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The Practical Use of Topical Oxygen

By: Peter T. Pugliese, MD
Posted: August 22, 2008, from the September 2008 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

page 5 of 9

Treating rosacea with oxygen. Treatment by the medical profession for rosacea is essentially an attack with antimicrobial agents, but for more resistant cases, physicians use surgery, dermabrasion, laser and more recently, intense pulsed light (IPL). The esthetician has limited use of these modalities, but there are still effective treatment methods available. Since there appears to be a bacterial component to rosacea, an antimicrobial product should be used along with an anti-inflammatory. You have your choice of many anti-inflammatory agents, both natural and synthetic. Bioflavanoids and other polyphenols from green tea are effective. Consider also bisabolol from the plant chamomile. One very powerful antioxidant found in pomegranate is ellagic acid, with a great many other positive properties, such as an antiperoxidant, antiseptic, antibacterial, astringent, antifungal, antiyeast, and it is a sunscreen, as well, when added at 0.5%.

Topical oxygen should be applied in a wet form, carefully following the directions of the manufacturer. When you see the skin blanch, you know you have reached the top of the dermis with your oxygen treatment. At the same time, you will have killed many of the superficial and deep-surface bacteria, and probably killed the demodex, or else made them very unhappy.

The treatment program for rosacea should follow an initial three treatments the first week, two the second week and one the third week. Depending on the improvement, scheduling of the subsequent treatments can vary from biweekly to monthly. As the reader is well aware, rosacea clients do not all respond the same, so adjust your treatment to meet the needs of a particular client.

Aging skin

Aging remains a major topic in science because, even today, the process isn’t fully understood. It is known, for example, that tissues and cells undergo damage, that a person’s DNA may also be damaged, and that a lot of systems do not work as well at age 50 as they do at age 20. There are many questions, but few answers, although a great deal has been learned during the past few years about some important aspects of aging that can be translated into skin care. Energy and living are forever linked, and so is the aging process. Having adequate energy for every organ is essential for the normal function of each organ, and that means each cell must have a good supply of energy. The skin is one organ that almost always comes off on the short end of the metabolic stick.

Waste products accumulate in the skin, its blood and nutrients are shunted to other organs in emergency situations, and nasty metabolic by-products are frequently sent to the skin to be neutralized. The sun and cold are not the skin’s friends, nor are harsh detergents and soaps. Next to the stomach, the skin is the most abused organ in the body. The skin can be helped, however, if enough energy is supplied to it, and that is one thing oxygen therapy can do.