What Is Keratosis Pilaris?

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Keratosis Pilaris is a common chronic skin condition that affects between 50-80% of adolescents and approximately 40% of adults. It manifests itself through small light or red coloured bumps on the skin, most characteristically on the upper arm and thighs.

Keratosis Pilaris is not contagious; it does not tend to come with any health issues, save for some occasional itchiness and has been known to appear alongside other skin conditions such as eczema.

Whist professionals are not certain of the triggering causal factor, it’s understood the condition may stem from an overproduction of keratin (hyperkeratinisation) in the opening of the follicle. Keratin is the protein responsible for protecting the skin from infections and the like. This build up develops a plug within the follicle which creates the characteristic bump on the surface of the skin.

While there is no cure, there are measures one can take to minimise its effect.

Dehydration has been found to acerbate the condition so it’s recommend to apply a heavy moisturiser daily. It can worsen during the winter months with the drop in humidity in the air. Keeping skin hydrating levels up is key to controlling the symptoms during the colder season.

Avoiding too much time in the shower and keeping the water from getting too hot will also have a positive effect on the condition as heat and water can actually dry skin further.

While it’s not considered a medical concern, it can cause people embarrassment or body-confidence issues. To further ‘treat’ the symptoms, a topical exfoliant or topical retinoid may aid in cell turnover. For more stubborn incarnations of the condition, a laser treatment may minimise the effects.

What’s Next in the Aesthetics Industry

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Even if you already work in the industry or are considering a career in it, the Aesthetics industry is a hard one to keep up with. There are new developments, discoveries and products on the market every day. Here are just a few that you might not have heard of yet, but are sure to become more mainstream in the months/years to come.

Aesthetic Apps

These days, there’s an App for everything and with technology playing such a huge role in this industry, it was only a matter of time before an App was developed for the aesthetics industry. These Apps will allow you to see what you will look like after a particular treatment. So, if you are not sure if you want, for example, lip fillers, you can simply download the App, upload a photo, choose which treatment you are considering, and see what you think of the results. Whether this will take off on your personal phone or just be used by beauty spas and clinics is yet to be seen. While this is not commonplace in the market yet, watch this space.

Augmented Reality

Following on with the App theme, there is also an App where a woman wearing a uniquely designed “bra” is videoed, and the App superimposes augmented breasts over the top of the bra so the woman can see what she’d look like with a particular shape or size of breasts. It’s said to be like a virtual mirror where you can shop for the exact breasts you want so when you have the surgery you are clearer on what the results are going to look like. There are already similar, less advanced versions of this being used in surgeon’s offices around the world but this takes it to the next step.

Regrowing Hair

Hair loss and its treatment has certainly gone from strength to strength in the last decade or two. There have been special creams and formulas, hair transplants etc and they all work to a certain extent, but with all the research and discoveries on cell growth and stimulation to make us more beautiful, the golden ticket to solve the problem once and for all is hair follicles to regenerate and start growing hair again. There are science labs who have managed to do this in a laboratory, but as of yet it’s still not at a stage where it has worked on a human. With so many men (and women!) dealing with loss of hair, whether it be partial or complete baldness in their lifetime, this is one area where research is definitely getting quality time.

Will We Finally Get Rid of Cellulite?

There are already some newer devices on the market claiming they can help reduce cellulite but for some reason this stubborn condition is one of the hardest to treat. There’s been reasonable success with creams, liposuction, massage and mesotherapy, yet none have so far managed to produce results so outstanding as to warrant a breakthrough in the treatment of cellulite. LED’s, laser and most recently Coolsculpting have been said to help, but even these new treatments have been unable to produce perfect results. However, as non-surgical body contouring and aesthetic product development continues to move forward at a bold pace, it may only be a matter of time before cellulite can be treated with brilliant results in just a trip to the beauty salon.

 

Main Image Source: Face Plus Medispa

The Psychology Behind Aesthetics

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When thinking of aesthetics or anything to do with the beauty industry, one may not automatically associate it with psychology, or the study of the mind.  Yet, there is a very important link between the two and for those seeking to follow a career in aesthetics, it’s important to understand the link between physiology and psychology, and why patients may seek treatment.

The Proven Link Between Stress and Pimples!

Most of us know that if we’re stressed we quite often get a pimple, or a cold sore, or perhaps even hives or a rash of some sort.  There is a proven link between psychological trauma and anxiety manifesting into physical ailments.  The level of stress the patient is under can quite often influence the level of physical expression of the disease or ailment.  There’s also the opposite effect; physical appearance can affect one’s state of mind, behaviour and way of life (someone with terrible acne may become extremely shy and less social than someone who has never been affected etc.).

The environment, surrounding society and culture can also serve as a major factor in one’s motivations or desires for appearance expectations and associated cosmetic modifications.  These factors can also provide an insight into a patient’s self image or body image and in extreme cases, body dysmorphic disorder (BDD).

