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How to Handle a Product Reaction

Carl Thornfeldt, MD March 2011 issue of Skin Inc. magazine
This is a pustular reaction to an aggressive superficial peel of 30% salicylic acid after microdermabrasion.

This is a pustular reaction to an aggressive superficial peel of 30% salicylic acid after microdermabrasion.

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My patient left me a voice mail and her voice sounded concerned. “Dr. Carl,” she said. “I think something is wrong. I had a chemical peel three days ago, but instead of my skin being a reddish color with flakiness, I have lots of small pimples and it feels very itchy. Could you please call me?”

Sometimes unplanned reactions can occur in a medical spa or esthetic medicine practice. A spa professional must know how to handle unwanted, adverse reactions in a systematic way, but diagnosis must be determined by a medical professional.

It starts with prevention

Make sure you have recommended the right products for your client. It sounds fairly simple, but let’s review the basics. During the first appointment, thoroughly complete a consultation form and medical history. This helps to clearly identify the client’s concerns, allergies, medical history and current medications. Whenever possible, carefully analyze your client’s freshly cleansed skin with good lighting and a magnifying glass or loupe to identify areas of concern. A Wood’s lamp may also be added to identify ultraviolet (UV) damage that isn’t visible with regular light.

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