Home' Spa and Clinic : Volume 60 February 2015 Contents SKIN BODY
There are two fundamental types of acne: the so-called “teenage”
and “adult” varieties and they must be treated ver y differently,
according to Matoyla Kolaras, CEO of Skin Factors, distributors in
Australia of Christina Cosmceuticals from Israel.
For the purposes of this story we are concentrating on the adult
condition, which can occur from the 20s through to the 40s+.
“ W ith adult acne, there are no `zits’ to squeeze,” says Matoyla. “The
spots do not fester and are much deeper and more difficult to treat.
“ The blemishes tend to be chronic and can be linked to a
deficiency of some kind, a hormonal imbalance such as Polycystic
Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) or a thyroid condition.
“ Stress also plays a big role– it spikes levels of the hormone
cortisol, which can trigger breakouts. As a kind of steroid, cortisol
also weakens the skin, making it more prone to damage.
“Other factors that can aggravate or even cause acne are
clients self-treating using unproven products bought online or
inappropriate products purchased OTC without consulting a
skin care professional.
“ Treatments and home care products should not be aggressive
because adult acne is usually not associated with excess oiliness.
Indeed, the skin might actually be lacking in oil and very dry.
“Medical checks to diagnose any underlying conditions are advised
before starting a client on a course of treatments for best results, and
to ensure a therapist is actually able to treat the indvidual’s condition.
“ You must also remind clients that should never squeeze deep -
seated spots. Not only will it usually not bring the trapped `plugs’
to the surface, it will drive them deeper into the tissue and also
contribute to post-inf lammatory pigmentation.”
THE ANATOMY OF ACNE
The sebaceous glands, which produce sebum, exist inside the pores
of the skin. The outer layers of skin are being shed continuously.
Sometimes, dead skin cells are left behind and get trapped in
the sticky sebum, causing pore blockage. When more sebum is
produced it accumulates behind the blockage.
Blocked sebum has bacteria, including P acnes, which generally
exists harmlessly on the skin. When conditions are "right" it can
reproduce more rapidly and become a problem. P acnes feeds off
the sebum, producing a substance that causes an immune response
causing inflammation of the skin (spots).
TYPES OF ACNE
Whiteheads. Also known as closed comedo, are small, flesh-
coloured papules that remain under the skin.
Blackheads. Also known as open comedo, they are black and
sit on the surface of the skin. Some people mistakenly believe
they are caused by dirt because of the colour and scrub their faces
vigorously. This harms far more than it helps.
Papules. Small, solid rounded bumps that rise from the skin.
Pustules. Pimples full of pus and are clearly visible. The base is
red with pus on the top.
Nodules. Similar to papules but larger. They are embedded deep
in the skin and can be painful.
Cysts. These are clearly visible on the surface of the skin, filled
with pus and are usually painful. Cysts commonly cause scars.
The right light
Before proceeding with any
device treatment on a client, it’s
important to know which type of
technology is the most suitable
for their condition.
LASER, IPL (LED doesn’t have much impact on
pigmentation), or microneedling dev ices are the most
commonly used for treating damned dark spots and patches.
It is st rongly recommended that client s sign a consent form
stating they have had skin cancer checks within the previous six
to 12 months as, if a discolouration is “suspicious”, the light-
based treatments can accelerate malignancy. Also conduct a
consultation to get their medical history and any factors that may
contraindicate them for suitability.
The number and frequency of treatments with either
technology depends on the power of the device and the extent of
the client’s condition.
Laser tends to be a more aggressive treatment than IPL but in
both cases, clients must be warned to strictly observe sun protection
Even an hour’s over-exposure to UV rays can take their skin
back to ground zero, or even make it worse than it was before.
Lasers treat pigmentation by delivering an intense beam of
light that specifically targets melanin, the pigment molecule that is
responsible for pigmentation disorders.
This light is then absorbed and converted into heat, which
either disperses the group of melanin cells or destroys the skin cells
carr ying the pigment molecule.
For pigmentation, the most widely used laser is the Q -switch
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