There are many elements that need to be considered when it comes to understanding different patients, and their choices and behaviours.  Some of these include:

  • Sex or gender identification
  • Age
  • Home environment – do they have kids, elderly parents to care for?
  • Culture, background
  • Surrounding Society
  • Socio-economic status
  • Body image

A Step Ahead of the Rest

The majority of clients seeking beauty or cosmetic treatments are doing so in order to make themselves feel better about their appearance; there is emotion behind the motivation.  Whether it’s stress, anxiety, societal pressure, career insecurities, physical; identifying these underlying emotions may give you an advantage over other practitioners, if you understand the patient and their motivations for seeking treatment.  It can also be a great tool to knowing which treatment will suit the client or what result will satisfy their needs.  Building a good relationship with your patients or clients is paramount to ensure return business and satisfied customers, as providing an all inclusive approach to the consumer’s well-being is expected in today’s world.

When Things Go Wrong

It’s also important to be able to counsel your clients if their results are unexpected, not what they think they asked for, or they have an adverse physiological reaction.  Understanding someone’s deeper motivations and psyche for any type of cosmetic treatment or enhancement will allow you to deal with any fall outs or unexpected results.

It is also important to be able to identify when a potential client might NOT be suitable for cosmetic treatments.  Someone with BDD may be obsessed and not psychologically sound to make choices when it comes to having more treatments done, and it’s important to be able to advise these patients accordingly.
Being aware of the underlying factors for a client and how this impacts their decision to seek assistance will empower aesthetic technicians and dermal clinicians to provide more comprehensive treatment options and deliver desirable results.

 

Image Source: Esteem Medi Spa

Good Aesthetician Practices

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In an industry where everything from hygiene, education, appearances and personal care matters, there are tell-tale signs of a good aesthetician. For a client who is looking for the ‘right’ aesthetician, there are certain elements which will determine who they end up trusting, not only with their skin, but also their health and wellbeing.

Today we look at good aesthetician practices which should be adhered to at all times.

Thorough knowledge

A good aesthetician should, first and foremost, have a complete and thorough knowledge of both human biology and up-to-date industry procedures and treatments. One ought to be able to assess a client’s concerns and prescribe a treatment plan according to the individual – especially if there are certain contraindications, such as sensitivity, eczema, rosacea or acne.

Education is vital for an aesthetician to deliver the best treatments and results for their clients. Having a firm foundation in the human anatomy and aesthetic procedures is a must, but continuing one’s education is just as important.

Asking questions

Being able to properly diagnose a client’s concerns is the only way to develop an effective treatment plan. One can’t expect to formulate an accurate diagnosis without probing and asking a client the right questions. While assessing the skin might let you know that the person most likely has acne, it’s only through talking to them and digging deeper that you might discover that they actually have Papulopustular Rosacea. Here are some questions you might ask a client:

+ What are your main skin concerns?
+ Is today a good, bad or normal skin day for you?
+ What kind of acne do you normally get (cysts, little bumps, pustules, etc)?
+ When do you find your skin is the most sensitive?
+ When did this symptom develop?
+ Is your skincare regime simple or include a lot of products? What products are in your regime?

Your qualifications matter

Receiving a qualification, be it a certificate, diploma or degree, is important in cementing your knowledge in the field. However, it should not be hidden away. Having your qualifications on display also lets your clients – and future clients – know that that you are certified and able to practice. This is another reason to continually look for further education opportunities and update your skills.

Cause minimal irritation

A good aesthetician should always look for the least invasive and irritating option for their client. Needless aggravating procedures will only upset the skin and may lead to more issues down the road. One ought to be able to assess every case individually and prescribe the most effective treatment with short and long term results in mind.

 

Main Image Source: Renee Rouleau Skin Care

Why Eating Well Can Improve Your Satisfaction With Your Health and Wellness Treatment

 

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The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend enjoying a variety of nutritious foods from the five food groups daily and to drink plenty of water to live a healthy lifestyle. Sadly, based on an Australian Health Survey conducted from 2011-2012, most Australians did not meet these recommendations. Not only is a healthy diet obviously better for your overall health, adding a balanced diet and maintaining good nutritional habits are especially important for those undergoing any health and wellness treatments. Small changes in diet can help speed up the bodies natural healing mechanisms, improve physiological functions, decrease signs of ageing, and make you feel better overall.

The Five Food Groups

The ADG recommends eating a wide variety of foods from the five food groups daily. The five food groups include:

  1. Vegetables and legumes/bean
  2. Fruit
  3. Dairy – Milk, yoghurt, cheese
  4. Protein – Lean meat and poultry, fish, eggs, nuts, tofu
  5. Grain (cereal foods, grain filled bread, etc.)

How eating better can improve wellness treatment results…

Those who strive to eat well both before and after their procedures (if not all the time!) should see positive health benefits. Fatty fish and dark leafy greens help to fight inflammation which can be especially useful after surgery. Oranges and garlic can help to improve circulation and supply blood to tissues producing healthy skin which will complement any dermal treatment. Eating a balanced diet can help maintain a healthy weight after liposuction.

