Aesthetican - Go it Alone or Bring in Help

By: Alien

You've got a skin glitch you want gone - or at least diminished. Where do you go for help? Well, it depends on the severity of the problem. Obviously, if you suspect skin cancer, you need to take yourself straight to a dermatologist. But for something that is more looks-threatening than life ?threatening, you've got choices. You can opt for over-the-counter treatments, help from a professional skin-care therapist, or a visit to your dermatologist.

Over-the-counter care

Pharmacies, chain drug stores, beauty emporiums, and department store cosmetic counters are great for the do-it-yourselves. These places offer a range of treatment products (at a range of prices) that allow you to address your problem privately, conveniently, and relatively inexpensively. The downside to this? It's easy to either get swayed by the grand claims you read on a box of skin-care cream or get confused by a product's ingredient list. To avoid getting taken - and to ensure you find a product that works - you must do a bit of research not only on your condition, but also on product ingredients. You need to know what ingredients your skin finds irritating and avoid purchasing a product that contains these.

Be aware that these "mass-market" items are designed to be used without professional supervision by an enormous cross-section of people. To avoid causing reactions in some of these people, manufacturers formulate their products with low concentrations of active ingredients.

You spent a good deal of cash on a cream that said it could banish freckles, and after using the whole jar, your freckles haven't lightened a bit. What to do? Contact the company that made the product and complain.

What is an aesthetican?

Aestheticians are most often found at skin-care salons, day spas, and even in dermatologists' offices. They give a wide range of facial treatments for a wide range of problems, from mild to moderate acne, to light wrinkling, to melasma; what they cannot do is perform surgery, work with lasers, prescribe medication, or diagnose. dangerous skin ailments, such as cancer. A good aesthetician will tell you to visit you dermatologist if he or she spots something suspicious on your face. Think of an aesthetician as a skin-care partner. Most likely you will be visiting your aesthetician weekly, twice-monthly, or monthly until your problem is controlled. After that, you will go less frequently for follow-up and maintenance visits.

Many aestheticians and dermatologists use a Wood's lamp to view a patient's sun damage. The lamp projects a long wavelength of blue light deeper into the skin than visible light; sun damage shows up as dark, mottled areas.

Visiting an aesthetidan

If you decide to work with an aesthetician, a plan of specific cleansers, creams, sunscreens, and other regimens designed to treat your skin may be recommended. Aestheticians rely on professional treatment lines that are available for use only under an aesthetician's supervision. These professional products generally contain moderate levels of active ingredients; you may experience better or faster results from them than from over-the-counter products. The downside to aestheticians? The visits and products can get expensive.

Don't be shy when visiting an aesthetician or dermatologist. To help him or her choose the safest, most effective treatment plan for you must speak up about your lifestyle and your health. Don't forget to mention allergies, reproductive plans, current medication, and even how many glasses of alcohol you drink in a week.

Get thee to a doctor!

A dermatologist is your only option if you suspect something serious, such as skin cancer, something appears abruptly, such as a rash, or you suffer from a particularly stubborn or severe case of something, such as cystic acne. But your visits don't have to be limited to these reasons - dermatologists treat minor skin-care gripes as well. In fact, because dermatologists are doctors, they can prescribe strong prescription medication that contains high levels of active ingredients. This means fast results and the benefit of someone monitoring you against any allergies or reactions.

Dermatologists can also perform cutting-edge procedures, such as laser, botox, and collagen, that you can't get anywhere else. Before choosing this option, however, you should consider that while some insurance plans do cover dermatology visits and prescription costs for "cosmetic issues" such as melasma, freckles, sun damage, and wrinkles, most do not.

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