Like my father before me, I had cystic acne, quarter-sized cysts on face, back, neck, and chest. It was so severe that I was prescribed isotretinoin (accutane) and that was amazing, supremely effective, but talk about a side-effect-sideshow. No matter how much I drank or applied lip-balm, my lips ached, bled and blackened.
But as I said, it worked, I cleared up over a lengthy period, just like my Dad who had previously resigned himself to a lifelong tetracycline treatment in a last ditch attempt to clear up his adult acne. Poor Dad was pocked with acne-scars so severe that he underwent microdermabrasion by a dermatologist back when they used crystal-dust instead of diamond wands. It helped but in spite of his best efforts, which included impeccable taste and style, he had to accept some scars.
Also around that period I saw the movie Teen Wolf and empathized. Puberty was socking it to me and it even made my eyebrows grow together into a fetching unibrow.
Angela was then working as an electrologist in my hometown of Salt Lake City, UT. She was already a professional nurse and long-time electrologist and esthetician when I met her at Essentielle Skincare and it didn't take her long to give me eyebrows again.
Angela set a high standard back then and her experience has only grown since, today she's Cidesco trained as well. She spoke in a heavily accented German-Swiss-English that it always delighted me to hear. She taught me how to say things in other languages while she worked and I have a lot to thank her for today. She was the first person to help me understand the role of the Spa in continuing wellness and she related some of her own experiences at European Spas, all of which sounded dreamy.
My hypertrichosis was a reaction to the hormonal surge every teen meets. The higher androgen levels in my blood made my hairs thicker and darker than they had ever been before. They always said in biology that humans have as many hairs as chimpanzees and there's a fun Youtube video from SciShow about it, but that didn't prepare me to meet all those hairs and all of a sudden.
My hair is wavy, the newly driven hair growth was causing a lot of in-grown hairs. Before long, even after accutane and a good understanding of p. acne bacteria, I had acne driven by ingrown hairs again. A condition I would have into my 30's, which is one reason why I had my beard removed by electrolysis.
My great electrolysis results didn't stop me from trying laser hair removal. It sounded good at the time and I was sure, back in 1994, that FDA approval for permanent hair removal with lasers was only a few years away. I had no results with laser at all, except some pain. Twenty years have passed since then and my beard is gone but I had every one of those beard hairs meticulously removed by an electrologist. Today, lasers are still not approved for "permanent hair removal" but only for "temporary reduction" of hair.
If there is a positive to having really bad acne it's that you can justify a doctor's care for it and they have some powerful remedies at their disposal. Accutane was proof of that for me but it didn't end there, my dermatologist loved his job, and he was delighted, even zealous, to have the chance to freeze (with liquid nitrogen) or burn (with a cauterizing wand) something off a person. He was a "never give up" sort of guy and his willingness to continue trying is one reason why I escaped a lot of permanent acne scarring myself.
My dermatologist reduced the severity of my teenage acne into something that was well controlled by regular visits to my esthetician. And such a wonderful esthetician, she helped me see myself--the person with a skin condition and nothing more--by always treating me with great kindness and respect. I'm very grateful to these tactful and caring people for giving me the kind of care experience I strive to give my own customers.
So sometimes I find myself explaining what a Spa is to a person who thinks I mean Hot Tub. I've never been to Europe but I've enjoyed Spa care in the U.S. and Canada and even in Malaysia, Borneo, and Singapore. A great spa experience is healing, refreshing, educational, and memorable. You don't need a reason--beyond enjoyment--to go, but if you do have a skin problem or even a concern, the spa is a great place to start.