In our day-to-day practice we see all kinds of clients, from diverse backgrounds, with varying skin conditions. They all want essentially the same thing. Clear, glowing skin.
Most of the more severe cases that we see are long-term, socially debilitating skin conditions. These include severe acne scarring, pervasive hyper-pigmentation and laser burns.
Clients come in and want instant relief. In other words they want a quick fix.
No professional, no matter the training or experience, can fix decades of a poor skin condition in one session.
Unscrupulous operators promise instant cures despite knowing that clients are depending on them to ease their anxiety and pain, while improving their appearance.
A trained, ethical practitioner (doctor, nurse or medical aesthetician) will do a proper assessment or consultation. The next step is a treatment plan.
This usually consists of preparatory treatments to ensure that your skin is ready for the actual regimen that will give you your desired outcome.
You will be advised of the time frame for treatment, the costs and commitment involved. Often clients baulk at the commitment and cost but later reveal that they had money for a front-line costume in an upscale Carnival band.
A treatment plan is based on your skin’s actual condition. Dry, hydrated, oily, thickened, acne- scarred, skin tags, hyper-pigmented, laser-burned, pockmarked skin requires that the skin’s PH level be restored to normal prior to any major procedure being implemented. Part of the plan may involve a change of diet or behaviour modification. You may be required to track your diet to determine the source of skin irritations. You might end up curing yourself!
A major procedure may consist of a combination of treatments like microdermabrasion, micro-currents, chemical peels, LED lights (red, green or blue) and lasers. Plastic surgery is another option that holds the spotlight and remains a significant player in the physical transformation industry. The non-surgical option is a viable and competitive alternative to plastic surgery and is currently making inroads on the international market.
While the spa practitioner has a responsibility to provide proper preparation, effective protocols and comprehensive after-care, the client has significant responsibilities as well. These include following the treatment regimen to the letter. We can only help those who are committed to helping themselves. Don’t say you want acne marks gone but you can only attend the spa once a month! You’re not helping your cause.
If your treatment plan requires you to attend the clinic three times in one week to achieve the best results, then the onus is on you to make the effort by arranging your schedule to suit. The plan may require that you avoid direct sunlight for a few days. This means you cannot go boating down the Islands until it is safe. You may also be required to return for in-house after-care.
We get clients who want the “fix” but are unwilling to follow the suggested protocols. If you are not committed to the process and flout the guidelines provided, can you then blame the spa if things turn out badly? Clients are often cautioned that procedures such as chemical peels may require more than one application. So if the first peel does not provide the perfect result then you were forewarned.
Successful treatment demands honesty, empathy and ethics from the spa practitioner. For the client/consumer honesty is also required. Clients need to be realistic in their expectations and be committed to treatments that will provide a favourable outcome. This means enhanced self-esteem, improved appearance and social interactions.
Lydia Ramesar is a Canadian-trained advanced medical aesthetician and the owner/operator of TruKomplexion Unisex Medi-Spa.
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