April is Rosacea Awareness Month
Rosacea is a chronic condition that cannot be cured. But treatments can keep the symptoms under control. It most commonly starts as rosy cheeks and nose. Sometimes there are tiny vesicles that should not be extracted. While it can appear at any point in life, it often first shows up in the 30s.
To know if your rosy cheeks are rosacea, you should have it diagnosed by a doctor. Estheticians can help you keep it under control, but diagnosis is the scope of the physician. Sometimes the doctor will prescribe an oral product. Be sure to let him know of any side effects. Pair this with good professional skin care treatments.
There are several different levels of rosacea. If it is ignored, rosacea can worsen. Rosy flushed cheeks with some tiny vesicles is the mildest form. Papules and nodules along with the redness is more severe. Occasionally, it can affect an eye. The most severe form causes reddening and enlarging of the nose.
Once you know you have rosacea the best way to control it is to learn what your triggers are. Triggers are the things that cause it to flare up. It could be stress, heat, spicy or hot foods and many other things.
A journal can be your friend. If you note your face feels hotter, redder or breaks out pause. Think about what you have done in the last few hours or previous day. Note this in your journal.
- If you had four cups of coffee instead of your normal two and you are more flushed... that could be a trigger.
- Spent the day on the mountains or at the beach... sun/heat could be a trigger.
- More problems in the summer? Heat could be a trigger.
There are an almost endless list of possible triggers, so learning what yours are can be invaluable.
Scientists are still debating the causes behind rosacea. Bacteria, skin inflammation, vaso-dilation, fair skin and genetics are all contributing factors.
Look for skin care for chronically sensitive skins. Avoid perfumes, harsh stripping ingredients strong chemical peels or abrasive treatments.
- Anti-inflammatories or anti-redness formulas help reduce the red appearance.
- Calming and soothing ingredients help make your skin more comfortable.
- Anti-bacterial ingredients help those with combination or oilier skins.
- Studies have shown rosemary helps control the demodex mite.
Hot humid climates can worsen the condition. Be sure to have those calming soothing products on hand.
- Treat your skin gently.
- Avoid extreme heat, showers or saunas.
- Learn your triggers and avoid them.
- Learn stress management techniques to keep stress levels down.
- Work with a skin professional experienced with rosacea to find what works for you.
It may take a little practice but those symptoms can be kept at bay and your skin look and feel its best.
Hard wax verses soft wax... which is best?
Waxes come in two choices. Hard waxes and soft waxes.
Hard waxes come in tins and pellets or blocks. Apply, allow to set, then peel off. No strip allows you to contour application to the anatomy of the body. This is useful for nooks, crannies and that tricky detail work.
Hard waxes/ non-strip, generally go on at a lower temperature than a strip wax. This makes them more gentle to sensitive skins and intimate areas.
Soft waxes come only in tins. Once warmed, apply then lay a strip on top. Press strip into the wax, then remove. In most cases soft waxes/strip waxes are applied more thin than non-strip.
Strip waxes are best for speed waxing. Apply the over a large area then remove working from one edge of the wax to the other.
The super thin application of a strip wax makes it more cost effective for large areas. For those working only with non-strip waxes adjust your pricing. Non-strip wax will take more time and use more wax for large areas.
A full leg non-strip wax is typically twice the price of a strip wax for the same service. But, if the client has sensitivities, they are happy to have this option.
Some facilities prefer to use only a strip wax. This single wax philosophy dates back to the 80s when there weren't the choices that there are today. It makes ordering and stocking simple. It takes less space in the treatment room.
But today is about offering more than just a service. It is about offering a custom experience tailored to the client's needs. Today's clients want choices. Offering a diversity of waxes or wax options is key to happy, repeat customers.
Size matters. For example, Cirepil Blue MSRP for 400 grams tins are approximately $5.35 per 100 grams. If you buy the 800 gram size, the price drops to $4.85 per 100 grams. Purchasing the blue in the 3750 gram size, the price drops to $4.00 per 100 grams. And of course, with your member discount or buying by the case can save you even more.
If you do a lot of waxing, buying larger sizes will have a definite impact on your bottom line.
Strip waxes don't come in different sizes. They are sold in the tin as they would not hold their shape and would melt in hot weather. Look for the opportunity to save money when buying multiple tins, or buy a case. Yes, the case has a lot of tins in it. Store it in a cool, dry place and there is really no expiration.
Is Your Advertising Working?
What Makes You Unique?
At some point in your business you realize it needs promoting. You need to expand your customer base. Grow your revenues. Be able to cover anticipated increases in overhead like rent.
You've worked hard at collecting client emails. You've got people liking your business on Facebook, Google or Instagram. But if you spend money to bring more people in, how do you know if it is working? Much of the time, there is no way.
Television, newspaper, radio, magazines, local school groups... everyone wants you to advertise with them. It's great to support local, but is it giving you a return on your investment? Most venues will "increase public awareness", "build brand awareness." They don't necessarily bring people into the door. This is general advertising.
The goal of general advertising is to leave a mental picture of the business in our head. They hope at some time when we might be in the market for an item, we will think of them. Like a sexy new car, a comfy new sofa, a repair man when something breaks. We certainly aren't going to call a repairman when everything is working well.
Think of this as seed advertising. You plant the seeds and hope they will grow and blossom. But you never really know how well your dollars are working.
There is another type of advertising you can employ. Trackable advertising. A coupon is trackable. Those codes you enter in to get an online special are trackable. If no one brings in the coupon, you know that didn't work. Don't repeat. Do something different.
If you have an active business Facebook page, you can do trackable marketing there. Create a unique offer with a code attached to it. You can set it up to sell it right from Facebook. And you will know exactly how well it is doing. Trackable return on your investment.
You could also put an offer on Instagram, Yelp or Google. Make it a little different, or use a different code. You want to know which venue and which offer your clients responded to. It may take a little testing and tweaking to find what hits your clients' hot button. But you will have more than seeds of hope. You will know exactly how well your investment is working. Trackable.
What Makes You Unique?
This is a question many estheticians and spas can't answer. But for the success of your business, it's an important thing to figure out.
Your uniqueness makes you a little different from your competition. It is your Unique Selling Point. It is the basis for your brand. You can use it for all your marketing. You can build your business around it. You can use it as a tool to build your business quicker and faster.
So what does make you different? Start with a blank piece of paper. First make a list of what you see as your strengths and weaknesses. Then take another sheet and make a list down the side of competing businesses near you. Across the top make some columns: offers, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities.
Visit each business's website and Facebook page. If they don't have one - that is a weakness. Write no web or no Facebook in the weakness column.
What services do they offer? Note these on your chart. What are their strengths? Do they have long hours? Do they work evenings, early mornings? How do clients make appointments? Are they service oriented or experience oriented? Who is their target market? Do they even have one? Make lots of notes.
Then go back and look at your business. How do you compare? What do, or could you do, that they aren't? These are opportunities. Note possibilities in the opportunity column.
Is there something no one in your area is offering? Is it something you know clients want? Is it something that could bring them back regularly? You could make this your unique offering.
Sit down with your favorite hot beverage (it is cold outside for most of us). With a fresh piece of paper, think about the service or part of the industry you are most passionate about. Jot this down. Is it something you can convert to being unique? Is it something that will attract clients? Explore possibilities.
What kind of client would it attract? Who are they? Where do they live? What is their age? Male or female? This is your dream client. Maybe you already have one. Describe them in as much detail as you can.
How do they find out about you? Do they read the paper? Facebook? Instagram? Google searches? Are they locals? Visitors? This gives you marketing clues.
Having trouble figuring it out? Email me. Coaching is what I do. email@example.com.
Offer Value Instead of Discounts
With all the specials and sales out there sometimes our gut reaction to stay competitive is to discount services. This isn't always the best thing for your business.
Whether you are a sole practitioner or clinic owner, labor is your most expensive cost. Discounting services can painfully cut into your take home pay. Your net profit on your business. But there is another way to attract and keep clients. Instead of discounting offer enhanced value.
