Breakouts in the Same Spot? Find Out Why

Does it seem like you always get a blemish in the same spot? There is a reason for this…

The pore may be damaged so it keeps getting re-infected. This is especially common for those who pick. (hint, hint) Picking blemishes loosens the lining of the cell and that causes the clogged oil to go deeper into the skin and that creates an inflammatory reaction.

If you use a drying spot treatment (toothpaste and most over-the-counter spot treatments) this will only dry out the surface infection of the skin. The bacteria is still lurking underneath and will eventually come to the surface again.

Glycolic Acid is a great prevention (Glycolic Cleanser and Glycolic/Retinol Pads). For a blemish you have now and to properly get rid of it and kill the bacteria, try this

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Dermatologist for Acne?

I don’t always post from other blogs but lately I have been hearing so many people talk about their experiences with a Dermatologist for acne. This post was written so well I didn’t think it was necessary to write my own.

Updated 8-31-17  I originally posted this 3 years ago and I still hear the same things from clients. Learning HOW to take care of your skin and using the right products for YOUR skin is what is best. No matter what.

WHY I REGRET GOING TO DERMATOLOGISTS FOR ACNE

It seemed so obvious at the time. My whole family is oily and acne prone. My siblings were both on Accutane. Dermatologists are seen as the first stop for acne problems. It was covered by insurance. After the Proactiv failure, it seemed like the next logical step.

What actually happened was a series of disappointing appointments. In each five to ten minute session, after hours in the waiting room, I was asked what skin care I was using (Blackhead Eliminating Scrub, nothing else), given a few expensive prescriptions, and sent to the pharmacist. When I told them I was getting cystic acne, they didn’t believe me because it was never present at the time of the appointments. I was never asked about my diet. I was never asked about my usual sun exposure, just vaguely told that the medications could make me more sun sensitive. I never had a proper skin analysis. I was never told what my skin type was (combination dry, not oily). I wasn’t asked how often I washed my pillowcase (not enough). I wasn’t asked whether I picked (I do).

At this point, I don’t even remember all of the different expensive medications they gave me over the years. I remember Benzoyl Peroxide, Differen, Tazorac, Retin-A, Cetaphil, and some sort of liquid blotter in a bottle. I know there were more. My skin only got worse when using any of them. I saw no decrease in acne and a sharp increase in redness, peeling, and shininess. I was mocked incessantly about how shiny my face was by the other students in elementary school. They were right- my giant forehead (fivehead) reflected like a mirror and was even more prominent than usual, something I was very self conscious about. .

The shine was a combination of raw skin and product buildup. The top layer of my forehead skin had peeled off early on and never seemed to grow back. I kept using the products, constantly hearing, “It has to get worse before it gets better.” Except it never got better. It got worse and worse and worse. My horrible tendency to pick at the flaking skin did not help at all, and I now have plenty of post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. This wasn’t at all helped by the 30 minutes of sun exposure at prime sun hours during recess every school day and full days on weekends. I was told to “avoid excess sun exposure,” which in my 11 year old brain meant “don’t lay out in the sun” which I didn’t do anyway. They did not make it clear to me that any sun exposure on my glow in the dark complexion was both counterproductive to my acne and would make every inflammation problem I was having far worse. Eventually I stopped using all of the prescriptions and just let them sit in a drawer untouched.

Don’t get me wrong- there are plenty of cases where dermatologists have helped dramatically. There are many that I’m sure do thorough consultations, many who truly help acne and rosacea cases. Accutane was very effective treating the deep cystic acne of my siblings. I have personally told many clients to see a dermatologist for suspicious spots, at least two of which have been diagnosed as skin cancer (basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma). Dermatologists help with diseases and cancer. They are indispensable.

However, as a nurse practitioner puts it, “Their product toolboxes are too small.” Beautification of skin is the entirety of what an Esthetician does. Appointments are generally an hour or more. A good Esthetician will ask in depth questions about a client’s routines, lifestyle, history and issues. Skin care routines will be recommended, adjusted, perfected. Treatments are done not only to beautify the skin but to calm the mind and body. The stress cycle will be explained and discussed. Exfoliation, extractions, and hydrating masks can be done to speed up the improvement of a new skin care routine.

Lauri Shea, LE

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The Enemy: Blackheads

Ok, so we all have blackheads and it seems like they never go away. The good news is, there are solutions and ways to prevent, control and get rid of them. Let’s start from the beginning though and I will tell you what causes a blackhead.

Causes of Blackheads– Basically when a pore gets clogged with too much oil (which enlarges the pore) and then it mixes with built-up dead skin cells that cannot shed normally. The combination of the two then get exposed to air, which causes it to oxidize and turn black.

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How to Get Rid of Blackheads– You need to remove and absorb excess oil and also remove dead skin that isn’t shedding on its own. Not all products will do this, even though they claim to. Salicylic Acid and Glycolic Acid help along with gentle manual exfoliation. Scrubbing harshly and vigorously will not get them out. You will only irritate the skin. This is one of the reasons that pore strips do not work. These blackheads are not just sitting on the surface of the skin so it may appear that you got them out but you actually only got the tip of the blackhead. Using proper skin care products will balance out your skin and keep the blackheads away.

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Please skip the DIY remedies that are found online. Most of them do not work and can also cause permanent damage.

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Ultrasonic Exfoliation vs Microdermabrasion

Microdermabrasion comes up a lot in my treatment room but I actually don’t do it anymore. I can but I don’t. It’s not my favorite treatment and I have something (Dermafiles) that can replace it that is better. Plus, there is Ultrasonic Exfoliation to add to the mix. I have been using ultrasonic for quite some time and I love it! Below I will compare the two so you know the difference and why you may want one or the other or both!

