Monday, August 15, 2011

When NOT to have a facial - - - Really?

Facial Treatment Contraindications

When you’re having frustrating challenges with your skin, as we all do from time to time, a facial treatment is usually just what you need. But sometimes, believe it or not, it’s exactly the wrong thing to do. It’s interesting that I have recently had several questions posed regarding facial treatments for folks with specific illnesses or conditions, so thought this informative blog might be timely and appreciated.

Here are some skin conditions for which a facial is contraindicated (not recommended):
• Acute sunburn (you can still see an esthetician for a soothing cool compress treatment to help ease your discomfort, but no heat or friction should be applied)
• Severe cystic acne with open pustules
• Open cuts or abrasions
• Bruises and swelling (ALWAYS get your physician’s approval for a treatment; post-surgical or post-trauma - bruising/swelling can often be mitigated by gentle manual lymphatic drainage massage)
• Active herpes lesions
• Conjunctivitis (“pink eye” is highly contagious!)
• Impetigo (contagious)
• Fungal infection
• Severe eczema
• Severe psoriasis
• Extreme allergic sensitivities (more than likely you already know you have allergic sensitivities and avoid those things!)

This of course is not a complete list of every medical condition that precludes a facial treatment. If you have any doubts about your suitability for any treatment use caution.

If in doubt, always consult with your physician.

Health conditions that may require treatment modifications

Unfortunately, not every esthetician or spa will ask you about health conditions that could affect the outcome of your facial treatment. If you’re a new client, a good skin care facility will ask for your history either in writing or in a thorough pre-treatment consultation, and usually through both.

Even if they don’t ask you, be sure to inform your esthetician of your current health status, particularly if you are:

• Pregnant:

Essential oils are ALWAYS contraindicated for pregnancy. I typically recommend that clients err in favor of caution and avoid spa treatments during, at minimum, the first trimester, even though this is when most skin problems occur. Be sure to have a consultation with your esthetician if you’re experiencing acne or other hormonally induced skin problems during pregnancy. Even if you can't receive a professional facial she might be able to offer advice on home care that would be safe for expectant mothers.

• Diabetic: Impaired wound healing can make extractions dangerous, and in some cases, deadly.

• A cancer patient undergoing treatment, or cancer survivor who’s had lymph nodes removed: massage may be contraindicated, and many normally beneficial ingredients may irritate your skin. There is a specialty in esthetics called Oncology Esthetics. Your best bet may be to search out an Aesthetician trained in this specialty area.

• An organ transplant patient on anti-rejection drugs: your skin may experience increased sensitivity to normally gentle ingredients. It’s always a good idea to use a product line created specifically for health challenged skin, typically found in a Specialty Physician’s Office.

Claustrophobic or prone to panic attacks: Just by letting your esthetician know that you experience Claustrophobia may help you relax and enjoy your treatment. Ask not to have steam used in your treatment and request that you are not “wrapped up” for any treatment.

• Have sensitivities or allergies: Did you know many skin care products (not just foods) contain nut oils? Just by coming in contact with a product containing nuts could have deadly consequences for someone with nut allergies. And, because a spa is using natural or organic products does not mean you’ll be less likely to have an allergic reaction to their products. In fact, essential oils, a tremendously beneficial group of ingredients, are plant derived and can cause allergic reactions in certain individuals. That is why it is crucial that you advise your Aesthetician to any adverse reaction you have experienced with products coming in contact with your skin. If you have ever experienced a rash or hives after using a product your skin care professional needs to know, or you could end up looking something like this - - -

• Experiencing Rosacea: the right facial treatment can provide relief from some Rosacea symptoms, but it is crucial to avoid heat, friction, squeezing during extractions, ingredients that increase circulation and peeling agents.

This blog may only be skimming the surface of this issue, but it is always good to be informed of the basics. I hope you find the information helpful and I hope to see you soon in my treatment room!

Giving quality skin care is always my first priority. Having clients leave my practice refreshed and relaxed is a given. If you have ever experienced a treatment from m.d. Skin, I think you will agree. If you haven't received a treatment yet . . . what are you waiting for? Don't you want to get your healthy glow on?

Go to my website ( right now and click on the "BookNow" tab. I'll be waiting for you!

Marci Delaney
m.d. Skin Personalized Skin Care
713 Meeting Street
West Columbia, SC 29169


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