For waxing services make it a treatment, an experience rather than just a wax. Take that extra two or three minutes to prep the skin and to soothe and restore following the wax. Clients will appreciate the extra TLC and they way their skin feels when they leave.
With facial treatments you could include the declotte as a bonus, or offer a hand/arm treatment while the client is masking. Microdermabrasions treatments might include an enzyme therapy for a double exfoliation or a specialty finishing mask.
You might consider purchasing travel sizes of your favorite body lotion. Apply some of the lotion for the hand/arm treatment and send the rest home with a client. An added bonus, a value and she/he may love the lotion and purchase the retail size for home care.
The holidays are a great time to offer gift certificates for specific value added treatments. If you have an iPad or laptop available, create a short video that showcases your special for guests to watch while they wait.
Value bonuses not discounts may be your path to holiday marketing.
What's in the Future of Spa
Spas of tomorrow and into the future will be focusing on experiences rather than services. Why? It’s change driven by technology, shifting viewpoints and needs of our clients.
More and more we will be using cutting edge technologies. IPads and smart phones are replacing cash registers today. Tomorrow they will be replacing front desks. Barriers between you and your client will disappear. You can see it at hotels, restaurants and some boutiques.
No desk, no office, no desktop credit card machine. Just an iPad or smart phone with a swipe attachment. Receipts sent via email or text. We see it happening around us in many types of business.
Appointments are moving off columned paper and onto the computer. Clients can schedule appointments from their smart phone or laptop, online. It’s frustrating for people to play phone tag with a busy salon receptionist. Instead, they can log in and book online or submit an appointment request.
ISPA recently shared survey results on the mindset, habits and desires of millennials (1980-1997). Millennials are the up-and-coming group that will take over dominating the economic market as the baby boomers age.
When it comes to appointment scheduling, 40% still prefer to use the phone. But 39% are now scheduling electronically. Only 17% make their appointments in person.
The two key things that attract millennials to your spa are stress reduction and indulgence. The two things that discourage them are finding the time and the expense. And 21% were not familiar with the spa environment and/or spa etiquette.
Millennials love technology. We can use it to educate them in a fun interactive way about what it’s like in the spa. Spa websites and touch screen panels are great for this.
Touch screen windows allow clients to interact 24/7. Even when you are closed, they can shop or schedule an appointment. It’s a perfect opportunity to educate those millennials in an entertaining way.
Interactive windows engage the client. Imagine. It’s after hours. A group of friends who have been out to dinner, head back to their car and walk past your spa. The interactive window beckons them. They like the look of your place. “Let’s have a spa day!” They step up and touch the integrated screen. Choices appear. They pick services, day and time. They tap the screen with their credit card. Done. You have prepaid appointments scheduled even though your spa is closed.
Touch screen monitors inside the store offer virtual experiences. Guests can try before they buy. Some of you may remember in the early 1990's when computers with external cameras and special software allowed a stylist to take an image of the client. The image displayed on the screen. The stylist could then show the client what she would look like in different hairstyles and colors.
The new touch screens leap this forward. They capture your image and allow you to try on different garments, makeup, hairstyles or colors with no risk and no use of a changing room. It is part of the new virtual reality. It's a combination of entertainment, experiences and education.
It engages the client. Millennials love interaction on their terms. Instead of browsing magazines, they can be dreaming of how great they would look “if”.
Waiting guests could wander in your reception and retail area and view interactive tablets explaining your fabulous treatments and products.
To enhance the entertainment experience, more spas are adding beverage bars. Wine bars, brew bars, coffee bars, juice bars. Refreshments create a relaxed environment. They invite you to stay, hang out. Whether it's beverages or additional refreshments, the goal is the same. Create an awesome client experience.
Every few decades attitudes and viewpoints shift. We are in the midst of a transition. The client doesn’t want just a service salon. They want an experience location. They aren’t a customer; they are an individually valued guest. They aren’t looking for a service provider. They want a specialist to help fulfill their dreams. Even at the front desk, it won’t be an appointment scheduler or check out staff. It will be a retail consulting specialist.
The focus will be on the guest. Instead of a menu of generic services, spas will provide personalized guest experiences. This creates a stronger emotional bond. Emotion not logic brings guests in. It also keeps them coming back. Clients visit to improve self image, feel better about themselves.
The new buzz word is beauty from the inside out. Nutritional supplements will take their place on the shelves alongside quality result oriented skin care regimes. Wellness techniques enhance how people feel and look will be part of the experience. The trendy topic of mindfulness will continue to grow in the spa as an aid to wellness and reducing stress.
The most popular treatments are not shifting much. Massage is still the number one request with manicures and pedicures close behind. Facials come in third in requests.
In their recent survey, iSpa discovered that millennials are changing in how they view spa services. Of the males who had been to a spa in the past year, 52% had a manicure or pedicure. Facials have also shifted. Well over half of the male respondents state they had had a facial at a spa.
The survey also explored guest’s wishes. What would most enhance their spa experience? A comfortable waiting area and showering facilities topped the list. People need a place to fix themselves up after a treatment before they go out into the public.
For many women, leaving looking like a mess makes them self-conscious and uncomfortable. That isn’t a good recipe for their return. It’s an opportunity for cross selling. If you offer hair services in your spa, ask the guest if they would like a shampoo/style after their massage or facial.
Millennials don't want cookie cutter services. They want something specialized for them.
While Millennials agree they need technology time-outs, they will love it if there is complimentary Wi-Fi in the reception area.
When the spa experience is caring, welcoming, enhancing to body, mind and spirit, guests leave feeling better about themselves. They won’t forget how we made them feel. That positive emotional bond will bring them back again.
How's Your Brand Doing?
The good news? The future is now. We can build spa experiences today.
Every business has a brand good, bad or mediocre. Your brand is how people identify you. Brand is defined as the “name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies a seller’s goods or services as distinct from others,” according to the American Marketing Association. Your brand identity represents how people see you. It includes every aspect of your physical set-up. Location, look, colors, textures, style, sign, font, every detail. How people see you also includes your values, purpose, strengths and passions. It’s how you communicate those values with others. Think of Coca-Cola. Even with your eyes closed, you can see the logo, colors, unique shape of the bottle. But you see a lot more. You see people, young people having a lot of fun. Coca-Cola is all about fun, socializing and sharing. Brands include the emotions your customers feel when they interact with your business. Sophisticated and professional. Warm and fuzzy. Uplifting and fun. Think of it as how a customer might describe your business to a friend. Corporate branding specialist, Jean-Noel Kapferer created a helpful branding model. Called the “Brand Identity Prism”, it illustrates six aspects of brand identity. The physical aspect, what we see as we approach and enter. It also includes logo, design packaging, online space and community. The brand’s character. How it communicates to outsiders. Choice of wording, design style, color scheme all are part of this. This is the value system and principles your business bases its behavior on. Business structure and organization are closely tied to its culture. Refers to the relationship between people that a brand (business) might symbolize. Sisters’ Salon is one example. Super Cuts is a less directly stated relationship. Sports Cuts represents fun, casual friendly relationships. This refers to the image of the consumer. If you were to stereotype your ideal customer, create an avatar for them, what would they look like? You will have many buyer types. But there is an ideal client. He/she is your top consumer. Your target group will be broader. Your reflection should focus on this ideal client.
