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Become an Acne Specialist

Laura Cooksey February 2013 issue of Skin Inc. magazine
inflammed acne

It took four months to clear this client’s inflammed acne and pigmentation, using a combination of mandelic serum, vitamin A proprionate serum and benzoyl peroxide.

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More and more, estheticians are choosing to specialize in a particular aspect of esthetics. Just as some are compelled to create a waxing-only clinic or to focus on just lash extensions and makeup, there are others who choose to specialize in the treatment of acne.

Estheticians and nurses who treat acne have been around for many years, but acne treatments are usually included in a laundry list of services offered. Now, many esthetic practices are entirely dedicated to treating acne-sufferers.

What dermatology lacks

Dermatologists are the logical first choice for someone suffering from acne. There is a common pattern in the protocol used by most physicians for treating acne. Acne patients are given oral antibiotics, topical antibiotics, and/or a choice of prescription retinoids to try. Sometimes benzoyl peroxide will be recommended. If those treatments fail, physicians will often recommend a cycle of isotretinoin. In many cases, these protocols leave the acne-sufferer disappointed and frustrated.

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Inflamed Acne: After

Combination Acne: Before

Combination Acne: After

Noninflamed Acne: Before

Noninflamed Acne: After

Effective Acne Specialists Can ...

1. Educate clients on lifestyle issues, drugs/medications and comedogenic ingredients that can exacerbate acne. Acne specialists can also provide clients with personalized home care and treatment plans, and follow up to make sure clients understand what is expected of them.

2. Develop home care regimens for clients according to the type and severity of their acne. Knowing what formulation is best for each type of acne is critical.

3. Use benzoyl peroxide correctly, starting slowly so the skin won’t become irritated, then getting more aggressive as the skin adapts.

4. Make alterations to the home care protocol as clients’ skin adapts to product use. The biggest mistake that skin care professionals make in treating acne is to allow the skin to adapt to product use. Clients’ home care routines need to be adjusted at frequent intervals, such as every two weeks, to make sure the skin does not get too used to the routine. This usually means either increasing the frequency of use of a certain product or changing the products used. For example, it could mean that a client will be using an exfoliating serum twice a day instead of once a day.

5. Perform acne treatments that exfoliate the skin enough to control acne, but not so much that the client cannot use home care products the next day.

6. Perform acne extractions thoroughly and skillfully.

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