Microdermabrasion has been around since the 90’s. It removes dead skin cells, evens skin tone, stimulates circulation and give the skin a smooth, youthful appearance. Best suited for those with thicker skin because of the suction/vacuum method that pulls and tugs at the skin. Thin, reddened and sensitive skin cannot handle this treatment. It will make conditions worse or cause more issues like broken capillaries. I feel that microdermabrasion does more harm than good.

Anyone who has received a facial from me knows how much I love this tool. I use it in every facial (unless I am doing some other deeper exfoliation-although still rare) because I have seen the benefits and I know how amazing it is for the skin. I can’t offer this as a “special” facial. I think everyone should have this used on their face in my treatment room.

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How Ultrasonic Exfoliation Works:

Liquid is applied to the skin (skin needs to be wet) to loosen surface dead skin and the spatula that is activated by ultrasonic sound waves (28,000 vibrations per second) lifts the dry skin cells off the skin. At the same time, the liquid (I use a beneficial liquid for your skin type) is being infused deep into the skin to allow the new, healthy cells to get hydrated. This means that this method is safer, better and the results will last longer.

Since I always start with an enzyme before I use this tool, you will get even better results because it will be able to exfoliate even deeper. It can also be used to clear clogged pores and get out dirt, old oil and blackheads.

Pain-free, non-invasive and part of every facial.

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Acne. What is it? Who gets it? What causes it?

Acne. So common and so frustrating. For some, it lasts a few months or maybe a year but for others, they suffer for a very long time. Even using the right skin care products doesn’t completely rid the skin of this issue because oftentimes it is hormonal. This is where medications come in and why doctors are so quick to prescribe. They can clear the skin and make the patient feel so much better. Unfortunately, there are side effects to that. Becoming well informed is the best option. Find out what works for you and your skin. Everyone is different.

What is It?

Acne is a skin condition that causes pimples or “zits.” This includes whiteheads, blackheads, and red, inflammed patches of skin (such as cysts).

Who Gets It?

Acne commonly starts during puberty between the ages of 10 and 13 and tends to be worse in people with oily skin. Teenage acne usually lasts for five to 10 years (I highlight this because so many expect it to go away as soon as they start on a regular skin care regimen), normally going away during the early 20s. It occurs in both sexes, although teenage boys tend to have the most severe cases (I am convinced that this is because they are less likely to take care of their skin properly). Just when you think you are safe from acne… Women are more likely than men to have mild to moderate forms into their 30s and beyond.

The simple truth is that heredity (blame your parents!) and hormones are behind most forms of acne.

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Causes?

Hormones– It is common in teenagers because of their increase in hormones. It is also why some women get it when they are pregnant or on birth control. When this is the cause, it makes it much more difficult to control. As an Esthetician, I can’t fix this but the skin can improve and we can get to a point where the breakouts are manageable.

Bacteria– Excess oil clogs the pores and it is here where the bacteria grows. This makes blackheads or whiteheads form on the skin’s surface. Sometimes, this clogging causes the follicle wall to break under the pressure of this buildup. When this happens, sebum leaks into nearby tissues and forms a pustule or a papule — this is called inflammatory acne. Larger, tender pustules are called nodules.

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Tomorrow- How to Improve Your Skin

A Path to Healthy Skin

A variety of treatments and products are used to protect skin from   environmental hazards and combat fine lines, wrinkles, and a dull, uneven skin tone. Estheticians are also skilled in managing conditions such as acne, rosacea, eczema, and dry skin, to name just a few. Through specialized therapies and remedies, I can help ease the burdens such conditions can cause. Furthermore, skin care treatments are wonderfully relaxing and rejuvenating. If smooth, healthy skin is your goal, I can help you achieve them.

 

What is a Facial?

A facial gives you clear, well-hydrated, and youthful skin. Basically, it cleans, exfoliates, and nourishes the skin, and specially focuses on addressing a specific or various needs of your skin, like rejuvenation and replenishment of the skin’s lost nutrients, using different skin care products and professional techniques in skin care. When done regularly, a facial actually boosts the effectiveness of your skin care regimen so you are better able to achieve your skin care goal, and helps to maintain your ideal skin condition in a major way.

 

Who Can Benefit From a Facial?

No matter how sensitive or hard to treat your skin is (or what age), you can still benefit from a facial because any facial can be suited to fit your individual skin care needs. If you have sensitive skin, only gentle cleansing and moisturizing products will be used. If your goal is to clear up your acne, I will guide you toward a facial that will  help you achieve that goal. Be sure to communicate clearly with me exactly what you want to get out of your facial, so that I can do my best to accommodate you.  

 

What Can I Expect During My Facial?

Cleansing, skin analysis, exfoliation, massage, extraction of blackheads and other impurities, and application of products targeted to your skin type (dry, oily, combination, sensitive, mature). Some facials involve light massaging of the face and neck to aid in further relaxation and to stimulate blood and oxygen flow to the skin. Hand treatments are also included in selected facials.

 

What About Home Care?

When you leave my treatment room after a facial, your skin will most likely be glowing, fresh, and hydrated. Some facials might also increase breakouts for a short period afterward, since the skin was stimulated and is now ridding itself of toxins and impurities (this is not very common but can happen). Keep in mind that the more facials you get, the less impurities your skin will contain, which means you will experience fewer breakouts as time goes on. I will give you a “prescription” for a home-care regimen that will include detailed instructions on how to use them and why you should you use them. Education is key! If you are looking for results, it is important to use the proper skin care products for your skin type, at home.

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