Your ideal client holds this image of him /her self. You market to this self image. Use it to guide your advertising, social media, brochure appearance and content. The better you know this client, the higher your return on marketing investment will be. Think again of Sport Cuts. They don’t just market to men; they market to how those men see themselves. Where does your business sit in the market? To define your brand, you need to get a clear picture of the purpose and place of your business. The SWOT analysis can help. To do a SWOT analysis, involve everyone in your company. Also, include your best customers. For best results, also ask some worst customers. SWOT analysis is done in the form of a survey. The survey asks questions about each aspect of SWOT. You can create it yourself, or have it done by an outside firm that specializes in this. Here is what each letter stands for: · Strengths – What about you gives you an advantage over your competitors? · Weaknesses - What about competitors puts your team at a disadvantage? · Opportunities: What elements could your business exploit to its advantage? · Threats: What elements could cause trouble for your business? Start by creating a list of simple questions. What services does our business do that others don’t? What do we do better than our competition? Cover offerings, appearance, cleanliness, hours, staff friendliness or team spirit. Professionalism, products, Facebook page, website. Make it short answers to increase participation. Reward those who take the time to help. Once you have the answers, your team should be able to review them and look at your position. There may be opportunities for enhancement. Understanding of your SWOT, will help you define your brand. Creating a business identity is a five-step process. It will define what your business brand stands for. Goals, personality, emotions you want your guests to experience when in contact with you. It also is a clear positioning statement. This describes what you want your company to become. One simple sentence. Not how, just what is your long-term dream of what it will be. Keep in mind: · Most important services · What will you never offer? · What is unique about doing business with you? · How would your customers describe your business to a friend? · Where will you be in 5 years? This defines your company purpose. Keep it simple, straightforward, easy to grasp. It should be motivational to staff and guests. Think about: · What market needs do you exist to address? · What do you do to address these needs? · What guiding principles define your approach? · What make customers choose you?
This refers to those emotions you want your guest to feel when they interact with you. Your essence is your company’s heat, soul and spirit. Make it ONE word. Consider: · What emotions does an encounter with your business elicit? · If your brand was a person, describe its personality (safe, magical, exotic, etc.) A business’ personality describes how the brand speaks, behaves, thinks, acts, and reacts. Apply human characteristics to your business and describe it. What personality do you want to put forth? · Serious and all business This positions your brand. It is one or two sentences. Your USP clearly states your unique value and how it benefits customers. It must define audience, market segment and a clear benefit that sets you apart. It also needs to instill confidence that it will deliver on its promise. Consider these: · Target market, demographic and the avatar persona who you are speaking to · The market segment you serve · What is your brand promise – both rational and emotional · What makes your business unique from all the other salons/clinics in your area? · Why should your customers care about your unique value position? It takes a time and effort to accomplish this. But it pays back in big dividends. Need inspiration – look at Disney. They have done branding to the nth. Every single member of their team is trained to a solid understanding of what their brand is. That’s what makes them the Magic Kingdom and unique from every other theme park in the world. Is it time for you to up your game? It will make every marketing effort you do more successful. Your physical business, website, Facebook, Google and all the others match. Customers will get the identical message on all fronts. They will know better who you are and why they should chose YOU. Judith Culp Creative Copy offers consulting and copywriting services to help you brand and market your business. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone 541-255-2379.
Waxing Wellness Treatment
Convert Waxing to a Happy Wellness Treatment
Embrace it! Wellness has come to the salon, spa, clinic. Tweaking your treatments into client wellness experiences allows you to tap into this fastest growing segment of the spa industry.
How? Simply add things that enhance the client's well-being. Help them leave feeling better about themselves as well as delighted with the experience.
Cirepil has worked hard to help you make waxing a happier experience. Their goal, to remove the hair, and leave behind "Healthy Skin!"
Cirépil wax encapsulates the hair, removing it from the root while leaving the skin undamaged. An exclusive application method makes client's waxing experience a "Happy" One!
- Less Painful: Cirépil adheres to the hair rather than the skin. Comfort increased by 50%!
- Never Sticky: Client's walk out the door with no "sticky" feeling skin!
- Less Redness: Soothing ingredients in the wax and calming agents in the post care.
- Less Ingrown Hairs: Cirépil waxes remove all hair from its root; this avoids ingrown hairs associated with other traditional methods.
- No Discomfort due to Low Heat: Client's will love the low temperature wax especially designed for sensitive skin.
- Long Lasting: Results can last up to 4 - 6 weeks with regular waxing! No breakage.
WAXING WITH CIREPIL IS NOT JUST HAIR REMOVAL;
IT'S A COMPLETE WELLNESS TREATMENT!
Client's will love how smooth and soft their skin feels after your service!
Happy Waxing techniques: These steps provide a great client experience using an exclusive pre and post-wax service:
Crafting Client Messages
To improve waxing results and reduce chances for ingrown hair, have the client gently exfoliate 3 days prior to, and after, their waxing service. Cirepil Double Gommage Body Scrub is perfect for this. Recommend the client continue to exfoliate up to 3 times a week. This removes dead skin cells and keeps their skin healthy and soft in-between waxing.
- CLEANSE AND PREPARE THE SKIN Prepare and cleanse your client's skin with Cirepil Antiseptic Blue Lotion. This low-alcohol cleanser is especially recommended for delicate areas and sensitive skin. Next, apply a few drops of Jasmine based Cirepil Pre Depilatory Oil to the skin to ensure the wax adheres only to the hair and not the skin. Blot to remove any excess.
- TIME FOR "HAPPY WAXING™" . . .
Have the client close their eyes and relax.Cirépil makes painful waxing outdated. The different varieties and textures of Cirepil waxes offer a targeted solution for each client's need. You select the right wax ensuring perfect results every time.
- PAMPERING AND MOISTURIZING MOMENT Following waxing, refresh the client's skin with an application of Cirepil After Wax Refreshing Gel. It will calm the skin and assure there is no "sticky" left behind. Your client will walk out the door with smooth skin and feeling better about themselves!
Successful marketing requires every message ties together like the bow on a gift. When the messages don’t match, potential clients click their mouse button. Mixed messages mean less impact. Lost opportunities for new clients, and lost revenues. What do mixed messages look like? Let’s create an example. Spa1 wants to be known as a high-end, deluxe pampering spa. It’s located in a building off a main street that looks like an industrial district. The parking area might make you wonder about venturing there. Leather and chrome dominate the interior. The logo has a Grecian theme. The staff are independent contractors. There is no theme or uniform. Brochures, business cards, specials all send different messages. There are no two parts of this that tie together to send a clear message to the client. The chances of this business succeeding are very slim if they don’t give themselves a major makeover. The makeover must start with a redefining of the target market they want to reach and the demographics of the area where they need to locate. From here, we design a tag line for the business that succinctly states our objective to our potential clients. The business should be easy to locate and easily recognizable by the clients as “us”. If you are a brick and mortar, its location, location, location. Make sure location matches your message. Ditto with interior. Make sure every aspect of the facility repeats theme and culture. Are you casual or upscale, trendy or traditional? Business cards, brochures, amenities, website, logo, and every aspect of advertising must all reflect the mission statement message. Select message components that will be easily duplicated/replicated for the different types of marketing that we plan to include. McDonalds does this in spades as do most other national food chains. We can learn from them and use the same techniques adjusting them for our type of business. Whatever your business type, the same guides apply. Consistent messages reinforce the message to the clients so we can grow our business.
Helping Clients Dealing with Cancer
Clients dealing with cancer tend to have sensitive skins. How their skin responds to treatment can change at any time. We have to treat what we see and evaluate what the client tells us about how their skin is feeling and acting.
Use products designed for sensitive skins. They should be color free and fragrance free. If the client has oily skin, they should be water based and oil free. More frequently the skin will be dry and dehydrated.
Dehydration can occur on any skin. It happens when the skin's natural protective barrier is compromised. Dehydration needs something to hydrate the skin, (serums, hyaluronic acid.) After placing a hydrator on gently cleansed skin, have the client apply protection to retain the moisture.
If the client is concerned that their skin is looking tired and aging the use of peptides in home care can be very helpful. Antioxidants like reversatrol (grape seed extract), Meeker raspberry extract, or macadamia oil are beneficial and protect the skin. Look within your product lines for things that will gently coax the skin to looking better.
Chemotherapy drugs make the skin much more sun sensitive. Good SPF protection is mandatory.
In the treatment room choose services that deal with what you see happening on the client's skin. If you see redness treat that inflammation first. Once the client's skin calms down, then next treat for dehydration. When you have the skin calm and hydrated then you can deal with pore clearing and the symptoms of aging.
For clients undergoing radiation treatments, avoid areas of a burn, irritation or broken skin. If the skin is just slightly pink, use calming, soothing, healing products.
