This describes an adverse reaction to a treatment or product, which occurs during or shortly after a treatment.  Common contra-actions are allergies to products.  This can often be identified if the area becomes red, sore or itchy.  All contra-actions should be noted on the clients’ treatment plan or log sheet and where possible the cause identified.  Record down the settings used, in the client records. The settings can then be avoided for the next treatment. Some reactions are unavoidable and a client MUST be made aware before having the treatment. Slight redness, irritation and flaking are common it is when they become excessive that it is an issue.

Common contra-actions that could occur

  • Erythema
  • Skin irritation
  • Skin bleeding
  • Mild flaking of the epidermis, due to triggering of cell renewal.


Possible causes of contra-actions

  • Vacuum pressure setting too high
  • Movements on the skin too slow
  • Placing downward pressure on the hand piece
  • Over-treating of an area – too many passes
  • Allergic reaction
  • Incorrect skin analysis
  • Small, faint, red stripes can be left on the skin because the speed of the hand piece movement was not consistent, or a gap was left between the hand piece movements, or too much downward pressure was exerted on the hand piece.
  • Wrong hydra-dermabrasion head used. There are several heads that can be used for this treatment. There is two different sizes of attachments to suit different surface sizes (some people have bigger faces than others). There is also a diamond head inside one of the attachments for a deeper clean but this can make the skin redder and can feel scratchier.

Action to take if an unwanted contra-action was to occur-

  • Remove any products that are on the skin using cool water
  • Apply a cool/cold compress
  • If a contra-action is severe, the client should contact a medical  professional for advice.