Medicine Hat Medical Cosmetics – Dr. Burger

The Savvy Client

Part 1.

I have a friend in her 20s, very smart, with a dry sense of humor. She went to University in the UK, met a cute boy from Ireland and they started going out.  I asked her how the romance was going and she said: “Well, after going out for a few months I decided to have the sex talk as things were going in that direction. His reaction was so weird. I asked him how many sex partners he had had, when last he had himself checked for STDs and if he always used condoms for intercourse. I thought he was going to die from embarrassment, he blushed and stuttered and could not answer me. Then he told me Canadians must be very forward as this was a delicate topic and not something that was talked about so openly in the UK”.

She said, and this was the cincher for me; ”I told him I don’t have sex with just anyone and I protect my body and you (he) should have many questions for me too”.

What a girl. What a kick to see someone actually do what we as parents and society preach at them: be responsible, be open, think before you do, protect yourself!

We wish for our sons and daughters to be that savvy about life in general.

I’d like to draw a parallel between her story and the topic this month:

I have been asked to address safety in Spa’s and what a client should look for and what questions to ask in order to protect them from harm. These requests are mostly from people who come to see me because they were burned, injured or scarred while receiving a procedure at a Spa; by the time they see me they are painfully aware of what can go wrong and regret not having asked more questions before they proceeded with a treatment.

Before you as a consumer allow anyone to do a procedure on your skin or body, you should ask certain questions of the Spa you are visiting and you should expect a realistic partner to ask you some questions in return. This might seem uncomfortable, but between adult partners is smart and the right thing to do.

The goal with these articles is to help you be a more Savvy Spa Client, to help you prevent harm to yourself and discern between Spas’s that know what they are doing vs. the ones where your health is at risk. As this is a wide topic, I will address it in parts over the next few months.

Here are things you should look for:

Firstly: Your should be asked to complete a type of intake-form that asks for your Medical conditions, Prescription medications, Allergies to medications and other substances (perfumes, essential oils, aspirin and other medications that are often used in skin care products). You should be asked about sun exposure/tanning beds/tanning sprays if you are getting lasering done.

There are cases where Insulin Dependent Diabetic patients have had amputations done of their toes/foot/lower leg after receiving too aggressive of a pedicure, which lead to an infection – critical for a Diabetic patient.

A Multitude of clients all had to spend a lot of time and energy (and money) to correct burns and scarring acquired because lasering was done too aggressively for their skin tone/the wrong laser was used on the wrong body part/wrong laser for the condition treated/the laser settings were wrong/lasering was done on a person with a tan (or who was on UV-sensitisizing prescription medication), when they should not have been treated at all  had the laser technician asked the basic questions before proceeding with the treatment.

When a Spa asks you questions about your lifestyle/sports/activities or give you an intake-form to complete, don’t be offended – it means you are in a place where thought is put into how to protect you eg: when you have Diabetes, taking certain prescription medications like Coumadin, have been in the sun and a laser treatment right now will harm you. The Spa that just quickly gets you in, sitting down, doing their thing, no questions asked, no consent signed, no explanation or information given, should scare you; you are now in a place where they probably don’t even know what they don’t know.

How then can they protect you and keep you safe? Being asked questions should be reassuring to you and not seen as in invasion of your privacy.

Summer is not the time for lasers (we have to avoid UV exposure 2 weeks before and 2 weeks after ALL laser treatments, which eliminates most of the summer). At Hummingbird we tell our laser clients to enjoy the beautiful summer we have in Medicine Hat, play tennis, golf, boat, water-ski, go for walks and resume their laser treatments in fall when we do not have to worry about the direct harsh sun so much.

There are a very pale few die-hards who never go in the sun and can continue their laser treatments, but they are the exception, not the rule. Lasering will be the last topic for the summer, for now put it on the back burner.

Next month will focus on Consent forms

For now Happy Summer and call us anytime at Hummingbird MediSPA.  (403) 529 -2006