, and itching; working with sensitive skin can be quite challenging because of all the potential variables. Sensitive skin is really a lay term, not a medical condition, and has come to be associated with people who have allergic reactions or experience irritation from a variety of…
Recent research brings exciting news for clients struggling with sensitive skin conditions. New medications have been approved by the FDA, studies have uncovered patterns in the development of specific conditions, and research teams have uncovered correlations between sensitive skin conditions and other health disorders.
Hyperpigmentation is a common, usually harmless condition in which patches of skin become darker in color than the normal surrounding skin, which occurs when an excess of melanin forms deposits in the skin. A common form of hyperpigmentation is age (liver) spots. Sun damage is the leading cause of age spots, which are referred to by doctors as solar lentigines.

Are Age Spots the New Wrinkles?

Written by by Lydia Sarfati
Historically, clients would go to the spa at the sight of their first wrinkle. Now, however, age spots are driving in more and more clients. Not only is the incidence of age spots increasing, but the demographic is getting younger! As a primary manifestation of photoaging due to exposure to ultraviolet light, hyperpigmentation and age spots are a valid reality. The good news is that…

Treating Hyperpigmentation through the Mind, Body, and Spirit

Written by Rachael Pontillo, L.E., M.Msc, C.I.H.C., C.N.A.P.
Hyperpigmentation is beginning to rival acne and wrinkles as a top reason people consult aestheticians. Although different types of hyperpigmentation may have different etiologies, the outcome is still a visible result of what happens when melanocytes – whether in normal numbers in the basal layer of the epidermis or those transferred to the dermis – repeatedly receive signs of distress or trauma, either to the…
With pigmentation issues being one of the most frequently addressed concerns in professional skin care, it is important to understand that there is no longer a sole culprit of dark spots. Skin care professionals used to think that the most stubborn forms of hyperpigmentation were either sun damage related or hormonally induced, but new research suggests that there are numerous other sources and factors that…

Treating Dry Skin: A Practical Application

Written by Natalya Rachkova, L.E., co-founder of the Better Skin Company
Dry skin is a common skin care issue that can often be easily treated with daily homecare and routine facials. Extremely dry skin can be the harbinger of more serious skin issues, such as dermatitis. Dermatitis is an inflammation of the skin that may cause an itchy rash or patches of dry, irritated skin. Upon consulting with your client, pay close attention to the visible…
It is easy enough for aestheticians to identify the symptoms of dry skin – especially since dryness and dehydration are common issues for clients – but consumers often tolerate flakiness thinking it will eventually go away, leading to chronic dryness and dehydration.
Xerosis cutis is the medical term for abnormally dry skin, which derives from the Greek word xero, meaning dry. Dry skin is a common skin condition characterized by a lack of moisture in the epidermis. The main cause of dry skin is dry air, or low humidity, in both inside and outside environments. Keep homes moist by using a humidifier. The daily shower routine, prolonged exposure to hot water and harsh soaps,…
Dry skin is something everyone tends to experience, especially when outside forces, such as dry weather, indoor heating, and cold winters, play a role. When clients are experiencing dry skin, exfoliating treatments are key to bringing back their healthy, glowing skin! Dead Sea salt is especially beneficial for those who suffer from dry skin. Not only do the salt grains exfoliate the skin, but they…
Dehydration reveals itself through numerous body signals, such as thirst, dizziness, and low energy. For example, skin may feel parched or dry after hiking or spending time in the hot sun. Relative humidity within a person's environment greatly influences the balance of skin moisture. For example, clients may live in a seasonal climate zone or in a region where homes are heated in the cooler…

Treating Skin Conditions Through Essential Oils

Written by Courtney La Marine, L.E.
Aromatherapy has many places in a person's day-to-day life: a familiar scent that evokes a memory, a spice that engulfs their favorite food, or the flower they smell as they are passing by. Aromatherapy, when not used topically, can help with insomnia, nausea, headaches and migraines, and aches and pains, among other ailments.
A study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that the prevalence of prescription drug use in America among people 20 years of age and older had risen to 59 percent in 2012 from 51 percent just 12 years earlier. During the same period, the percentage of people taking five or more prescription drugs nearly doubled from eight to 15 percent.1 Another…

