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A Prescription for Success, Part 2

By: Pat Lam
Posted: June 9, 2008, from the December 2006 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

In Part I of this article, skin care professionals learned how to collect sufficient personal history information about the client. Now, they should begin the most important part of the consultation, which consists of the skin examination. The prognosis of this in-depth examination will determine the treatment objective or goals and should be guided primarily by the client’s main concerns.

The correct skin diagnosis is the most important part of a skin care professional’s work because the treatment objective, as well as the products and equipment used, are based on it. It begins with simple communication with the client.

Skin analysis

Use your fingers to probe and stretch the skin during the examination. Feel the texture, and observe the conditions that may not be apparent by simply viewing it under a Wood’s lamp. Unless the skin is impure and contagious, do this without gloves. The most important details to check for during this step include the following.

Fitzpatrick skin types

In addition to ethnicity, today’s skin care professionals must be knowledgeable about the Fitzpatrick skin type classification scale for effective skin analysis. There are six levels that are organized according to their reaction to the sun’s rays.

Once an intensive scrutiny of the skin has been performed, the skin care professional must determine the most important problem to treat. The first choice should be the client’s main concern, but judgment and professional knowledge must be used when identifying the primary issue to address in the first service. It is important to take into consideration that the individual must see some results in order to be motivated to return for further treatments.

Treatment objective