Exfoliation should also be gentle. Starting with a gentle enzyme is the best way to see how the skin responds to treatment. Other safer alternatives are Ultrasonic exfoliation or a hydro-derm. Avoid abrasive exfoliation until you know how the client's skin reacts.
Clients with previous breast cancer and lymph nodes removed, should not have underarm waxing. There is a risk of lymphodema, permanent swelling of the arm. This can happen at any time, even years later.
Stretching to Wellness
Human Microbiome, What's it all About?
Recently I have seen the term microbiome pop up in blogs, articles and discussions. Slightly skeptical after 35 years, I wanted to know what it was all about and what its real importance is to us in the spa and permanent cosmetic industries.
Time for research – my favorite pastime…
Definition: microbiome is defined as “the microorganisms in a particular environment (including the body or a part of the body).”
We knew that the human body was covered in microorganisms but that the stratum corneum did a great job of keeping them on the outside. We also knew that our gut had to have microorganisms to digest food. Now we have a new name for these groups of workers – microbiomes.
Internally, if the microbiome group is out of balance we have digestive disorders or even disease. Each of us has 10 – 100 TRILLION microbiotic cells in our bodies. These are found in the greatest numbers in our gut and allow for the proper digestion and absorption of nutrients. When the microbiome is out of balance disease, obesity, personality disorders and many other problems occur. When microbiomes are in balance we “live long and prosper.”
With new technology, microbiome studies have blossomed all over the world. Study of the human microbiome date back to the late 1600s but the human geome project completion, and expanded abilities of computers, has launched us into far greater understanding. It has also created even more questions.
Of greatest interest to those who have direct physical contact with clients is understanding the microbiome of human skin. The surface of the skin has 100 trillion microorganisms living on it. That is 10 times the number of skin cells. Hand hygiene is of crucial importance to reducing transfer of microbiome from one person to another.
In our industry practicing good hand hygiene and regular hand washing are the best defense to prevent contracting or sharing of disease. Routine use of gloves when there is the risk of exposure or transfer of OPIM (other potentially infectious materials), is the best practice. If we need to touch something and there is a risk our gloves may be contaminated – change gloves! Wash hands before work, between clients, before eating, after using the restroom and before going home.
Tips for Preventing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)
Scientists are just learning about the hand microbiome and its relationship to health outcomes. Better control and studies will expand our knowledge. In the meantime, keep practicing good hand hygiene.
Carpal tunnel triggered by repetitive movements of the hand and wrist. It can just affect fingers and wrist or can extend up the arm and involve the elbow and shoulder. It used to occur in mature individuals as the result of long term wear and tear. Now it is becoming quite common among people in their 30s or 40s or even younger! Why? Texting, gaming, typing.
All experts agree prevention is the best treatment. CTS can cause pain, tingling, electrical sparking and achy wrists, elbows or shoulders. It can also cause you to miss work - ie. hurt and loose money.
If you are a business owner, staff policies that address CTS can reduce absenteeism. Its no fun for anyone, employee, employer or the person in business for themselves. CTS can also affect hobbies like knitting, crocheting, canning and food preparation.
Someone told me that theirs wasn't that bad and they just ignore it. The longer it goes untreated the higher the risk of permanent nerve damage. Never a good thing.
There are several things you can do to prevent CTS. If you do work that involves repetitive motion, take frequent breaks. Shake your hands, flex them, stretch the fingers - give them a break. If you need to keep working alternate activities to give your hands a break. Keep your wrist in a neutral position. Try to avoid a bent wrist position for long periods. A neutral - straight wrist position is much easier on your wrist. What does that mean? A bent wrist has the thumb pointing upwards, like you were going to cast a fishing line. A straight wrist has the thumb pointing straight ahead - like the line had already been cast. The direction the thumb is pointing is key to whether it is neutral or bent.
Grip is another key. Tight gripping is stressful to the wrist. Gripping, grasping or lifting with the thumb and index finger put stress on your wrist. When you can, grip with your whole hand and all your fingers to grasp. Driving? Pay attention to your wrist angles. If you have a long drive ahead, try to change the angle with which you hold the steering wheel often. When it is safe stretch, flex and shake one hand at a time to rest it.
Repetitions, are a trigger. Even simple tasks done over and over can cause CTS. Try to reduce repetitive movements. Avoid holding objects in exactly the same way extended periods of time. Have a big project ahead like peeling lots of potatoes or canning lots of vegetables - share the fun. Get help to reduce the repetition and it will be more fun.
Think about the force and speed of your movements. Faster more forceful movements are more irritating to muscles and nerves. When possible - use a power tool! Take the manual stress off and let the tool do the job.
Conditioning exercises strengthen your muscles and stretching will relax cramped ones. Shaking, flexing and stretching can all be beneficial.
Wearing hand braces at night can keep you from curling your wrists into kinked bent positions. This reduced my symptoms by 80%. Note: avoid wearing a wrist brace all the time. This can actually weaken your wrist. Take other measures to correct the problem.
Find a provider of Active Release Technique (ART) in your area. Mild to severe CTS responds fast to ART therapy. Quick with NO DOWNTIME. Success has made ART the most requested soft tissue therapy. It stops the damage and allows nerves to heal and regenerate. Either visit the ART website, www.activerelease.com, or Google ART providers in your city. They are available wherever you live.
Happy Healthy Holidays to You and Your Wrists!!!!
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome- A Workplace Hazard
Sore wrists? Tingly fingers? Little electrical sparks in wrists, arms, fingers?
Any or all of these and you may be developing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS). A buildup of pressure in the wrist, it can also extend to the elbow or even the shoulder. Carpal Tunnel used to be a problem typically found in the elderly, worn out wrists. Today it is showing up in Generation X, the Milennials and more. Why? Repetitive motion of the wrist or hand. Texting, gaming, twisting of the wrist can all contribute.
Its not uncommon for the first symptoms to be a tingly sensation in the fingers. Maybe it wakes you up at night. Maybe you notice it when using your gaming control. Maybe when driving long distances or gripping something firmly. Massaging or shaking your fingers may help, temporarily.
Ignore the symptoms and it will get worse. You will feel more pain, tingling, numbness, sparking. You might start dropping things. The good news - there are treatments and preventative measures. The sooner you take action, the less risk of permanent nerve damage or disability. Early diagnosis is key.
Often the first treatment will be wrist braces that you can wear at night. When we sleep we curl our hands and wrists into odd angles as we snuggle into our favorite fetal curl. While everyone is different, I found the braces eliminated over 80% of the symptoms.
Did you know that if you have these symptoms and they are potentially work related in Colorado you will be referred to see someone who practices Active Release Tecniques (ART) before you see a doctor. Typically ART is performed by a specially trained provider, often a Chiropractor. ART is so unique it has been granted a medical patent.
Who likes surgery? If you are like me, you don't. If I can find a good way around it I will. On the suggestion of a great friend, I decided to try ART before undergoing the surgery route. No down time! Its like other chiropractic treatments. Quick and back on the road. My first time following the ART they hooked me to an EMS machine to stimulate nerve repair. It was odd but certainly not painful.
Your wrists may be a little tender where the doctor broke up the build-up of crunchy bits. This goes away in a day or so and they will generally follow up with you a few days later. Based on how your symptoms are they will repeat the ART. Everyone is different but its common for 3-4 visits over about 3 weeks. For most people they are back on the road. You may need a follow up treatment every few months.
Surgery is always there as an option. It comes with a much higher price tag, downtime and rehab time. If you are prone to keloid scarring, this can affect your outcome.
Next time - tips for preventing CTS.
Why do Estheticians Need to Wear Gloves?
My recent post on wearing gloves got positive support from many, thank you. I did find it sad that one spa said they got a negative review for their technicians wearing gloves. This shows the need for consumer education. Maybe a little flyer or insert on your web page that explains how you are protecting clients by wearing gloves. Feel free to use the following to promote client safety and help consumers understand why more and more estheticians are wearing gloves during services.