10 Things About...Sensitized Skin

Written by Patricia Faley
Skin sensitivity is on the rise. In fact, it is estimated that up to half of the world's population perceive their skin to be sensitive. It is important, however, to note that there is a marked difference between skin that is genetically sensitive and skin that has been affected by internal or external factors that can accelerate nerve responses and increase permeability of the stratum…
The skin is a multifaceted, active organ that has many important functions to the overall health of our inner bodies. The protective functions utilize three systems: The stratum corneum barrier, immunity and providing pigment to give protection from harmful radiation, including sun exposure particularly by the ultraviolet light (UVL) spectrum. UVL is the culprit that induces visible, extrinsic skin aging (photoaging), as well as most…
Many clients notice every dark spot on their face. In fact, most skin care professionals would, more than likely, state that hyperpigmentation is a concern on par with aging andwrinkles and affects clients from every ethnic group. While many clients often feel as if their spots appeared out of nowhere, the truth is that their hyperpigmentation has probably been brewing for decades.  
Hyperpigmentation, which is caused by an increase in the skin's melanin content, is one of the most common skin concerns seen by skin care professionals. This condition is most often caused by sun exposure; inflammation; hormonal changes, such as pregnancy; certain medical conditions, like Addison's disease; and various drugs, such as certain antibiotics.

A Step-by-Step: Dark Spot Correcting Treatment

Written by Katherine Tomasso, L.E., C.M.T.
Hyperpigmentation is one of the most common skin conditions and often one of the most difficult to correct. Having and setting proper expectations and expressing the importance of consistency with professional treatments and a homecare regimen is the key to successfully treating dark spots and maintaining results.
Beautiful, glowing, and uniformly pigmented skin is a key visual sign of youthfulness. Yet, in a world where the impacts of harmful ultraviolet radiation and oxidative stresses from the environment are never ending – particularly as the ozone layer is slowly being depleted – achieving this goal seems elusive to many clients.

Rosacea Exposed: What They Don’t Teach You

Written by Ben Johnson, M.D., founder and formulator of Osmosis Pür Medical Skincare
According to the textbooks, rosacea is still not fully understood. There are classifications of the condition, but they do not serve any real purpose in the diagnosis or treatment of rosacea. The Demodex mite and related bacteria have been the most commonly assumed cause and, yet, the skin presentation rarely supports that theory. An interesting, but often ignored, association is small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO),…
Hormones, which are produced by the endocrine system, regulate a person’s immunity, reproduction, mood, metabolism, growth and overall physical development. There are three types of hormones (estrogen, androgen, and the thyroid hormone) that each have their own responsibilities and obligations. It is well known that some of the most common skin conditions (including acne, dry skin, and hyperpigmentation) can be the result of hormones being…
There is an old myth that massage therapy and other skin care treatments can encourage cancer metastasis. While this statement is untrue, what exactly is metastasis? Metastasis is the manner by which cancer cells spread to other parts of the body. Twenty to 30 percent of people who are initially diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer will develop metastatic breast cancer, also called stage IV breast…
Sensitive skin is a common condition that affects a majority of people and commonly has predisposed factors such as ethnicity. Factors such as an impaired skin barrier, a weakened immune system, inflammation, and digestive health can contribute to the skin’s sensitivity. When treating sensitive skin, both internal and external factors should be considered.
The number of people affected by melanoma, the most deadly skin cancer in the United States, is consistently rising. It is commonly diagnosed in people under age 30. Dr. Hui Tsou, dermatopathologist and assistant medical director of Acupath Laboratories, offers five tips that skin care professionals can share with clients to help detect melanoma while it is still treatable.

