Benefits of High Frequency

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High frequency facials offer a safe and gentle alternative to dramatic plastic surgery procedures, laser resurfacing, chemical peels, Collagen and Botox injections and other invasive skin rejuvenation procedures. When using high frequency for anti-aging purposes, results can vary by individual and skin type, are gradual, and do not occur overnight! Although high frequency has been shown to produce an immediate and temporary lifting effect, continued daily application can provide more cumulative long-term, lasting results. Interestingly, many acne sufferers have found improvements in their complexions after only a few days of use.

1) Improvement In Acne
Sometimes the body can become immune to certain acne medications if used over an extended period of time. When combined with an effective acne treatment lotion, regular application of high frequency keeps the acne away long after other expensive medications and treatments can fail. High frequency gently cleanses the skin of acne-causing bacteria and unwanted toxins while making the skin more receptive to acne lotions, creams and other skin treatment products. The results can be extremely dramatic – even after only a few treatments!

2) Reduction in Enlarged Pores & Blackheads
With regular use, high frequency facials can be very effective at reducing the size of enlarged pores, softening skin, controlling excess sebum production and eliminating the occurrence of blackheads. The gentle spray of oxygen molecules produced by the high frequency current diminish enlarged pores by penetrating deep down into the root of the affected area and cleaning out unwanted debris and toxins allowing the pore to quickly regain its natural size once again.

3) Softening of Fine Lines, Wrinkles, and Sagging Skin
The oscillating action of high frequency can increase blood circulation, which in turn nourishes the skin’s surface and renews underlying cells. It also produces an enriched form of oxygen, which can provide the skin with a firm, youthful, vibrant glow. It can diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, tighten double chins and jowls and improve overall skin texture and tone by promoting increased collagen production.

4) Reduction in Puffiness
The pulsating “oxygenation” action produced by high frequency current aids in lymphatic drainage and disperses excess fluid while increasing blood circulation. The result is a reduction in the appearance of congested, tired, puffy eyes. High frequency also helps the skin more efficiently absorb skin care products thereby extending their effectiveness.

5) Fading of Dark Eye Circles
New scientific research has shown the cause of severe dark eye circles to be broken capillaries that have leaked hemoglobin, creating a red-blue pigment deposit under the eyes. High frequency creates a circulation rush in the area and helps your current under eye product penetrate deeper into the skin tissue. The application of high frequency can be very effective at fading dark under eye circles resulting in a fresher, brighter, more youthful looking appearance.

6) Improvement in The Appearance of Cellulite
With regular use, high frequency treatment can be very effective at reducing reducing the appearance of cellulite when used in conjunction with a quality cellulite product. For years, the skin care industry has relied on this same high frequency, oxygen molecule producing technology to aid in lymphatic drainage, gently exfoliate the skin, increase blood circulation, assist in the production of collagen and elastin and promote healthy cell metabolism. The result: smoother, firmer, more refined skin.

7) Healthier Hair Growth
Through its rapid oscillation, high frequency current improves the process of nourishment, gently exfoliates the skin, promotes local blood circulation, stimulates local glandular activity, supplies heat to the area which is soothing to the nervous system and significantly improves the scalp’s receptiveness to and the overall effectiveness of post-treatment hair growth formulas. For many years, hairdressers have used high frequency current technology to revitalize scalp conditions which can aid in promoting healthier hair growth.

Are High Frequency Facial Treatments Safe?

High frequency facials are considered a safe and gentle therapeutic approach to skin rejuvenation however the following contraindications should be noted:

Avoid using AHA or Glycolic Acid products with high frequency as they may over-dry the skin.
Avoid treating areas of broken capillaries, spider veins and rosacea as high frequency may exacerbate these conditions.
Do not use if you are pregnant, have a pacemaker or history of heart disease.
Avoid wearing metal jewelry during high frequency treatment to avoid risk of shock.
Never operate high frequency unit with a broken bulb.
Do not use outdoors, near water or around combustible substances.

