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Hormonal Vulnerability and the Spa Professional

Geoffrey Redmond, MD February 2006 issue of Skin Inc. magazine

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The term “hormonal vulnerability” refers to the situation in which a woman’s body—and mind—react uncomfortably to her own hormones. Hormone problems tend to be subtle and, thus, frequently are misinterpreted as psychological when lab test results come back normal. The reason for this abnormality is not due to the hormones themselves, but how the individual woman’s body responds to them. Also, many females who consult doctors about symptoms due to hormonal vulnerability find that their concerns are not taken seriously, and they often are offered ineffective treatment options. As a result, many of them turn to nonmedical or alternative treatments for relief.

Hormonal conditions have dramatic effects on the skin and hair, in addition to impacting both physical and mental well-being. Indeed, a majority of clients who seek help from spa professionals do so because of hormonal vulnerability, although it is not usually recognized as the underlying cause. Professionals in these fields often find themselves assuming the role of an unofficial counselor or therapist regarding common female medical problems. Understanding prevalent female hormone problems can prove valuable for spa professionals. Although I do not suggest that anyone without medical training should presume to give specific medical advice to clients, I do believe that estheticians and other spa professionals can meet their clients’ needs better if they are informed about the problems that can result from hormonal vulnerability.

Hormonal effects

According to the author’s research, as many as 80% of women suddenly find that the hormones they previously were able to ignore have become a disruptive presence in their lives. This occurs most commonly between the mid-30s and mid-50s, although the problem can begin as early as the teen years and extend into the 60s. A number of hormonal difficulties tend to manifest concurrently so that, unfortunately, women who experience one symptom are likely to have several.

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