arise. For example, knowing a client has diabetes can
help the pratitioner avoid sensitive injection sites and be
ready for an episode of hypoglycemia. In another example,
skin care professionals want to avoid doing treatments
that open skin, such as microblading, on someone with
clotting issues. Being aware of any physical disabilities or
even sight or hearing issues will help you schedule more
time for treatment to make them more comfortable.
Medical equipment. Does the client have a pacemaker,
medical port or even a urostomy bag? Being aware
of these items will allow you to make room and bed
accommodations as well as avoid certain treatments that
might be contraindicated.
Previous surgeries. Knowledge of previous surgeries
can guide the practitioner to avoid those areas if they
are still sore. Also, find out if lymph nodes were removed
in the surgery, as those areas will need to be treated
differently with massage movements and pressure.
Altering movements and pressure is advised to avoid
lymphedema down the line. As a spa professional, we
work on the neck and décolleté, and do not want to
cause harm to a client that has had nodes removed. It is
encouraged to obtain some type of oncology training to
understand skin and other physiology changes, increased
sanitation, comfort concerns, etc., as well as re-training
on massage with lymph node absence. 3
Hormonal issues. Ask about the client’s last menstrual
cycle, as there may be contraindications with unexpected
results depending on the timing of more aggressive
treatments like lasers or peels. Hormonal concerns
can also include endometriosis or a PCOS diagnosis,
which have negative side effects such as photosensitivity,
pigmentation, excessive hair growth, etc. These side effects
may have contraindications with determining a treatment
plan. The knowledge of hormonal medications, including
creams, internals or even birth control, will also be helpful.
Allergies. Allergies can include a variety of things
including fragrance, foods, cosmetics, household
chemicals and environmental (mold, pollen)
substances. Clients can also be allergic to fibers or
latex that may be used in the treatment room, so
always ask. Many people have fragrance allergies, and
it is wise to ask if the client has reacted to a fragrance
or just has a dislike for a specific fragrance. If needed,
a different product choice, mood candle and even the
skin care professionals’ personal choice of fragranced
items will need to be considered.
Many manufacturers are using food-grade
PATH OF TREATMENTS
ingredients in their products for desired treatments
of conditions as well as for color. Numbers of soy
allergies and celiac disease have increased, and
knowing these allergies will allow the skin care
professional to choose the right products.
Allergies to pollens, mold or even animals are great
to know for avoiding issues in treatment the room.
In conclusion, adding these types of questions to our
standard intake form will be helpful in determining the
path of treatments and proper home care. More and
more clients are claiming sensitive skin and analyzing
the answers from these questions may help determine
causes of that sensitivity. Being more thorough with an
intake form will also help if an adverse reaction occurs.
The most important thing to remember as a licensed
professional is to “do no harm.”
psychological-assessment-tools (Accessed Dec 7, 2017)
2. M Currin, Health-Challenged Skin: The Esthetician’s Desk Reference, Allured
Publishing: Carol Stream, IL (2012)
3. G MacDonald, Massage for the Hospital Patient and Medically Frail Client.
Lippincott Williams & Wilkins: Philadelphia (2005)
Understanding allergies and skin sensitivities is an important part
of any intake form.
Kris Campbell is a licensed esthetician who
has been actively involved in the professional
skin care industry since 2004. She created Hale
& Hush, the only professional skin care line to
focus exclusively on sensitive skin. Campbell is
respected as a prominent writer, speaker and educator in the
skin care industry.