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Treating Acne

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A daily system of antibacterial and exfoliating products is needed to treat acne. True control means no physical sign of the disease shows in its active stage. Since acne is a treatable condition with no cure, most adult acne sufferers will be tied to a basic acne-fighting regimen for life, along with several necessary lifestyle changes. It’s “skin care suicide” to abruptly abandon home treatment once acne completely clears. Retention hyperkeratosis (the process of dead skin cells building up and sticking together in the pore) is an ongoing, chronic condition that runs in families. If the acne-prone person doesn’t adhere to a daily system to interfere with retention hyperkeratosis, and make permanent lifestyle changes (less stress, enough sleep, reduced iodides in the diet, avoiding pore-clogging products, etc.), the visible signs of acne will begin to reappear almost immediately.

Clinical Acne Treatments

Professional skin peels and clinical facials provide these corrective and preventative benefits:

They exfoliate dead skin cells.
They gradually help fade dark spots left by residual acne and razor bumps.
They help fade dark patches and even out the skin tone.
They lighten “beard shadowing” caused by razor bumps, ingrown hair and shaving powders.
They help exfoliate dead skin build-up that buries ingrown hairs.
They help soften and reduce the thickness of scar tissue.
They help dissolve and control excess oil.
They reduce flakiness and tightness.
They make extraction of pimples and blackheads easier.
They help smooth rough-textured skin.
They help evacuate clogged pores.
They help deliver active ingredients deeper for enhanced results.
They help reduce the depth of fine lines and wrinkles.
Antibiotics

To individuals reluctant to abandon their “old school” tetracycline, minocycline and erythromycin, consider this: “If tetracycline can arrest venereal disease within ten days, why are you still breaking out after all these years?” Or: “If erythromycin can cure an ear infection just a few days, why do you still have active acne?”

The medical definition of acne reads something like this: Acne is a genetic disease evolving from retention hyperkeratosis of the follicular epithelium. So, if we are dealing with a disorder of the follicle (pore), why flood the body with antibiotics in the hopes that some of it ends up in the pores? Then, consider the side effects, which include severe sun sensitivity (leading to severe skin discoloration), dehydration, thinning hair, birth defects, yeast infections and digestive disorders to name a few. Topical antibiotics like clindamycin, erythromycin and tetracycline can control bacteria in open surface lesions only, but they don’t penetrate deep enough into the pores to kill bacteria where acne starts, and they can’t interfere with the process that actually causes acne.

Benzoyl Peroxide

Benzoyl peroxide (BPO), used for decades, is possibly the most effective acne medication available. Available over-the-counter, by prescription and from clinical estheticians, BPO penetrates deep into the pore, releases oxygen and kills p. acnes, a bacteria that lives without oxygen below the skin’s surface. It also causes a desirable “peeling effect” deep in the follicle, similar to retinoids and alpha hydroxy acids, which loosen and soften acne impactions. With regular use, BPO kills bacteria and exfoliates dead cell build-up deep in the follicles. This action below the skin line halts p. acnes overgrowth and prevents new impactions from forming.

The good news is many BPO formulations are unsurpassed in their ability to control all grades of acne. Unlike Accutane®, oral antibiotics and retinoids, BPO is safe for pregnant women. The bad news is BPO products are not all “created equal”. First, we must examine the base with which the BPO is formulated. Is the BPO mixed with oil, fatty acids, glycerin, sulfur and/or water? Your BPO might be 10%, but its oily or fatty-acid base may seal off the skin, preventing adequate penetration of the BPO itself. Some BPO products are glutted with pore-clogging ingredients. The shelf life of over-the-counter BPO may not be monitored closely and older BPO products can lose their potency.

Any BPO product that can be tolerated overnight the first week or two is not going to be strong enough to control acne in the long run. The skin rapidly gets used BPO, and it stops working. That being said, any BPO product that’s strong enough to clear acne, and keep it that way, is definitely too strong to be tolerated overnight for the first 2-3 weeks of treatment.

Side effects from incorrect use or overuse can include redness and peeling, which is why some people abandon their treatment. BPO should be introduced gradually to allow the skin to become accommodated to it and to keep side effects to a minimum. BPO should not be worn in sunlight or if one expects to perspire for any reason. BPO also migrates through sunscreens, moisturizers, lips balms, eye creams and petroleum jelly and can end up in areas where it wasn’t applied. This may cause causing dryness, irritation, peeling and temporary darkening in those areas. For the same reason, BPO cleansers should not be rinsed over the eyes or onto the neck.