Gloves are often used in esthetic services to protect the client, and the technician from transmission of potentially infectious microbes (OPIM). These tiny organisms cannot be seen by the human eye, or even with the magnifying glasses commonly found in a treatment room. If you have ever had a manicure and noticed an irritated cuticle the next day, or had a waxing done and then experienced tiny red papules in the area, this is likely caused by those microbes.
Today's technicians are taught to practice infection control and the prevention of cross contamination. During a wax procedure this would include wearing gloves, disinfecting the area, remove the hair and then disinfect the skin again. Each step is an important link it preventing irritation or infection.
Any time your esthetician performs an exfoliation treatment; microdermabrasion, scrubs, galvanic, chemical peels, or ultrasonic, it can allow tiny portals in the skin to let bacteria in or out. The same is true for extraction. To protect both the client and the technician, gloves may be worn for the duration of the treatment. It is that extra step to protect you that is important to us, your professional estheticians. Even if there is no visible openings in the skin, we do not want to risk transmitting a microbe from ourselves or any other object in the treatment room onto a "potentially" open surface.
Some states now require all technicians to wear gloves for all treatments. They are taking a pro-active stance to prevent any possible problem. The good news? Today's gloves are thin, protective and have great tactile feel. You probably won't even know your esthetician is wearing them.
Most estheticians no longer use latex gloves, but if you have a latex allergy please do bring it to their attention. Today's gloves are generally vinyl or nytrile. They should be exam glove quality. In the future you can expect to see more nytrile gloves in use as they are much more environmentally friendly, even though the cost of use is still more than vinyl.
Gloves - To Wear or Not to Wear
I find it amazing on the different chat rooms and boards that there are still estheticians out there who are not wearing gloves for all procedures where there may be a risk of exposure to OPIM (other potentially infectious materials). Microorganisms are too small to be seen with the naked eye, or even a traditional magnifier. Portals of exit or entry are how microbes get out of one person's skin and into another's. They too are so small they cannot be seen. They can occur from a recent manicure, injury, exfoliation, extraction or waxing. When microbe transfer occurs there is a potential for infection or the transfer of disease.
Some technicians complain they can't feel the skin when they wear gloves. Surgeons probably said the same thing when glove wearing was introduced. Now medical staff won't touch you without having a glove on. Its a learned skill and it is important to protect both the client and technician. It is not an option.
Did you know that if your state doesn't specifically call out glove wearing they may have it buried in a statement like it is the responsibility of the technician to do what is necessary to protect the client. Per federal CDC guidelines, if the state does not call out glove wearing guidelines, the CDC guidelines must be followed. Bottom line - wear gloves. Protect yourself and your clients.
If you want great tactile feel, choose nitrile over vinyl. It has a better feel and is far more environmentally friendly. Did you know there is only one country in the world that will allow the manufacture of vinyl within their borders... China. Every bit of vinyl made is made in China and their air quality is suffering from it.
Yes, nitrile is still more expensive than vinyl, but the price is coming down. The more people using nitrile, the more its price will drop. And, its available in fun colors like pink or purple.
Although I have been attending skin care trade shows for the past 3 decades, every time I go, I come home with new information, new insights and sometimes a great new product. This year my biggest "ah-ha" was macadamia nut oil - direct information from the farmers. Macadamia nut oil is the closest in composition to human sebum. This means it is easily absorbed into the skin and its components become bio-available to the skin. The first thing I noticed when they "demoed" it on my hand and arm was that afterwards there was no greasy feeling that I would have expected from a product with significant oil content. The skin felt super soft and had almost a glow to it. While it wasn't greasy or sticky, it felt well, moist. I walked around and tested other products but nothing came even close to the feeling I had gotten from this lotion. I went back and purchased some to test it out. Hours later, I noticed my skin still had that nice, soft, moist feeling. Pretty amazing. So following their suggestion for improving the skin, I applied it before bed. In the morning, my skin was still moist. Nice surprise. I continued to use it twice daily. In about 3 days, I noticed my tear drop psoriasis was fading away and my normally quite dry legs were staying soft and smooth feeling all day long. Time for some internet research.
Almost 90% of macadamia oil is made up of 3 fatty acids; oleic acid, palmitoleic acid, and palmitic acid. Oleic acid is a monounsaturated, omega-9 fatty acid that moisturizes the skin and acts as an anti-inflammatory. It helps skin cells regenerate quickly, keeping skin smooth and supple. Palmitoleic acid is a monounsaturated, omega-7 fatty acid that helps to prevent burns, wounds and skin scratches. It is the most active anti-microbial in human sebum and is surpassed only by palmitic acid as the main fatty acid in sebum. Palmitic acid is a saturated fatty acid that helps maintain the skin’s healthy barrier function, by forming an occlusive layer on the surface.
Skin's sebum consists of a number of complex lipids, such as, triglycerides, wax esters, and squalene. As we age, the production of sebum changes in both quantity and in composition. In early adolescence, our sebum production increases until we are in our 20’s and 30’s, where it begins to decline. The amount produced varies between males and females, with females experiencing a more noticeable decline around the age of 40. (No wonder we get dry skin when we go through menopause. The composition of our sebum also changes with age. The two main fatty acids of human skin sebum are palmitic acid (22.5%) and palmitoleic acid (21.8%). The level of palmitic acid in sebum remains fairly constant throughout our lives. However, the production of palmitoleic acid starts to decline once we are in our 20’s. My research indicated it is not comedogenic.
While all the scientific information seems good, it gets even better when you talk to people who have been using it a while. It is particularly helpful to maturing skin. Its composition lets it soak in more deeply than other oils so the skin becomes better hydrated and skin seems to "recognize" the components and make use of them. As a skin care professional I use a lot of wonderful serums and products on my face, but I have never found a body product I could stick with - until now. I have only been using it less than 3 weeks, but my skin is softer, smoother, firmer with no hint of the former dry flakiness. Feel free to do your own test. Buy a bottle and try it twice a day for at least a month (how long it takes for the skin to completely turn over) and send me a message with your results. You can find it on our website at http://www.estheticsnw.com/jindilli-delight-in-your-skin/ or pick up a bottle the next time you visit me at the clinic.
Permanent Eyeliner Styles and Tips
Permanent eyeliner is the process of implanting pigment into the skin. It is a form of tattooing. While it is permanent, it does require the color be refreshed periodically. Frequency of re-enhancements depends on the technician’s skill with their device, but also it depends a lot on the client. Certain medications and/or medical conditions seem to cause more color loss or quicker fade. The more medications the client is taking the odds are the color won’t hold quiet as long before needing refreshed. I typically see my clients every 2-5 years. The eye is a sensitive area but because of the thinness of the skin, the area responds very well to
During an initial consultation always wear your eyeliner so your technician can see what your style and goals are. Very wide eyeliner, tails and wings are a bad idea with cosmetic tattooing because the tattoo does not age well. And what looks good on us in our 30’s or 40’s may not look so good in our 60’s, 70’s or 80’s. Why? Because when we apply cosmetics topically we automatically make adjustments as our face changes with time. The tattoo in the skin can’t do this. So we need to take a more classical approach and add the fashion look with cosmetics when it is appropriate.
People who are sporty naturals and don’t want a “made up” look, love lash enhancement. With lash enhancement tiny dots of pigment are placed in between the lashes. The healed result is the appearance of thicker lashes. This works well for both women and men. I have found it works best for clients who have darker lashes. For those with blond lashes, the dots don’t blend in as well. For those with blond eyelashes, go for a very thin line. Anyone can wear a thin natural look eyeliner.
A classical eyeliner starts with a natural eyeliner but then widens it out a bit. For safety reasons, eyeliner should not go closer to the tear duct than the last eyelash, nor should it extend beyond the last eyelash at the outer corner. The structure of the skin changes at that point and there is a high risk of migration which is not correctable. If you want it to extend farther or you like to have the outer corner upper connect to the outer corner lower, this is better done with makeup. Classical eyeliner can be applied either narrower on the inner corner and wider as it moves to the outer corner or in a dome where the widest part is directly over the iris.
