Treating Acne with Help from Your Esthetician

Estheticians (also spelled as aestheticians) are part of a growing field of skin care specialists.  Estheticians give facials and body spa treatments, waxing treatments, and many also apply makeup for special occasions.

But can your estheticians do anything to treat acne?  Find out what estheticans can do for acne, what they can't do, and how you can get the right professional treatments for your skin.

What is an esthetician?

An esthetician standing next to a shelf of skin care products
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Estheticians work at day spas, salons, and medical spas everywhere. They work in the realm of cosmetic, rather than medical, treatments.

Estheticians are also known as skin care therapists.

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Can an esthetician do anything to help treat acne?

In many cases, yes.

Because she's trained in all things skin care, your esthetician can be a great help in creating an appropriate skin care routine (especially if you feel overwhelmed in the skin care aisle). 

Facials and extractions are another big help.  These procedures can help keep pores clear and minimize breakouts.

Besides recommending products and doing facials your esthetician can also do procedures like microdermabrasion, and light chemical peels.  These cosmetic treatments can improve certain types of acne breakouts.

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Is there anything an esthetician can't do for acne?

Remember, estheticians are not medical doctors.  This means there is a limit on what they can do. 

Estheticians can only do cosmetic procedures, or those that work on the superficial layers of the skin.  Deeper chemical peels, injectables like cortisone and Botox, and acne scar treatments fall outside of their realm of expertise.

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Should I see an esthetician or a dermatologist?

This depends a lot on your acne, your skin care goals, and your personal preference.  Some people see only a dermatologist, some only an esthetician, and some see both. 

If your acne is generally mild, visits solely with an esthetician may be enough to get your breakouts under control.

Moderate acne and severe acne, though, should be treated by a dermatologist.  Your dermatologist can prescribe acne medications that where an esthetician can't.  And these more serious forms of acne just don't respond well to over-the-counter acne treatments, even those nice products that your esthetician sells at the salon.

Make sure you let your esthetician know about all prescription acne treatments you're currently using.  As important, get your dermatologist's OK before having any treatments done at the salon.

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Why does my esthetician squeeze my blemishes?

These are called extractions.  Done during a facial procedure, the aesthetician manually removes blackheads and other non-inflamed blemishes.  This can help reduce pimples over the long term.

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How can I choose the right esthetician?

Take time to "shop around" to find an esthetician that you really like. 

Go to an esthetician experienced in treating acne, if that is a concern of yours.  You'll likely get better results than from an esthetician who specializes in, say, Brazillian waxing.  Ask friends for their recommendations and ask for referrals.

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