Retinoids

Retinoids are a class of chemical compounds related to vitamin A, used to treat acne and sun-damage. Topicals include tretinoin (Retin-A®, Avita® and Renova®), adapalene (Differin®), tazarotene (Tazorac®), retinol and retinyl propionate, most of which are available in gel, serum and cream formulations.

Retinoid gels and serums are helpful in the treatment of non-inflamed blackheads, closed comedones (whiteheads), clogged pores and rough texture, if one isn’t sun-sensitive or exposed to long periods of direct sun. The emollient cream versions are often loaded with pore-clogging ingredients and can be acne aggravators. They’re more suitable for photo-damaged skin that isn’t acne prone. The problem with retinoids is this: While they facilitate a desirable peeling effect deep in the follicle and help loosen and dislodge comedones, they don’t kill p. acnes bacteria. Side effects can include thinning of the skin, redness, prolonged peeling, irritation and sun sensitivity that can lead to severe darkening. Retinoid gels and serums, alternated with or layered under benzoyl peroxide at night, can be excellent “skin texturizers” that can help clear acne, refine the pores and rejuvenate and brighten the skin. When using retinoids, it’s very important to apply them only at night, to avoid direct sun and to protect the skin with a non-comedogenic physical sunblock during the day.

Alpha Hydroxy Acids

Alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) are often used to treat acne and include glycolic acid (from sugar cane), mandelic acid (from bitter almonds) and lactic acid (from sour dairy and other foods). They penetrate the follicle and, when introduced gradually and used as directed, can have fewer adverse side effects than retinoids, i.e. excessive flaking, redness, dark blotches, irritation and sun sensitivity. They help reduce dead cell build-up in the pore, fade dark spots and soften scar tissue, have a lower price tag, and are widely available without a prescription. Home care products are available in gels, serums, lotions and creams in strengths ranging from 5% to 20%. Oil-free glycolic, mandelic and lactic acid gels and serums can be formulated with salicylic acid, azelaic acid and skin brighteners, and are highly effective for treating acne and post-inflammatory blemishes and should be introduced gradually.

AHA Skin Peels

At higher concentration, glycolic, lactic and mandelic acid and AHA blends make highly effective skin peels. Peels are safe and beneficial for all skin tones and for a wide variety skin types, when performed correctly and chosen carefully according to skin sensitivity and condition, home care used, peel percentage and pH and other factors.

Mandelic Acid

Mandelic acid is one of the newer AHA ingredients used to treat mild to moderate acne. An aromatic alpha hydroxy acid derived from bitter almonds, it’s available in skin peels, acne topicals, skin brighteners, cleansers and toners. Because of its well-established antibacterial, pore-purging, anti-aging and skin brightening action, mandelic acid is ideal for adult acne, folliculitis and laser resurfacing patients. Mandelic acid is less irritating than glycolic acid when formulations contain little or no alcohol.

Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid, also called beta hydroxy acid (BHA), is an oil-soluble anti-bacterial ingredient that is plant-derived and indirectly related to aspirin. It causes epidermal cells to shed more readily, opens clogged pores, helps dissolve sebum, neutralizes bacteria and is most often used in acne products and dandruff shampoos. When formulated with glycolic and lactic acid, it penetrates better to increase cell turnover and prevent pores from clogging up again. Gel formulations can be worn under benzoyl peroxide at night. Salicylic acid products rarely clear acne completely when used alone and can be irritating. Beta hydroxy skin peels, though quite uncomfortable when applied, help remove blackheads and whiteheads, diminish fine lines, improve active acne and brighten the skin tone.

Azelaic Acid

Azelaic acid, derived from wheat, rye and barley, is marketed as a stand-alone acne treatment (Azelex®) because it helps reduce inflammation and bacterial growth in the follicles. Finacea® is less potent than Azelex® and prescribed for mild to moderate rosacea to help kill bacteria, calm inflammation and diminish redness. However, azelaic acid works best as a skin lightener and acne-inhibitor when formulated with alpha hydroxy acids, salicylic acid, mandelic acid and/or kojic acid, producing a more potent synergistic effect on the skin.

Niacinamide

Niacinamide (vitamin B3) is a stable, versatile ingredient that possesses antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and pigment-reducing properties, and often found in skin brightening formulations. Used for mild acne, rosacea and hyperpigmentation, niacinamide has also been shown to help regulate sebum, improve barrier function, increase immunity, reduce sensitivity and improve the visible signs of aging without irritation. Niacinamide is safe and effective as part of a longterm maintenance program for hyperpigmentation and adult acne. It works best when used in combination with other acne and skin brightening products.