If you like a slightly more smudgy look, this can be achieved with a halo color. A halo color is an additional line placed just above the upper eyeliner. It is designed to disperse more and give a soft halo to the eyeliner. Halo colors are lighter and softer than the black or off-black eyeliner colors. Most pigment manufacturers have moved away from the dated green, violet and navy eyeliners, opting instead to recommend dark brown, brown black or black. While I used to do dark brown or brown black, I now avoid this whenever possible. Browns are a much weaker color and fade faster. Black goes into the skin better and stays much longer. For clients that feel black is too harsh for them, a deep moss or charcoal color is a good alternative.
Many ophthalmologists recommend permanent eyeliner for their clients who have a lot of allergies or sensitive eyes. Its also great for people who have lost their close up vision or struggle with dexterity. Permanent makeup does not smear, smudge, or bother your contact lenses. It stays on right through whatever your busy lifestyle may encounter. To
help it last the longest, wear dark glasses when you are exposed to UV light.
Rosacea is a chronic skin condition that if not controlled can worsen over time. It used to be thought to be a form of acne, but research has shown that it is more vascular in nature. While it can occur on any skin it tends to be more prevalent on lighter skin tones. It is more common in women than in men, but it can be more aggressive in male sufferers. In the United States it affects more than 16 million people but some are never diagnosed or know what is behind their ruddy cheeks.
Rosacea can manifest at any age, but it is more common to show up in the 30's to 40's. Symptoms include redness on the cheeks, nose, chin or forehead, small blood vessels on the face, watery eyes and sometimes acne like breakouts. Typically breakouts look like tiny bumps or pimples. In more severe cases nodules or cysts can form which must be treated by a medical professional.
For each person different things can trigger the face to become more red and or a breakout to occur or "flare". It is important to become aware of what your individual triggers are. Keeping a diary is handy. If you have a flare think back to what you have been doing and eating in the last 24 hours. For most people sun will cause a flare. Always wear sun protection when going outdoors and don't let the fact you are using an SPF lure you into staying too long. Some sufferers find sun protection products can trigger a flare. If you have this problem, look for "physical" blocks. These typically have zinc oxide and or titanium dioxide in them. They seem to be much less problematic for those with rosacea. Other common triggers can be caffeine, wine, spicy foods, or heat, especially humid.
Look for skin care products designed for sensitive skin as these will be free of triggers like fragrance. Rosacea skin is sensitive skin. Gentle cleansers not harsh soaps are the best choice. In moisturizers go for something light weight. Look for products with calming, soothing ingredients like chamomile, allantoin, arnica Montana, panthenol, sea whip, reversatrol and many others. The guidance of a well trained skin care professional can be quite helpful. Avoid rough or abrasive scrubs, harsh masks, extreme heat, or stimulating facial treatments. Think calming and soothing.
As a skin care professional for over 30 years, I have found gentle enzyme treatments, ultrasonic treatments, LED therapy all work very well for my rosacea clients. Avoid most chemical peels unless they are specifically designed for your skin type and microdermabrasion treatments are not your best choice. Properly selected products and treatments can keep your skin in balance and the redness controlled or eliminated. Some of my clients have reported even a doctor did not realize they had rosacea.
Only a doctor can diagnose rosacea. Because it can worsen over time, it is best to get it diagnosed so that if appropriate a topical or oral prescription therapy can be implemented. This in conjunction with learning your triggers, selecting gentle sensitive skin products, using SPF and finding a good esthetician to help you in the ongoing battle and your skin can look its best leaving you less concerns and more able to enjoy life.
Give your summer bling!
As a professional esthetician and a cosmetic tattoo technician I believe in the power of image so always try to look nice for my clients. But since I grew my hair out, I have run into the issue of hair control. How to look styling, professional and keep it out of my way. After much trial and error I stumbled onto the world of headbands. But many headbands are uncomfortable, pinch, bind, or slip out of position - or damage hair growth. Through part research and part luck I stumbled on a fabulous answer. I found a company that comes from the beauty industry and understood hair control problems and the issues of staying looking current while being comfortable. After wearing one I became a devotee of Pink Pewter. They are so comfortable and sooooo cute.
Their styles are diverse from narrow beaded multi-color bands to intriguing bling in a diversity of materials, patterns, widths and styles. I knew quickly I needed to share them with you my clients and my colleagues in the beauty and permanent cosmetic industry.
Quantities are limited but more styles and colors will come as we learn what you are looking for. Casual, fashion and yes, wedding styles are available. Some are convertible and can be worn as a headband, pony tail ring or bracelet. (Talk about multi-tasking!) If there is something special you are looking for let me know.
And what makes it even sweeter? Pink Pewter has a fabulous Care and Repair Program to fix any item that becomes damaged. Visit the Pink Pewter category page for more information about the company. Visit the item pages for information on their products and how to wear them multiple ways.
LET THE FUN BEGIN!!!!
With the huge demand for ways to stave off the signs of age medical technology is working overtime. First there were facelifts - but a rhytidectomy (face lift) has significant down time, risk of infection, scarring and is very expensive. A facelift is normally the lower 2/3 of the face and if you add a forehead lift and or blepharoplasty (eye lift) the price will go up. Typically it runs $20,000 - $50,000. So options were explored for ways to get a more youthful appearance without the full surgery. CO2 resurfacing can smooth the skin and get rid of brown spots, but it doesn't remove excess skin or give you that "tuck".
The next evolution uses radio frequency most commonly sold under the trade name Thermage. It markets that it can tighten and smooth the skin non-surgically. While it can lift and tighten it won't remove excess skin like surgery can. Thermage describes its Ideal Patent as:
- Patients who are not candidates for surgical face lift
- Middle-aged women beginning to show signs of neck/brow/eyelid sagging
- Middle-aged women beginning to show signs of drooping jowls/cheek folds
- Patients who want to achieve subtle lift or tightening of the face without invasive surgery
- Patients who have had a prior face lift and desire further tightening of the skin.
Cost runs from $1000 - $5000 depending on the area to be treated. The skin will look improved immediately but results will continue to improve for several months. By the results from their own studies, about 50% of the clients report being happy to very happy with the results. There is generally no down time or skin discoloration. They state that typically results last about 2 years. The results are permanent but that the natural aging process could indicate the need for one or two maintenance treatments. While this has been a popular service, the discomfort and success rates triggered more research.
Another new technique is using ultrasonic sound waves to transfer heat into the skin in a manner similar to radio frequency. The surface of the skin is not damaged but tiny micro-wounds place at varying depths in the dermis and below trigger tightening and collagen production. Patients have reported that afterwards it feels like the muscles have been doing ab crunches. While there may be some visible tightening this is a long term process where the skin appearance continues to improve over 3 - 6 months. Recent studies have shown that new collagen is still being deposited 2 years following a single treatment. That indicates this is a very long lasting therapy. The ideal patient would be similar to that for Thermage. Nothing will remove very lax or excess skin outside of surgery. But if you start younger, before the problem becomes severe, then yes, there are non-surgical ways to lift the face.
Because of post treatment tenderness of the muscles and along bony ridges, patients should wait 4-6 weeks before resuming facial treatments and permanent cosmetic procedures that involve pressure or stretching. A light touch treatment can probably be tolerated well at 2 weeks. If in doubt have the client get an ok from their medical professional.
BHRT Hormones, Health and Longevity
Whether you are in your 20s, 40s or 60s your individual hormone balance plays a hugs part in how you feel physically and emotionally, how you look – quality of the skin, and all the aspects of your life. BHRT refers to bio-identical hormone replacement therapy, something that has been around for over 70 years, but that mainstream western medicine, dominated by male physicians, has ignored. In fact many will tell their clients no hormones – your issues are just part of aging that you have to live with. Each person is different and so are their hormonal needs. Fortunately there are a growing number of physicians and naturopaths who offer women better alternatives.
