Health Challenged Skin: The Estheticians’ Desk Reference

Morag Currin, LE, CLMT

Format Details

  • Softcover
  • 576 Pages
  • Published 2012
  • ISBN-13: 9781937235031
  • Description
  • Book Excerpt
  • Author Information
  • Expert Review

Health Challenged Skin: The Estheticians’ Desk Reference is designed to address the lack of esthetic knowledge in the area of skin diseases. As she did previously in her book on Oncology Esthetics, licensed esthetician Morag Currin has created a volume organized for practical usage especially for you. This book covers an incredible range of diseases and disorders in terms of examining how they manifest symptomatically on the skin, and it is organized to offer easy-to-find, hands-on application for daily use.

If you are looking for a desk reference on skin diseases that is modeled structurally on the Physicians’ Desk Reference, your wait is over. Diseases are addressed one by one via the following criteria:

  • An overview of the disease
  • How the disease affects skin cells and how this appears on the skin surface
  • How to recognize and differentiate these diseases, and how to treat them, without trying to be a physician
  • Managing the overall health and mental well-being of clients with the disease

Treatment of these diseases is a stark reality for today’s esthetician, with a direct impact on a daily basis on both their vocation and the health of their respective businesses. Health Challenged Skin: The Estheticians’ Desk Reference is designed to be the esthetician’s trusted source of information and guidance for successful growth and adaptability in today’s spa and salon marketplace.

A selection of the diseases and symptomatic manifestations addressed:

  • Allergies, including: nuts, iodine, shellfish, flowers, and more
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Autoimmune diseases including: Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and more
  • Burns and blisters
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Herpes
  • Hyper- and Hypotension
  • Joint pain
  • Menopause
  • Osteoporosis
  • Tendonitis
  • And many more!

Excerpt from the opening essay of Morag’s book, titled "What is Health Challenged Skin?"

This book has been created for estheticians who are dealing with clients in a spa environment and who will come in contact with many different diseases and skin manifestations. These estheticians are not trying to replace medical professionals, specifically dermatologists. Although dermatologists are trained to recognize and treat a variety of skin diseases, their focus is from a medical angle, often treating directly with prescription drugs, medications and sometimes surgery. Estheticians find themselves helping people with skin conditions that they encounter on a daily basis. Estheticians use topical products and various pieces of spa equipment to treat skin from a technical aspect: rebalancing and fortifying the skin barrier, or stratum corneum, the topmost layer of the skin. Estheticians who are educated about skin and deal with skin types daily have an incredible knowledge and achieve some amazing success for their spa clients.

The most important aspect to achieving results is to know how to analyze the skin correctly. If the esthetician cannot and does not analyze the skin correctly, any protocol, with or without products, will not produce the desired end benefit. Every esthetician should be trained in accurate skin analysis. Knowing the ingredients in skin care products and their mechanism of action within the skin is necessary as well.

The esthetician plays a very important role in taking care of the skin, and many have hands-on experience dealing with diseases and their skin manifestations. Estheticians deserve credit for resolving skin issues that are not handled by medical professionals. There are estheticians that take a lot of advanced training and spend a considerable amount on education. These honest, hard-working estheticians want to make a difference in someone’s life when it pertains to their skin and beauty. I don’t believe medical professionals give these estheticians' in other words, you, dear reader—enough credit.

What this Book Includes

The intention of this book is to provide an overview of the various health issues and the implications of these health issues (or diseases) and their impact on the skin. We will not be covering any issues pertaining to cancer; these are covered in a separate book titled by Morag Currin (Alluredbooks, 2009; revision forthcoming Skin Inc. Books 2012).

Can You Define Sensitive Skin?

Millions of people have sensitive skin, but the exact definition varies depending on who you ask.

Florence Barrett-Hill, author of Advanced Skin Analysis, defines a large percentage of spa clients as having a "permanent diffused redness" skin type, which is commonly known as a sensitive skin, however, they may not necessarily be reactive skins.

A sensitive skin is usually described as having more reactivity than a normal skin, such as itching, dryness, erythema, or rashes. These reactions can be triggered by seasonal changes and certain areas of the skin can present a much higher sensory response, an enhanced immune responsiveness, and a diminished skin protection barrier. People with sensitive skin are prone to skin barrier damage when exposed to detergents and topical products. Many people claim they have sensitive skin because of a response to a product on their skin. It is very difficult to quantify sensitive skin because this term covers a huge spectrum of people, all with different levels of sensitivity and responses to various topical products and other factors. Many will base sensitivity just on topical products used on the skin. Mixed results have been shown from research between subjective response and objective signs of reaction to irritants. Some studies have shown that sensory effects are a more reliable indicator than measures of erythema and dryness. Usually, sensory reactions to irritants are immediate and followed by visible signs of erythema, i.e. visible redness. It is also believed that sensitive skin is more common in women than men; hormonal influences can cause increased inflammatory sensitivities in women.

Tactile sensitivity, sensory nerve function, and skin innervations decrease with advancing age, as does the appearance of visible irritation. Younger adults have more sensitive skin than the elderly. Although the elderly show less of a reaction to an irritant, the irritated skin is going to take longer to heal.

Sensitivity can vary depending on the various parts of the body affected. The stratum corneum is thickest on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet and is the thinnest on the eyelids and genital areas. On the face, the nasolabial fold is the most sensitive area, and on the limbs the wrist is more sensitive than the rest of the forearm, the ankle more sensitive than the calf.

Many sensitive skin individuals have adverse sensory responses to environmental conditions such as hot and cold temperatures, wind, sun, pollutants, and chemical exposure. When it comes to topical products, many individuals show a greater irritation to sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), especially during the cold winter months. Long-term use of topical skin care products can irritate sensitive skin, and many topical steroids can cause "fragile" skin.

Sensitive skin has a weaker barrier, making it more vulnerable to many kinds of skin reactions.

Morag Currin, LE, CLMT, has more than 16 years of spa industry experience, including training and management, and has pioneered an oncology esthetics certification program for estheticians, by which they learn to incorporate massage techniques for people undergoing cancer therapies, to screen for cancerous skin lesions and to bring cancer survivors’ skin back into balance. Currin developed TecNiche, a skin care line for health-challenged skin, and is the author of two textbooks on oncology esthetics, including Oncology Esthetics: A Practitioner’s Guide REVISED AND EXPANDED (Alluredbooks, 2014).

"Currin, an esthetician who developed a skin care line and has experience in the spa industry, including training and management, supplies estheticians working in a spa environment with a guide to diseases that have skin manifestations and their non-medical management. The conditions are presented in alphabetical order, and range from allergies to Parkinson's disease to psoriasis, and she provides an overview of each disease and information on how it affects skin cells and appears on the skin surface, how to recognize and differentiate diseases, how to use spa and facial treatments, and how to manage the overall health and mental well-being of clients. She includes non-traditional modalities like auricular therapy, aromatherapy, reflexology, and the Bach Flower essences. Issues related to cancer are covered in a separate book."

— Eithne O'Leyne
Annotation © Book News Inc., Portland, OR,

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