Skin Brighteners

Brightening ingredients help inhibit the over-activity of tyrosinase, the key enzyme involved in melanin synthesis and skin coloration. Tyrosinase activity is accelerated in melanin-producing cells by the stimulation of free radicals caused by sun exposure, DNA photo-damage and other skin stresses. This incites increased levels of melanogenesis, a complex chain reaction that leads to the formation of skin discoloration.

Melanin-suppressing ingredients include the controversial FDA-approved hydroquinone (HQ), kojic acid , kojic dipalmitate, alpha arbutin, azelaic acid, vitamin K, mulberry extract, bearberry (beta arbutin), licorice extract, niacinamide (vitamin B3), l-ascorbate (stable, absorbable vitamin C), emblica extract, Tego® Cosmo C250, Gigawhite™, mandelic acid and citrus juice extracts. Mandelic acid, niacinamide and azelaic acid possess both depigmenting and acne-fighting properties.

Gel and serum brightening “cocktails” formulated with retinoids or alpha hydroxy acids are able to penetrate better and carry ingredients deep to the target tissues. This makes them effective against acne while they interfere with the mechanism that leads to the over-production of melanin in the skin. Patch-tested and used exactly as directed and in the appropriate formulation, there is a low incidence of irritation and allergic reaction.

Prescription “bleach” creams compounded by pharmacists, including Kligman’s original formula and modified versions (including Tri-Luma®), are combinations of HQ, tretinoin and steroids. While effective for discoloration, they are indicated for short-term use only, and not appropriate to treat acne. Other prescribed combinations include HQ and glycolic acid (Lustra® and Glyquin®) and HQ and retinol (Alustra®), in addition to a variety of old school HQ-only formulations which perform poorly and can be comedogenic.

Sulfur

Sulfur has been used for centuries as an anti-inflammatory and drying agent. As an acne medication, sulfur is formulated with resorcinol, benzoyl peroxide or sodium sulfacetamide, and helps to dry out active acne, reduce oiliness and prevent new breakouts. Sulfur clay masks dramatically improve skin texture by exfoliating dead skin cells, and make the skin more bio-available to active acne products applied after the mask is removed. Sulfur is safe and effective to treat acne, oily skin and fungal infections, unless one is allergic to it or suffers from extremely dry skin or eczema. It works best when used in conjunction with other acne methods.

Rasul Clay

Also known as rhassoul clay and ghassoul clay, this mineral-rich clay is found in the mountains of Morocco. Lerosett® Mask by Gunilla of Sweden is a well-known brand. Free of chemicals and preservatives, rasul clay absorbs oil and follicular debris and helps dry out active acne, though it doesn’t penetrate the follicle or kill bacteria. Like sulfur, rasul clay works best when used in combination with other acne methods.

Resorcinol

Resorcinol, an antiseptic chemical exfoliator derived from resins, is usually formulated with sulfur, and dries out active acne and helps reduce oily build-up on the skin. Jessner’s solution, a chemical peel made with a combination of salicylic acid (BHA), lactic acid and resorcinol, has been used for decades to address acne, superficial scars, sun-damage and rough texture.

Combination Topicals

Several acne products are combinations of two or more active ingredients, including benzoyl peroxide-sulfur, sulfur-resorcinol, sodium sulfacetamide-sulfur (Sulfacet-R®), benzoyl peroxide-antibiotics (Benzamycin®, Duac® and BenzaClin®), clindamycin-tretinoin (Ziana®), and benzoyl peroxide-adapalene (Epiduo® Gel).

Dapsone

Dapsone gel (Aczone®) is approved for the topical treatment of acne. Dapsone is a sulfone drug used mainly as an oral medication for leprosy and less commonly as a treatment for acne. The FDA warned Allergan that their claims overstated the clinical efficacy and that they misleadingly suggested the drug was safer than has been demonstrated by substantial evidence and clinical experience. Until recently, they failed to disclose the fact that using dapsone gel followed by benzoyl peroxide can result in temporary yellow or orange skin discoloration and facial hair.