Did you know that there are many forms of testosterone therapies that are accepted by the medical community for men, and they are all covered by insurance, while for women the options covered by insurance for women are much more restricted? It is important that women become pro-active for their own health and use the internet and other resources to find a specialist who can best meet your needs whether that be to control bothersome symptoms of hot flashes, night sweats, painful intimacy, breakouts, thinning skin or more.
Within the field of BHRT there are many options available including creams, suppositories, vaginal rings and pellets. The doctors that offer these also take a look at the whole person to see what other factors may be affecting hormonal balance including diet, thyroid issues and much, much more. They will always need some sort of a chem-panel to see where your hormones are. In addition to the hormones they may also suggest natural supplements to make sure your body is functioning not just at normal, but at optimal level.
In 1900 most people did not live far beyond menopause. By the time you reached 50 you were old and the life expectancy was under 60. Loss of hormones didn’t matter much. Now in 2015 80 is considered the new 60 and life expectancy is well into the 80s for the bulk of the population. I recently heard through a client whose mother is 100 that doctors are expecting more and more people to reach or live beyond this landmark. With that kind of a change, it is crucial that we work to keep all of our internals operating at optimum so they will last as long as we do.
It is time we wake up and take care of ourselves so that we can have a long, active, healthy progression into maturity.
Can Medications Really Affect My Skin Care or Permanent Cosmetic Procedure
This is a common question clients often ask and the one word answer is Yes, medications can affect even the most simple skin care services. Many medications have effects on the body aside from the reason they are being taken. This is easily demonstrated – just listen to one of the many television commercials for prescription medications. The list of possible side effects is rather staggering. Of course not every person has these side effects but they can happen. Be sure to let your esthetician or permanent makeup artist know about all prescription and non-prescription drugs, supplements, topically applied products, eye drops, etcetera. The more they know about what you use, the better an outcome they can help you achieve. Do NOT stop taking your medications. Depending on the problem there are often workarounds. If your medication is a contraindication to doing the desired service your technician will probably recommend you talk to your doctor. Or they may request you confirm with your physician that having this procedure is safe for you. Your health and safety is our number one concern.
Cholesterol and blood pressure medications while not blood thinners, work to make the blood platelets not stick together. In permanent cosmetics this often means there may be more chance of a blood droplet coming to the surface. The down side is this molecule is bigger than the tattoo pigment molecule and can wash some of them away. This leads to more color loss than would experienced on a client not on these medications.
Clients on thyroid medications often need permanent cosmetic procedures re-enhanced a little more frequently. We have noticed that for whatever reason their color fades a little more quickly.
Blood thinning medications can also cause issues with permanent cosmetic procedures. You may be referred to get clearance from your physician.
Diabetic clients who are insulin dependent often do not heal as well and may be at a heightened risk for infection. They may need clearance from their physician for permanent cosmetic services, waxing or other more aggressive skin care treatments.
Use of retinoids (Vitamin A) or acids like Glycolic, Lactic or blends work to thin the dead skin of the epidermis. This means that a service like waxing, microdermabrasion or other exfoliating therapy increases the risk of skin irritation or even creating a wound. Be sure to discuss use of any of these products, prescription or over the counter with your technician.
Restasis is a new concern as it has been observed that those who use it have increased sensitivity of the eyelid to the point that a permanent cosmetic eyeliner procedure is not well tolerated. Your technician may want you to discontinue use for 30 days before doing the tattoo procedure. Do not restart use of the restasis for at least two weeks after your technician has determined it is completed. (Wait until all follow up work is finalized.)
Patients on chemotherapy drugs have a compromised immune system and may not heal well. All of these drugs need your doctor’s written permission that this procedure is safe for you.
Botox and injectables are extremely popular today. Any skin care or permanent cosmetic procedure is fine before having botox or injectables. If you have had either a neurotoxin or filler injectable wait at least 2 weeks before having a facial massage, other skin care treatment, waxing, or permanent cosmetic. The manipulation of the skin has a small potential for affecting the outcome and lasting of your injection site. For a lip coloration procedure the best timing is before any fillers are injected. This has been clinically observed to produce the best most predictable outcome.
Herbs and supplements can also have an impact on the skin. Some can cause blood thinning or skin thinning. Be sure to provide your technician with a complete list of everything that you take so that we can avoid unexpected complications and make sure you have the safest procedure with the most positive outcome.
Women's Health Issues Can Be Sneakier.....Women need to understand how their bodies work differently than men's to best protect themselves and respond to undiagnosed health issues promptly and appropriately. The first and foremost signal is "change" if you notice a change in your body or how it operates, this can be a clue that something needs to be checked.
As women we are trained from youth to take care of those around us. Unfortunately, this can mean we disregard our own health signals and this can lead to serious consequences. In the past most of the symptoms for serious health risks we those for men. It wasn't noted how women's bodies were different and that their symptoms were often more obscure. Now that this information is coming to light, it is important to educate ourselves, and if you are a service professional, be able to respond appropriately if your client has concerns or you note changes in their health. While we cannot self diagnose, or diagnose medical issues in others, we can learn when to get something checked.
One of the tricky parts is that different medical challenges can often have similar symptoms. This is reinforcement that if we see the symptoms, we need to get them checked. In this blog we are going to cover 4 important conditions that can lead to serious medical issues if not checked and treated: dehydration, anemia, heart attack and sleep apnea.
Dehydration happens when the water levels in the body drop to unsafe levels. When we become dehydrated more water is moving out of our cells and the body than we are taking in. With the water loss comes salt loss. Salt loss can cause the body to become out of balance and severe dehydration can even lead to death. Existing medical health conditions, diseases that cause diarrhea and/or vomiting, no access to water or a severe injury can all lead to dehydration. Symptoms include:Increased thirstDry mouth and swollen tongueWeaknessDizzinessPalpitations (feeling that the heart is jumping or pounding)ConfusionSluggishness faintingFaintingInability to sweatDecreased urine output If you note any of these symptoms is is important to seek medical advice. In the mean time get the person seated and comfortable, try to cool the person down and get moisture in them via water, popsicles, ice chips, sports drinks. If this doesn't help, get medical assistance.
Anemia is caused by a lack of adequate red blood cells. It is sometimes challenging to address as there are over 400 different types. Medical assistance is important. We know anemia is common in women in child bearing years, but there are women who are genetically predisposed to this condition and fight it their entire life. Anemia can also be caused by internal bleeding. This might be triggered by medications being taken for another condition, such as aspirin or ibuprofen for headaches or other aches and pains. Or it could be caused by other medical conditions. Anemia can have sneaky symptoms that are often confused with other disorders. The most common symptoms of anemia include: Easy fatigue and loss of energyUnusually rapid heart beat, particularly with exerciseShortness of breath and headache, particularly with exerciseDifficulty concentratingDizzinessPale skinLeg crampsInsomniaSince there are lots of potential causes that need unique treatments, if someone is experiencing potential anemia symptoms it is important that they see a physician. It is not something that can be addressed by self medication and could make the problem worse.
Heart attacks in women can be very different from those in men. Part of this may stem from the way a woman's body handles cholesterol build up different from her male counterpart. When men develop a plaque buildup it occurs in the major arteries. They tend to carry their excess fat in the belly. We women on the other hand are hiders and smoothers. We send the excess cholesterol to the tiniest little arterioles where the blood oxygen interchange is supposed to take place. We smooth it away across all of our body. We are excellent at hiding the problem. So when the body does go into a heart attack while the symptoms can be similar as a mans, more frequently they are not. This is because the problem causers are not in the same place. In a CPR First Aid class I recently took, one of the attendees, a woman told of having a heart attack 8 years ago. She never had any chest pain. She had indigestion. Then she had it again. She did notice some tiredness and a bit of tightness but mostly indigestion. Her husband finally took her to an emergency room to get checked up. The technician on duty noticed her pallor and too intervention steps. She was having a heart attack. Web MD says there are 6 symptoms for heart attack in women and if you have one or more signs you should call 911 and seek immediate medical care. Those symptoms include:
- Chest pain or discomfort. Chest pain is the most common heart attack symptom, but some women may experience it differently than men. It may feel like a squeezing or fullness, and the pain can be anywhere in the chest, not just on the left side. It's usually "truly uncomfortable" during a heart attack, says cardiologist Rita Redberg, MD, director of Women’s Cardiovascular Services at the University of California, San Francisco. "It feels like a vise being tightened."
