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Part II Health-challenged Skin--Celiac Disease and SLE

By: Morag Currin
Posted: February 28, 2013, from the March 2013 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

page 4 of 9

When working with celiac clients, consider offering gluten-free facials, which should include “clean” formulas with nonirritating ingredients. While this may seem over the top, gluten-intolerant clients really need to be assured that there is no cross-contamination between bowls, implements and sheets. Skin care professionals must have integrity and not use products other than those selected for use on a client with celiac disease. If the ingredients are too active, chances are a breakout will occur. It’s important to use the least amount of fragrances, dyes and gluten possible. Throughout a certain period of time, clients will develop a gluten intolerance even when gluten is applied to the skin or scalp.

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)

Lupus is an autoimmune disease where the client’s immune system creates antibodies that, instead of protecting the body from bacteria and viruses, attack the person’s own body tissues. Symptoms include extreme fatigue, joint pain, muscle aches and anemia. SLE is a disease with many manifestations, and each client’s profile is different. Lupus can mimic other diseases, such as multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis, making it difficult to diagnose.

Skin problems are very common in people with lupus. Some skin rashes and lesions are very specific to lupus. Sensitivity to UV rays and some types of artificial light are responsible for aggravating these rashes or lesions. Broad-spectrum sunscreen use is strongly recommended, especially a physical block with zinc oxide. Do not use skin care products on these clients that will aggravate their skin and make it worse. Be aware of other skin-related symptoms of SLE when working with clients who have this disease. They include the following.

Butterfly rash. This rash appears over the nose and cheeks, and can range from a faint blush to a rash that is very severe, with scaling. It is very sensitive to light and appears to gets worse when skin is exposed to the sun or certain types of artificial light. The rash may be permanent, or may come and go. Some physicians treat it with steroids; however, many do not do well with this in the long term. Some clients may be on topical anti-inflammatory immunosuppressant creams, such as pimecrolimus or tacrolimus for this rash. Sunscreen is necessary on this area, and a physical sunscreen with zinc oxide should be soothing.

Discoid lesions. These scarring, coin-shaped lesions are seen on areas of the skin that have been exposed to UV light. They may also occur on the scalp and produce a scarring, localized baldness that is permanent. Sunscreen is necessary for these areas of the skin.

Understanding Skin Diseases and Disorders Can Increase Your Treatment Offerings in 2013

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