Sodium Sulfacetamide

Sodium sulfacetamide lotion belongs to a class of drugs called sulfa antibiotics, sold as Klaron® (sodium sulfacetamide) Sulfacet-R®, Novacet® (sodium sulfacetamide with sulfur) and other generic brands. For sensitive skin, seborrheic dermatitis and rosacea, it’s well-tolerated and less irritating than other topicals. It’s often prescribed in combination with other acne methods because the skin builds up a tolerance over time and it loses its effectiveness. Versions containing sulfur are mild exfoliants and some people are bothered by the strong smell. There is increased risk for systemic side effects if used on “open” acne, broken skin or on large areas of the body, and it should not be used if pregnant or nursing.

Isotretinoin

Accutane® (isotretinoin) is a powerful systemic retinoid, related to vitamin A, often used as a “last resort” to treat severe cystic acne. It works by shutting down the sebaceous activity in the entire body. Side effects can include severe birth defects, depression, suicidal thoughts and attempts, fatigue, problems regulating blood sugar, kidney malfunction, pancreatitis, liver abnormalities, fragile skin, dryness and peeling, redness of the face, skin infection, delayed wound healing, blurred vision, decreased tolerance to contact lenses, cataracts, conjunctivitis (“pink eye”), decreased night vision, chapped lips, gum inflammation and bleeding, severe sun-sensitivity, rashes, hair loss, aching joints, bone changes, osteoporosis, chest pain, headaches, nausea, vomiting, and chronic inflammatory bowel disease with rectal bleeding. Monthly blood tests for liver and kidney function and glucose levels are required

Because isotretinoin can cause severe birth defects, including mental retardation and physical malformations, a woman must not become pregnant while taking it. Women of child-bearing age must undergo monthly pregnancy testing and use two forms of foolproof birth control. All patients (male and female) are required to sign a detailed consent form outlining the many severe side effects. Since 2005, all patients who use this drug, all doctors who prescribe it, and all pharmacies who fill prescriptions must join the national FDA-mandated “iPLEDGE” Accutane Registry.

Unfortunately, many patients with lesser grades of acne are being prescribed isotretinoin very casually. Not only is it potentially dangerous, it simply doesn’t work for all types of acne. Tens of thousands of disillusioned post-Accutane® failure cases were promised permanent results and put at risk when it was clearly not even indicated for their grade of acne. Often, the acne would clear up after one or more cycles, only to have the condition return within months of stopping the drug.

Also, isotretinoin interferes with the skin enzyme collagenase, so there is increased risk of severe scarring if procedures like dermabrasion, deep chemical peels, laser resurfacing and other facial surgery are performed. Roche and other manufacturers have withdrawn this drug from the market because of lawsuits and huge financial losses. At this time, only a couple of generic versions are still available.

Spironolactone

Spironolactone is a synthetic hormone and anti-androgen diuretic drug is used to treat high blood pressure and fluid retention. Because it decreases testosterone production, it is also utilized to treat hirsutism, PCOS and hormonal acne in women. The birth control pill Yaz® also contains this drug.

This is not a popular treatment for those who are NOT diagnosed with an androgenic hormonal imbalance. Side effects include dehydration, nausea, fatigue, irregular periods, sun-sensitivity, headache and a link to cancer. Since it interrupts the masculinization of male fetuses, foolproof birth control is mandatory. When severe acne is accompanied by insulin resistance, obesity and hirsutism, and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) has been diagnosed, spironolactone is sometimes prescribed in combination with oral contraceptives and metformin, a drug used to treat adult-onset diabetes. Hormones and spironolactone are also prescribed for male-to-female gender reassignment patients as part of their transition therapy. However, acne and hirsutism can be genetic and cultural, i.e. run in certain families, and most cases are not always linked to PCOS.

Some tests have shown that topical spironolactone may be effective at 5% under an occlusive covering to address androgens (DHT) deep in the follicle (on the back). Some acne formulations are using trace amounts in their formulas (along with active OTC acne ingredients), but since it’s only effective at much higher percentages, the label would have to identify spironolactone as an active ingredient. The birth control pill Yaz®, which contains spironolactone, and the more potent oral spironolactone never received rave reviews for acne. While they may have worked for some, their side effects often outweigh the benefits.