- Pain in your arm(s), back, neck, or jaw. This type of pain is more common in women than in men. It may confuse women who expect their pain to be focused on their chest and left arm, not their back or jaw. The pain can be gradual or sudden, and it may wax and wane before becoming intense. If you're asleep, it may wake you up. You should report any "not typical or unexplained" symptoms in any part of your body above your waist to your doctor or other health care provider, says cardiologist C. Noel Bairey Merz, MD, director of the Barbra Streisand Women's Heart Center at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
- Stomach pain. Sometimes people mistake stomach pain that signals a heart attack with heartburn, the flu, or a stomach ulcer. Other times, women experience severe abdominal pressure that feels like an elephant sitting on your stomach, says cardiologist Nieca Goldberg, MD, medical director of the Joan H. Tisch Center for Women’s Health at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York.
- Shortness of breath, nausea, or lightheadedness. If you're having trouble breathing for no apparent reason, you could be having a heart attack, especially if you're also having one or more other symptoms. "It can feel like you have run a marathon, but you didn't make a move," Goldberg says.
- Sweating. Breaking out in a nervous, cold sweat is common among women who are having a heart attack. It will feel more like stress-related sweating than perspiration from exercising or spending time outside in the heat. "Get it checked out" if you don't typically sweat like that and there is no other reason for it, such as heat or hot flashes, Bairey Merz says.
- Fatigue. Some women who have heart attacks feel extremely tired, even if they've been sitting still for a while or haven't moved much. "Patients often complain of a tiredness in the chest," Goldberg says. "They say that they can't do simple activities, like walk to the bathroom."
- So if you experience any of these, or more than one, seek help to save a life.
Sleep Apnea is a really sneaky disorder and can be even sneakier in women. Typically tied into loud snoring this symptom is very typical in men. With the slightly different structural differences in women this symptom can present, come and go, or be completely absent. A big part of the symptoms will be dependent on the cause. In most people one side of the nose and sinuses is slightly larger. If the person sleeps with this larger side up there are less breathing issues. But if they sleep on their back or other side, symptoms may be more pronounced. If the problem is being caused by a physical structural blockage these symptoms may be absent.
This problem is one I had a rather personal encounter with. In the past I used to have a problem with sometimes loud breathing that was generally not prolonged but rather interrupted with perhaps gasps. But as a physical blockage in my throat became enlarged the symptoms changed and I quit snoring almost complete. Problem cured :) Not exactly. It just morphed. Instead of snoring I had morphed into the more insidious symptom. I quit breathing. Thank goodness a friend alerted me. They had sleep apnea and recognized it for what it was.
At first I wanted to blow it off, but when I researched it online and saw the health ramifications: high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, weight gain, asthma, acid reflux, and car accidents.
I made the call and saw a specialist in sleep disorders. I found out that I was stopping breathing for 30-60 seconds many times an hours. My blood oxygen levels were dropped from the normal 99-100% (normal is above 90%) to 60%. In the educational discussion I realized that my falling asleep sitting on the sofa at night was probably sleep deprivation from not sleeping anywhere near normally. I underwent a sleep study, spending the night at the sleep center wired into a computer via probes all over my head and upper body. They actually interrupted the study after only about 2 hours and pronounced the problem and hooked me up to a fine trickle of oxygen. When they woke me in the morning it was the first time in a very long time I had gotten up without a headache - another symptom of the oxygen deprivation. They put me on a fast track and in a week I had a device to help assure good airflow and elimination of the problem. I fully admit it takes a bit of getting used to but the health benefits are well worth it. By the follow up visit the doctor tested my blood oxygen and it was 99%. He even assured me if I missed a night or didn't have a full night sleep with the device it was just fine. I was very concerned how this would impact my personal life but found it has not been an issue. It has however left me with elevated blood pressure which is now being treated and monitored.
When I visited a new PCP in January I was rather surprised to see the signs in the patient room about the symptoms of sleep apnea. Clearly, this disorder is finally being more aggressively treated by medical professionals as controlling it will control many other medical disorders.
Are You Getting Safe Permanent Cosmetics
Safe can mean different things to different people. In the field of permanent cosmetics it not only means “will I be happy with the result” but what are the risks involved. Cosmetic tattooing is considered a mildly invasive procedure. The pigment must be implanted in the upper reticular layer of the dermis and to do this the needles must break the skin. It’s often compared to having your teeth cleaned. However, any time the skin is broken there is a risk of infection so proper measures must be followed to avoid this. This goes for following specific protocols in the clinic and in your home care afterwards.
Permanent cosmetics are a safe procedure if proper sterilization, disinfection and infection control practices are followed. Permanent cosmetic technicians routinely attend Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) classes to become well versed on safety principles. Both the State of Oregon and the Society of Permanent Cosmetic Professionals Certified Technicians have this as a requirement. The OSHA guidelines to provide infection control include, but are not limited to these important items:
1. All needles should be new and sterile for each client. Unopened new and sterile needles should be opened in your presence.
2. Any disposable sterilized machine parts should be employed and disposed of in a sharps container immediately after the procedure is completed.
3 Technicians should wear personal protection equipment such as disposable single use aprons and gloves and these should be new for each client, changed during the procedure as needed and disposed of immediately after the procedure is completed.
4. The technician should be clean and neat.
5. A disposable single use chair or bed covering should be used and should be new for each client.
6. The room should be in an area free from other contaminants such as nail dust, aerosols or other chemicals are present.
Take a look around the facility. It should look clean and tidy and you should feel very comfortable/safe. Ask to see the treatment room/area where the work is to be done. It should look clean and clinical. Look for boxes of gloves and a “sharps” container to hold used needles. When the treatment area is ready to have a procedure done, the chair should have a disposable plastic covering, the work area should have a protective barrier on it and there will be disposable supplies arranged there. Lamps, cords and other equipment parts that may be touched during the procedure will also have protective plastic coverings on them. The technician will wear new disposable non-latex gloves (on both hands) and change them as needed during the procedure. They will also put on a new disposable apron. Pigments and other supplies used during the procedure will be decanted from their containers and disposed of afterwards.
The most important part of your aftercare is keeping the area clean. No makeup should be worn until the initial healing is complete, generally about a week. Avoid touching the area except with clean hands. Use aftercare products as recommended by your technician.
To make sure your outcome will be one you are happy with good communications with your technician are important. Ask to see your technician’s portfolio, pictures of some of their work so you can see their style and make sure you are both on the same page as to the desired outcome. It is helpful to have your brow pencil/powder with you if you normally wear some and are having eyebrow work done. An experienced professional will always take measurements and mark the brows before starting to work. They will also involve you in this process so that you can approved of the brow design. Permanent cosmetics is a process. Your professional should always see you at least twice, the initial procedure and a follow up about 4-6 weeks later so that any adjustments that are needed can be done.
To assure a safe eyeliner procedure and you wear contact lenses, please bring your glasses or wear them as you will need to remove contacts before the procedure can be done and they should not be worn again until the eye feels “normal”. Eyes may be a bit light sensitive after this service so it is a good idea to have dark glasses with you. Also, if you use Restasis for eyelash growth you need to be off of this product about a month before having eyeliner work done. This drug impacts the skin of the eyelash area and makes it extremely sensitive. Wait until your eyeliner procedures are all completed and the eyeliner is healed before re-starting the Restasis.
For those having lip coloration, if you have EVER had a cold sore that virus is in your system. Breakouts are generally triggered by heat and stress and lip tattooing creates both. The odds are nearly 100% that it could cause a breakout. It is important that you obtain an antiviral product from your physician and take it as the pharmacist directs you.
For your safety, if you are pregnant, sick, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol your appointment should be rescheduled. In Oregon it is against the law to work on a person who is intoxicated or under the influence of drugs.