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Exfoliation vs Inflammation

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Most of us love a hand or foot treatment that involves an exfoliation and so do our clients, right?

We know that it speeds up, what would normally be, natural desquamation. It gets rid of the dead skin cells, allows for more penetration of subsequent treatment creams, and gives the skin a brighter and fresher appearance.

But this is only part of the story!

The other part of the story is that it breaks the natural skin barrier which sends a message to the lower layers of the epidermis to work harder. When they must work harder, newer and brighter skin will emerge.

This can be a very good benefit, clearly.

BUT, just be aware that this is actually the early stages of an inflammation. It is the body’s defences fighting back. The treatment, carried out with knowledge and understanding, can be a fantastic benefit. But take it a bit too far and the defences can react even more.

Take, for example, a chemical peel. This is the chemical version of a mechanical exfoliation. This needs advanced education, a deep understanding of the skin, and the products being used.

So, the message here, is understand the clients specific skin condition plus possible any contra-indications (e.g., diabetes, allergies etc.) Be aware of the area and type of skin being exfoliated. Examples of this is the thin layer on the back of the hands and the top of the foot. Compared with the ‘hard skin areas’ on the underside of the foot and palm of the hand. Be aware of particularly delicate skin or that prone to allergies.

A lovely treatment which, bear in mind, can seriously affect the natural skin barrier, can, so easily, turn into a problem.

Education and understanding are everything. Be professionally responsible and think through your treatment plan for every single client.

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