Home' Spa and Clinic : SPA Vol-69 Autumn 2017 Contents AESTHETICS
ormer Team SPA+CLINIC member
Ashleigh Sharman, heralding in
2015 the trends to watch in the year
“ Since I can remember, I’ve been told
I have sensitive skin. My mother recounts
stories of rashes, lumps and bumps from
early childhood, allergic reactions to this
and that, which as a teenager would turn
into acne, rosacea, dermatitis and more.
“But running as a parallel plot line has
been my sensitive nature. Regularly quoted as
being a ‘sensitive little soul’, I’m considered
emotionally reactive, and an introvert. Many
years later, I can’t help but wonder if the two
are indeed inextricably linked?”
Like all trends worth embracing,
they take a while to gain mainstream
acceptance and here, in mid-2017, the
unofficial science of “psychodermatology”
is coming to pass.
According to US neuropsychiatrist Dr
Mohammad Jafferany, this new field is a
coming together of internal obser vations
of dermatology, matched with the internal
obser vations of psychology.
“In a majority of patients presenting to
dermatologists, effective management of
skin conditions requires consideration of
associated psychosocial factors,” he says,
adding that this skin-mind connection has
been, until recently, largely underestimated.
“More than just a cosmetic
(well, a lot)
IN THE MIND
disorders are associated with a
variety of psychopathologic problems
that can affect the patient, his or her
family, and society together.”
Understanding of the principles
of psychodermatology is considered
most helpful is in chronic conditions
such as eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis,
rosacea and acne, especially in patients who
In such cases it is noted how stress,
and subsequent inflammation, although
not the primary cause, greatly worsen the
condition – no doubt something you have
also witnessed in clients.
The skin is extraordinary, and when you
learn to read it correctly it is potentially
an excellent diagnostic tool; indeed,
quite often being the first “red flag” that
something is not quite right internally.
The skin is also our largest organ and is,
after all, our first point of contact with the
Granted you are reading this and are not a
dermatologist or psychiatrist, so what does this
mean for you as an aesthetician/skin therapist?
The need to deal with the whole person
when addressing their skincare needs is not
a new concept.
Some clients may have already exhausted
the medical option, and so seek the help of
skincare clinics to solve their issues.
Unfortunately in many cases this
is as a last resort, when in fact we can
play a life-changing role at the outset.
But there are several factors to
consider when treating these client s.
As a skincare practitioner you
are constantly increasing your
knowledge, skills and training
to better understand, treat and
manage skin conditions, aided
by ever-new advances in skincare and
dev ice technology.
But as important as understanding and
treating the physical manifestations of a skin
disorder is the significant impact on the
client’s emotional and psychological state.
Unlike most internal illnesses, skin
disease is often immediately visible to others
and thus can be a hugely stressful and
heartbreaking experience for the sufferer
The skin disease/condition often
becomes “who they are” to themselves and
the world, so the role of empathy for an
aesthetician should not be overlooked.
* Matoyla Kollaras is a qualified therapist
and the director of Skin Factors, distributor
in Australia of Christina Cosmeceuticals and
AHAVA Dead Sea skincare. She is passionate
about skin health and treatments and is highly
committed to constantly staying at the forefront
of research and new advances in skin science
and cosmetic ing redients.
We’ve recently “discovered” that gut health is fundamental to optimum
performance of the skin (ergo a youthful, healthy appearance), the brain and
body corporeal. Now the mind has been “re-discovered” as the epicentre
of how skin behaves – enter psychodermatology. For Matoyla Kollaras*, this
thinking has always been a fundamental for experienced skincare professionals.
60 | SPA+CLINIC
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