As clinicians who perform treatments on patients’ faces, we do our best to avoid unexpected reactions or complications. It is important that we take as many precautions as we can, but it is also important for the patient to understand that any professional treatment or product can trigger an allergic reaction or unexpected complication. It is vital that we educate our patients as to the reasons why we have specific recommendations.
Remember, also, there is no such thing as “hypoallergenic.” This is considered more of a marketing term. The truth is that anyone can have an allergic reaction to anything at any time. Sometimes we are able to figure out what the cause of an unfavorable reaction was – and many times we cannot.
There are specific guidelines in place to safeguard against this type of scenario. At PCA SKIN, the following process is recommended:
- Conduct a thorough patient consultation. This includes going over important intake forms, making sure all questions regarding allergies and medications are answered.
- Have the patient use daily care products 10-14 days prior to their first professional treatment. This is also known as “prepping the skin” or “skin prep.” This not only exposes the patient’s skin to active ingredients they may not have previously used, but it is a good way to find out if there is any possible sensitivity to these ingredients. It is also is a way for patients to see a change in their skin by using these products; they will likely continue to purchase these products from you once they see that change is occurring. Daily care is also important to maintain in-office results.
- Patch test the patient. Patch testing should be performed in front of the ear. Contact the patient 24-48 hours later to see if there is any unfavorable irritation or rash in the area.
- Begin treatments slowly. The skin is the largest organ of the body and it takes time to effectively treat common skin conditions. Explain to the patient that with each visit you will increase the activity of the treatments as their skin becomes used to them. Do not listen to the patient who says, “Burn me! I can handle anything. I just want my skin to peel off.” A low-dose approach is always best.
- Send all patients home with a Post-Procedure Solution. These are products specifically designed to keep the skin hydrated and protected in the first 10 days post-treatment. It will also help to keep the patient on track and not use any of the other products they may have at home that could possibly irritate the skin during the exfoliation process.
PCA SKIN has a highly trained team of skin health experts ready to help you with questions or concerns regarding products or treatments. We can be reached between 7:00 am and 6:00 pm Arizona time at 877.PCA.SKIN [722.7546].