I have my share of clients who don’t always do what they should do at home, and some whose parents insist they are doing it and it is my products that are not working.
I can tell by looking at their skin what isn’t going on at home. I have always struggled to put words to what I see.
Plugs not coming out easily means not enough Acne Med or maybe not drinking enough water, but usually, it is Acne Med. Curiously, however, plugs seem to come out well when the client is doing NOTHING at home. I mean zip. So explaining that doesn’t always work. But the skin takes on this “look” when they are doing their routine. It isn’t necessarily clear, but it looks different.
Saying that to a client, or worse, to a mom, sounds like you haven’t a clue what is going on.
“The skin looks exfoliated.” Those words seem to carry the point across.
Last week a young man came in that I have been treating for a year. He has really bad cystic acne with the pustules filled with blood. Sadly, his skin needed a lot of help. He was diligent and cleared up beautifully in the usual three to four months. Nothing was left but the red marks so we were just seeing him once a month.
Then he started slacking, just a bit at first so it wasn’t noticeable. The fact that slacking takes up to three months to show on the skin is our worst enemy. The client thinks he is getting away with it. “I skipped twice last week and nothing happened.” Sorry, but is just going to take three months to show up.
So my young man was flying under the radar. Then the breakouts started to show up. I wanted to believe him when he said he was being consistent. He is such a nice young man. I warned him what could happen when he wasn’t consistent and he seemed to take it to heart, but the breakouts kept appearing.
Well, his skin must have adapted to these products, so should I make his protocol stronger?
After several months of this (we are still at once a month). I take one look at his skin and KNOW he isn’t doing it. Have a come to Jesus conversation with him and with his mom (who is a real sweetheart). She said that it had been a challenging spring, but that he was back on his game now.
Next time I saw him, he looked better and he told me he had made a compliance log so he would know if he ever missed. YES! Now I want him back at every two weeks and they agree.
But guess what? The next visit he is worse again. Looking closely, I think he has fallen off the wagon. Questioning him he swears he is being consistent and he is keeping up with his log. Umm hmm. I suspect the log is for mom.
So then we have the talk about what I see with his skin and how his skin can’t lie, and that it just doesn’t look exfoliated. “Well, I think I am doing it all the time, but if my skin doesn’t look exfoliated, well, I guess I am not doing it every time.” It is all I can do not to crack up at that! He then went on to confess that he’d be good for seven nights running and then miss a night. And then four nights running and then miss a night. Somehow the word “exfoliated” brought out the truth. We’ll see if admitting the problem will go anywhere toward solving it. I will keep you posted.
Compliance is important.
Coming to your appointments is important
Doing your home care and watching your diet gets you clear and will KEEP you clear.