Acne Causes

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Three factors contribute to the formation of acne:

Overproduction of oil (sebum)
Irregular shedding of dead skin cells resulting in irritation of the hair follicles of your skin
Buildup of bacteria
Acne occurs when the hair follicles become plugged with oil and dead skin cells. Hair follicles are connected to sebaceous glands. These glands secrete an oily substance known as sebum to lubricate your hair and skin. Sebum normally travels up along the hair shafts and then out through the openings of the hair follicles onto the surface of your skin. When your body produces an excess amount of sebum and dead skin cells, the two can build up in the hair follicles and form together as a soft plug, creating an environment where bacteria can thrive.

This plug may cause the follicle wall to bulge and produce a whitehead. Or, the plug may be open to the surface and may darken, causing a blackhead. Pimples are raised red spots with a white center that develop when blocked hair follicles become inflamed or infected. Blockages and inflammation that develop deep inside hair follicles produce lumps beneath the surface of your skin called cysts. Other pores in your skin, which are the openings of the sweat glands onto your skin, aren’t normally involved in acne.

Factors that may worsen acne
These factors can trigger or aggravate an existing case of acne:

Hormones. Androgens are hormones that increase in boys and girls during puberty and cause the sebaceous glands to enlarge and make more sebum. Hormonal changes related to pregnancy and the use of oral contraceptives can also affect sebum production.
Certain medications. Drugs containing corticosteroids, androgens or lithium are known to cause acne.
Diet. Studies indicate that certain dietary factors, including dairy products and carbohydrate-rich foods — such as bread, bagels and chips, which increase blood sugar — may trigger acne.
Acne myths
Contrary to what some people think, these factors have little effect on acne:

Greasy foods and chocolate have proved to have little to no effect on the development or course of acne.
Dirty skin. Acne isn’t caused by dirt. In fact, scrubbing the skin too hard or cleansing with harsh soaps or chemicals irritates the skin and can make acne worse. Simple cleansing of the skin to remove excess oil and dead skin cells is all that’s required.

Endocrine System & Your Skin

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I’m not an expert by any means, and I definitely don’t have all the answers, but I do feel like I have a good grasp of the basics and I can share with you what I’ve learnt and what’s really helped me to clear my hormonal acne….so you too can hopefully do the same

Your Endocrine System

The Endocrine System is a collection of glands that are throughout your body. A gland is a group of cells that produces and secrets chemicals. Your glands select and remove materials from the blood, processes them, and secretes the finished chemical product for use somewhere in the body.

These glands secrete hormones. Hormones are chemicals that travel around your body, transferring instructions and information from your glands to cells in other parts of your body. They are often referred to as your body’s ‘messengers’ that deliver messages to different parts of your body to coordinate certain bodily functions.

Many different types of hormones travel through your bloodstream but each type of hormone is designed to affect only certain cells. These cells will have receptors on them that are specific for a certain hormone. This way, your body can make sure that the correct cells get the correct messages.

You can see an example of this in the diagram I made below:

Hormones influence almost every cell, organ, and function of our bodies.

Hormones regulate and influence:

Weight Regulation
Your Immune Function
Body Fat Composition
Energy Levels
Anti-aging
Regulating Mood
Sexual Function
Reproductive Processes
Growth rate
Tissue Function
Metabolism
Generally, your endocrine system is in charge of body processes that develop slowly (e.g. cell growth). Faster body processes like breathing is controlled by your nervous system. Even though your endocrine system and nervous system are separate systems, they often work together to make sure your body functions properly.

Hormones are grouped into three classes based on their structure:

Steroids – these hormones are lipids made from cholesterol, such as sex hormones. They are secreted from the sex organs, adrenal glands and placenta.
Peptides – are short chains of amino acids that are secreted by the pituitary gland, parathyroid gland, heart, stomach, liver, and kidneys. Most hormones are peptides.
Amines – these are made from an amino acid secreted from the thyroid gland and adrenal glands.
All hormones are important, but the ones I want to focus on in this series that has the most impact on hormonal acne are the Steroid hormones (in particular sex hormones).

The Endocrine Glands

The major glands that make up the human endocrine system include the:

hypothalamus
pituitary gland
thyroid gland
parathyroid glands
adrenal glands
pineal gland
reproductive glands (which include the ovaries and testes)
Although the endocrine glands are the main producers of hormones, other non-endocrine organs produce and release hormones too, such as the brain, skin, heart, lungs, kidneys, thymus and liver.