Menopause: Signs, Symptoms and More

Written by Michelle D’Allaird, L.E.
I think the worst part of writing this article was that I had the “slapped in the face” realization that “oh no, this is me!” Although I am not quite yet experiencing the physiological characteristics, my age is certainly applicable as is the horrific realization that yes, I am getting older!
Our skin changes in menopause just like during puberty (what fun huh?). In fact, the skin goes through normal, hormonal shifts every seven years, and clients should be ready to change up their skin care routine along with those shifts. Along with these changes, the expectation and pressure to feel and look beautiful can be overwhelming and cause the kind of stress that produces more…
Hyperpigmentation is a prevalent skin disorder that has multiple causes and can be challenging to treat. Many people suffer through years of unsuccessful attempts at eliminating the disorder and may be reluctant to professional treatment. Understanding the underlying causes and predisposed factors with hyperpigmentation will help assess each situation and help prevent the onset of the disorder in some cases. The initial consultation and health…
There is a great correlation between the morphology of a skin condition and what is chosen for correction in both treatments and the cosmetic chemistry found in product lines. At times, there may be a great deal of emphasis placed on a brand or isolated ingredients without realizing that a manifested skin condition requires research and contemplation going beyond what is visually apparent. Products are…
Aestheticians are in the unique position to observe many skin disorders and some diseases. Even though it is out of the aesthetician’s scope of practice to treat skin diseases, having knowledge is power, and skin care professionals should be able to recognize disorders and diseases that require medical referral to a physician or dermatologist. Many chronic conditions require treatment from both a physician and aesthetician;…
One must develop a thorough understanding of melasma to achieve successful treatment outcomes. It is one of the most frustrating conditions for skin care professionals to treat and even more confusing and discouraging to the client.

Hormones in Ethnic Skin

Written by Michael Q. Pugliese, L.E. and Peter T. Pugliese, M.D.
A number of hormones are known to affect the human skin. Hair follicles and sebaceous glands are affected by androgenic hormones secreted by the gonads and adrenal glands.1,2 These hormones play a significant part in the development and the physiological function of human skin tissues. The skin both receives signals from many transmitters and sends signals to many receptor organs and organelles in the body.

Hormonally Driven Pigmentation in Ethnic Skin

Written by Jennifer Linder, M.D.
Hormones are critical chemical messengers that regulate the majority of all necessary functions within the human body. In individuals of all ethnicities, hormone fluctuations can be the cause of some unpleasant and frustrating skin challenges, including hyperpigmentation. This is especially true for individuals of mixed heritage or ethnicities who naturally have a more reactive pigmentation response. By understanding the best ways to identify patients who…
There are many endocrine glands in the body, with the main ones being the pituitary gland, thyroid, thymus, adrenal, and the pancreas. Endocrine glands, which are special groups of cells, make our hormones.1Hormones are dominant and it only requires a small amount of them to cause significant changes throughout the body. Both men and women produce hormones in the same areas with one exception, the…
Along with aging and acne concerns, uneven pigmentation is one of the most common complaints skin care professionals hear in the treatment room. Changes in skin pigmentation can occur due to many different factors and can be the most difficult issue to tackle in the treatment room. Perhaps one of the most challenging pigmentary conditions to treat is melasma, a common disorder of hyperpigmentation that…
While hyperpigmentation products and devices are frequently written about and analyzed, hypopigmentation receives far less discussion. The technical definition of hypopigmentation is abnormally diminished pigmentation resulting from decreased melanin production. The collective term for loss of pigment is Leukoderma. This is a complex and varied skin disorder, characterized by a lack of skin color. The causes can be due to genetics, chemicals, hormones, injury or…

10 Things About...Fungus

Written by Anna D. Rinehart
Clients present high stress regarding the possible signs of fungus growth on their bodies, which can be unsightly and embarrassing. The most common fungus presented is athlete’s foot, also referred as tinea pedis. It presents itself as redness, peeling, itching and burning. This fungus grows in warm, moist environments and is common in the summer. Athlete’s foot is mostly experienced by men and women wearing…
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