How can you help others?
Students at the Australasian College of Health and Wellness (TACHW) study Nutrition in Practice, which provides training in dietary needs, wellness and anti-ageing which can be applied across many practice settings. Students learn how to create patient-specific nutrition plans based on specific dietary requirements; learn how to help patients understand the importance of exercise on ageing and weight management, and understand the role of hormones and the body in relation the health and the ageing process.  Nutrition is a big part in being able to provide a whole approach to wellness and aesthetics, and gives you the ability to give important and relevant advice to patients regardless of any other treatment or surgery they may be having.

 

Main Image Source: Live Simply Natural

Preparing for IPL this Summer

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While clients spend a lot of time researching the process and the post-treatment of IPL, people are not always aware of how to prepare properly before their first appointment. With many people considering IPL for hair removal coming into the warmer months, it’s crucial one understands how to care for and prep the skin.

This week we look at some factors one should be aware of in order to prepare the skin and hair follicle to ensure the best IPL results.

Sun protection

It’s important to avoid excessive sun exposure in the weeks leading up to treatment; sun can increase the skin’s sensitivity. Furthermore, if the skin has suffered from sun burn, treatment should be postponed until the skin has healed entirely.

Avoid tanning

Both natural and fake tan can disrupt the results of IPL as the light works off of the contrast of the darkness of the hair follicle and the surrounding tissue. When the tissue around the hair is darker, it can become the accidental target of the light. This can damage the skin and can result in burns or blisters. It is best to undergo the IPL process with your skin in its most natural state.

Waxing and shaving

IPL works by targeting the follicle within the shaft. If one waxes, it should be done at least three weeks before the treatment. This allows time for the follicle to return so that the IPL has something to target. Shaving can be done the day before as any light absorbed by hair above the skin will be ineffective. Shaving allows the light to be absorbed solely by the roots of the follicle.

Exfoliate and moisturise

Developing a daily routine of exfoliating and moisturising will ensure the skin is healthy before treatment. Dry, dead skin can create a barrier which inhibits the lights from penetrating the skin well. Exfoliation with a scrub, mitt or loofah will ensure better results from IPL treatment. Hydrated skin will improve skin health, meaning that it will be less likely to suffer sensitivity.

Be aware of contraindications

There are a number of things which can influence the effectiveness of IPL treatment. Keep in mind any medications you are taking including aspirin, anti-inflammatories and anti-biotics. Skincare and topical creams such as retinoids can also increase skin sensitivity. Speaking with the IPL technician when they are developing your treatment plan should ensure you are best prepared for your treatment.

 

Image Source: Core Medical Group Miami

The Exciting World of Wellness

The Exciting World of Wellness

The science behind the newest treatment or creation of technology in the field of beauty and wellness seems almost futuristic. More interestingly, is that people can now choose non-invasive procedures and still achieve drastic results. You’ve got to love the fact that this has allowed us to move from wondering IF we can have the body we want, to simply figuring out HOW to get the body we want.

Three Amazing Examples

There are thousands of examples to choose from, but we’ll highlight just three of the “new age” aesthetic treatments.

1) Ultrasonic body contouring: A non-invasive contouring procedure that uses sound waves. It works by using an ultrasound device which focuses in on specific areas and kills the fat cells that live 1.5 cm below the skin. It is painless, fast (typically 10-50 minutes), and very specific so that you don’t have to worry about contour irregularities. The best part? As soon as treatment is over, you could go for a run or to yoga class!

2) Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD): This is an older technique developed in the 1930’s by a pair of Danish doctors, but the science behind it is still fascinating. It must be good if it is still used to this day! The lymphatic system in the body, like our circulatory system, moves waste out of the body. However, unlike circulation, the body requires movement in order to get the lymphatic system working correctly.  MLD uses light, rhythmic motions, to go with the natural flow of the lymphatic system and help clear blockages and remove toxins.

3) Chemical Peels: There are many types of chemical peels available including acid peels, enzymatic peels, and medical peels. The entire concept of chemical peels is fascinating; using the most appropriate formula for the clients’ specific skin type and concerns, we can effectively remove dead skin cells and replace them with new skin that is smoother, less wrinkled, and with reduced scarring.

Technology Crazy!

Will all of the advances the field of beauty and wellness, it is no wonder that it has consistently ranked as one of the top industries for job potential and growth, both worldwide and here in Australia.

The Australasian College of Health and Wellness is committed to remaining at the forefront of education and training in this industry; to hear from current students experiencing the TACHW journey, visit (https://www.tachw.edu.au/testimonials/).

TACHW aims to provide an engaging, detailed syllabus, with hands-on training in some of the top techniques of today’s aesthetics and wellness industry.

 

Image Source: Ultraceuticals