The Hypothalamus

The Hypothalamus is a group of specialized cells in the lower central part of the brain and is the main link between the endocrine system and the nervous system. It helps to regulate your appetite, body temperature and metabolism. Nerve cells in the Hypothalamus control the Pituitary Gland by secreting ‘releasing’ hormones that are designed to tell the pituitary gland whether to make more of a certain hormone or make less of it. It basically controls the amount of hormones the pituitary gland produces.

The Pituitary Gland

Although it’s controlled by the hypothalamus, the pituitary glad is often called the ‘master gland’ because it makes hormones that control several other endocrine glands such as the Thyroid, Adrenals, and Reproduction Glands. It’s located just beneath the hypothalamus at the base of the brain and is about the size of a pea.

The production and secretion of hormones by the pituitary gland can be influenced by things such as your emotions, feelings, environment and changes in the season. This is because the hypothalamus will send information from the brain about things such as feelings, light exposure pattens, environment, temperature etc to the pituitary gland.

Some of the main hormones produced and secreted by the Pituitary Gland:

Growth hormone – stimulates growth of bone and tissue.
Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) – stimulates the thyroid gland to produce thyroid hormones (A lack of thyroid hormones either because of a defect in the pituitary or the thyroid itself is called hypothyroidism.)
Adrenocorticotropin hormone (ACTH) – stimulates the adrenal gland to produce several related steroid hormones
Luteinizing hormone (LH) and Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) – hormones that control sexual function and production of the sex steroids, estrogen and progesterone in females or testosterone in males
Prolactin – hormone that stimulates milk production in females
Thyroid Gland

The thyroid gland produces thyroid hormones (called thyroxine and triiodothyronine) which regulates your metabolism by controlling the rate at which you burn fuels from foods to produce energy. They are also important for brain and nervous system developments and the growth of your bones. They also help maintain normal blood pressure, muscle tone, heart rate, reproductive functions, and digestion.

Parathyroid Glands

The Parathyroid glands are 2 pairs of tiny glands embedded in the surface of the thyroid gland (one pair each side). They work together to release parathyroid hormone which regulates the level of calcium there is in the blood and bone metabolism.

Adrenal Glands

These are two triangular glands located on the top of each of your kidneys. The adrenal glands have two parts; an inner and an outer part. These 2 parts produce different sets of hormones, and each has a different function.

1) Outer Part (Adrenal Cortex) – produces steroid hormones called corticosteroids that regulate salt and water balance in the body, the body’s response to stress (fight or flight response), metabolism, the immune system, and sexual development and function.

Mineralocorticoids – they maintain electrolyte balance. These are hormones such as Aldosterone.
Glucocorticoids – they produce a long-term, slow response to stress by raising blood glucose levels through the breakdown of fats and proteins; they also suppress the immune response and inhibit the inflammatory response. These are hormones such as Cortisol.
Sex Hormones – such as Testosterone, Progesterone, Estrogen. These are all produced by the adrenal glands in both males and female (smaller amounts of progesterone and estrogen in males and smaller amounts of testosterone in females).
2) Inner Part (Adrenal Medulla) – produces amine hormones called catecholamines, these are; epinephrine (also called adrenaline) and norepinephrine which help the body to deal with stress.

Pineal Gland

The pineal gland is in the middle of the brain and secretes melatonin that helps to regulate your sleep cycle.

Reproductive Glands

These glands are the testes in males and the ovaries in females, and are the main sources for sex hormones. The testes produce androgens and control the development of male characteristics and the ovaries produce estrogens and progesterone that control the development of female characteristics.

The Pancreas

One part of the pancreas (the exocrine pancreas) secretes digestive enzymes while the other part of the pancreas (the endocrine pancreas) secretes 2 hormones that regulate your blood sugar levels; Insulin which is released to help bring down blood sugar levels (by telling cells to take up glucose (sugar), and Glucagon which releases glucose back into the blood when blood sugar levels get too low.

Hormones

Here are some of the main hormones that I’m going to talk about in this series and how they influence your overall health and in particular your acne.

Progesterone – opposes estrogen, allows for gestation of a child, protects against cancer, progesterone is used to make testosterone and estrogen.

