Therapists are fearful of the “C” word. I suppose ethically to claim a cure is to imply a certain amount of ego and a lot of risks.
When we take a client from point A, bristling with pustules, papules, encapsulated milia, and other acneic anomalies, to point B with porcelain, satiny skin, do we say “they are cured” like a televangelist or do we say, “they are in a controlled remission”?
Technically, every cure is a controlled remission with the possibility that a recurrence could be the result if treatments and home prescriptives are not maintained—as long as we are not under the ground, at which point true permanency is guaranteed.
To remove the burden of acne, we must understand it fundamentally despite its many confusing varieties.
Looking at acne as a single disorder (as opposed to its medically pigeon-holed categories) will remove much of the confusion therapists are confronted with.
Acne, from the Greek word “akne” (meaning point), also known as acne Vulgaris, if full-blown over the face, back, and chest, is physically a disease where hair follicles are clogged with dead skin cells and oil from the epidermis.
It all starts with the hypothalamus gland—currently replacing the pituitary gland as our master gland.
Think of the hypothalamus as a radio antenna receiving all signals of stress. The stress of puberty segueing into adulthood, the stress of dysfunctional relationships (onset adult acne), job-related or peer group-related stress and, the worst stress of all, subliminal stress that cannot be identified. (video demonstration)
The hypothalamus picks up the phone and relays the stress message to the adrenal glands who become very excited and phones the testosterone hormone. He calls up the sebaceous gland in the skin and commands “pump more oil” as a defense mechanism at which point we would have excessively oily skin.
However, there is always a cuticle build-up to contend with. Dead cells stop voluntarily exfoliating and layer, many filling up the shunts of the hair follicle, impacting with sebum. Underneath, the epidermis tries to isolate this foreign impaction, creating a small granuloma or cyst-like pustule which may or may not spike into actual pus.
At some point, unable to help themselves, the person scratches or squeezes these bumps and P.acnes bacteria enters the picture, exacerbating the condition, spreading infection everywhere.
Several steps can be taken to stop all this ravage:
1. Relieve the skin of its cuticle burden.
2. Using special saponification formulas, remove the pre-deposited fats from the follicle.
3. Increase capillary dilation and fresh oxygen from the lungs (not topically applied—the skin does not breathe).
4. Destroy all P.acnes bacteria keeping a friendly acid mantle intact.
5. Restore homeostasis to all inter-cellular fluids, thus minimizing inflammation.
Psychologically, the stress levels will slow down as the patient sees something positive happening to their skin. Many times, their depression is very deep after having tried so many things before with little results. Now we have an internal as well as external treatment that ensures a positive result for a lifetime.
Skin health internally and topically is better able to fight back bacterial, parasitic or even viral attacks. No one needs to suffer the scourge of acne and its possible difficult-to-remove cuneiform scars.
I know this personally. In the late 1950s, I was the poster boy for Pizza Face. From birth, as the first of six children, I was always called a “pretty boy.” That’s all I heard for several years, “what a pretty boy!” until acne struck at age 15. Pretty boy no more.
I cannot tell you the misery I went through, feeling somehow dirty and unacceptable. My parents were very social and insisted I attend all house parties, dinners, etc. I would seek out the darkest areas in the room and sit sphinx-like in one spot all evening. I wore Clearasil, a flesh-tinted OTC acne nostrum as a makeup base to cover all the bumps. It would dry so I never smiled for fear of cracking it, thus earning me the nickname ‘Death Masque Kid.”
Many trips to dermatologists resulting in no real changes made me turn in desperation to my hobby chemistry (or alchemy as I thought of it, imagining myself a young Merlin).
Creating masques with plant and fruit enzymes, cleaning with soap bark teas, changing my eating habits and going for long swims in the sea evoked changes.
I had never really looked at myself in mirrors nor into cameras so you can imagine my shock one summer afternoon at English Bay in Canada when I left the beach to purchase a soft drink in a hotel lobby and was confronted by a muscle toned, smooth-skinned, tan young man walking toward me wearing the exact same swimming suit. Then realizing it was a floor to ceiling mirror image down the corridor…The pretty boy again!
I know what acne clients go through and even though my career is not a straight, thought-out pathway, I think this catapulted me into this field over 50 years ago, creating confidence from the outside-in™. Truly.
DMK founder – Danné Montague-King
A pioneer in his industry. Danné has seen the depths of depression associated with poorly functioning skin. In fact, his everlasting passion was born from his dissatisfaction with his own acne as a teen. Many times he has shared the story of how his parents would take him to lavish events where he would find a dark corner to hide away in, ashamed of this blemished skin. Not understanding the condition completely, and after failed attempts from top US dermatologists to cure his acne, Danné took things into his own hands and desperate for a cure, became his own guinea pig. A string of breakthroughs, trials, and tribulations, and many travels would follow, until he found his first true breakthrough in the ’60s involving vitamin C therapy.
That’s all it took to spark what would be decades of developing successful treatments and products that would combine to form the iconic brand that is DMK – sold throughout 30 countries. For 50 years Danné has lived by his motto: rebuilding skin, rebuilding lives.
Dedicated to his craft, his practicing therapists, and his clients, Danné is the founder of the DMK family and is responsible for rebuilding skin, and rebuilding lives all over the world.