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8 Acne Blunders: Common Mistakes to Avoid When Working With Acne

By: Mark Lees, PhD
Posted: January 31, 2014, from the February 2014 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
8 Acne Blunders: Common Mistakes to Avoid When Working With Acn

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Solution. Make sure the client is not just spot-treating visible blemishes. All areas of the face must be treated with a mild keratolytic at home every day. Although spot-treating does help dry up current lesions, keratolytic treatment, such as a BPO or alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) and beta hydroxy acid (BHA) gel, should be applied daily to all acne-prone areas of the skin. Teach clients to apply a small amount of keratolytic product all over the face, avoiding the eye area, and then to spot-treat individual blemishes. This helps constantly flush out follicular debris to prevent new impactions, therefore preventing new inflammatory lesions from forming.

3. Remember hormonal factors. Sebaceous glands are stimulated by the male hormone dihydrotestosterone, which occurs in both men and women. Excess sebum production contributes to follicle inflammation, as well as comedo development. Hormonal factors cause excessive androgen (male hormone) production—these factors can also be genetic, or can be caused from hormonal imbalances during natural cycles and periods of stress, as well as medically related hormonal conditions.

Solution. Chronic hormonal acne can be treated medically. Estheticians can help skin topically by developing programs to keep follicles constantly clear using daily keratolytics and by avoiding external clogging that can be caused by various fatty
skin care products.

4. Don’t be afraid of BPO.

BPO is an amazing ingredient that sloughs debris from the follicle and kills acne bacteria. Consumers sometimes are shy about it because, at one point, they likely overused it, and it caused dryness and irritation, which commonly occurs from using too much product or applying it too frequently.

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