Testosterone – dominant male hormone (but also present in females), opposes estrogen, protects against cancer, associated with will power and physical strength.

Estrogen – regulates healthy metabolism, opposes progesterone and testosterone, increases cell growth rates, initiates weight gain.

DHEA – protects against cancer, improves memory, improves immune system, lowers body fat, increases muscle mass, protects the brain.

DHT (Dihydrotestosterone) – Testosterone can be converted into another androgen called DHT. This is a potent form of testosterone that is responsible for male secondary sexual characteristics like deepening of voice, facial and body hair, oily skin, sex drive and function. This form of testosterone is the most closely related to hormonal acne that’s the cause of ’excess androgens’.

Cortisol – mood hormone, helps us adapt to stress, stimulates appetite, improves digestion, stimulates brain, muscles, circulatory system and lungs, fights leukemia and lumphomas.

Insulin – is a hormone produces by the pancreas that regulates your blood sugar levels. It helps to do this by causing cells in the liver, fat tissue and muscles to take up glucose (sugar) when your blood sugar levels are too high (such as after you’ve eaten).

Vitamin D – is a hormone, not a vitamin, activates 10% of our healing genes, increases bone density, improves immunity, fights cancer, improves mood.

How Are Hormones Made?

All of these Steroid hormones mentioned above are made from Cholesterol. All hormones have pregnenolone and progesterone as basic precursors. The diagram below shows how hormones are all made from (good) cholesterol. Some of the hormones in this pathway can be converted into others, and some can convert back, while others cannot.

Why is this important for acne sufferers?

Learning about your hormones and your body is really helpful for people with hormonal acne because you will have a better understand of what your body needs and how to clear your acne. You don’t have to know too much of the ‘science’ behind it all, but a basic understanding is enough to often come up with a solution that’s right for you and your body. If you feel overwhelmed and confused by your hormonal acne, learning about it and ‘demystifying’ it will help you to feel more confident and positive about how you can get healthy again and clear your skin for good.

Spa Facials vs Medical Facials

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They may help instill a sense of relaxation but treating yourself to regular facials is also essential to maintaining a regular pattern of exfoliation and healthy skin. When the skin is properly and frequently exfoliated, the normal rate of cell turnover ensues, which translates to softer skin that is more even in tone, less prone to breakouts and shows fewer signs of aging.

Spa Facials vs Medical Facials. What’s the Difference?
Facials are offered almost everywhere, from salons and luxury spas to dermatologists’ and plastic surgeons’ offices. So, what are the differences between them—and how do you know which you’ll best benefit from?

The Spa Facial

If you choose to have a facial done at a spa, expect more of a relaxing and pampering experience. Skin problems can be tackled, but the ingredients are more comforting and soothing. And while they can be effective, they may not be as strong or medically-based as what you can get at a doctor’s office.

Steam is Used
A steam-emitting machine is positioned close to the skin to “open up” pores and soften oil that has hardened within them. “Steam prepares the skin for extractions,” says celebrity aesthetician Joanna Vargas. “But some skin types are too sensitive for it. And if not done properly, it can cause extreme redness and even burn the skin.”

More Pampering
For those who want added indulgence, spa facials can be complemented by other stress-relieving treatments—think a neck, hand or foot massage and even aromatherapy—and further enhanced by a luxurious ambience.

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The Medical Facial

Medical facials are not considered luxurious or pampering, but more like a hard-core workout for the skin; they give extra attention to serious skin problems and focus on deep exfoliation. “Medical facials are great for those with specific skin concerns who need a clinical approach to get the results they want,” says Boca Raton, FL, medical aesthetician Cheryl Staurowsky.

Use Different Ingredients and Modalities
Stronger concentrations and prescription-strength ingredients, like retinoids and hydroquinone can be used, as well as light and laser treatments, more aggressive peels and microdermabrasion.

Steam is Not Always Used
“Some clinicians like using alphahydroxy acids to soften the sebum and 
cellular buildup, as opposed to steam, making extractions easier and less traumatizing to the skin,” says Staurowsky.

Done Under the Supervision of a Plastic Surgeon or Dermatologist
“Licensed aestheticians are well-trained in their craft and extremely knowledgeable about skin care. They should always be on hand to treat any problems, should they arise,” says Studio City, CA, dermatologist Gene Rubinstein, MD.