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By combining the traditional pampering experience of a day spa with the expertise of a doctor, clients have been turning to medical spas as a resource to tackle stubborn aesthetic and health issues. Here, visitors will find procedures that go beyond soaks, wraps and facials, and find effective treatments designed to create more dramatic, lasting results.

When should you consider a medical spa, or “med spa,” as opposed to a traditional one? What different options can they offer? Here are a few answers to frequently asked questions about these increasingly popular facilities.

Differences between a medical spa and day spa

On the surface, medical and day spas might appear interchangeable. Each offers a similar luxurious atmosphere clients have come to expect, although some medical spas might have a more businesslike, clinical feel.

Despite a variety of superficial differences, there are factors that separate the two spas, according to the America Med Spa Association. The key difference is that a medical spa is under the general supervision of a licensed physician, often a dermatologist or plastic surgeon. These healthcare professionals oversee and run the facility.  The traditional spa offerings, which are non-invasive in nature, are performed by experienced, qualified staff members who are licensed Estheticians.

With the addition of body-sculpting and other cosmetic procedures administered by a medical doctor, the mission of a medical spa can also differ from a traditional day spa. While most day spas offer relaxation and light beauty treatments, medical spas are able to target more stubborn issues and look for measurable results.

What treatments are available?

While options vary from spa to spa, medical spas typically offer treatments for acne, wrinkles, hair removal or replacement and body sculpting. They may also offer traditional spa services such as massages, seaweed wraps, facials and more.

For a comprehensive list of medical spa offerings, the American Med Spa Association has a directory that includes detailed information about many procedures. Some of the most popular include:

  • Botox treatment – injecting botulinum toxin to reduce wrinkles
  • TrueSculpt3d –  a device that uses radio frequencies to remove fat cells
  • Microneedling – using a rolling device to prick holes in the skin and encourage collagen growth
  • Scar revision – surgery to minimize scars and blend them into the surrounding skin
  • Vampire facelift – drawing the patients platelet-rich plasma and injecting it into other areas

Other treatments are listed in this directory along with answers to common questions about pain level, average cost, results and any concerns someone should have before deciding on the procedure.

Who administers the treatments?

Depending on the state, regulations differ on the level of education and expertise needed to administer treatments. Generally, though, licensed medical professionals perform medical treatments. Even the definition of what qualifies as a  “medical treatment” varies from state by state. There may be a gray area between aesthetic and medical treatments. Technically speaking, medical treatments affect living tissue and generally involve implements such as needles or a scalpel and require a medical exam by a doctor. 

Estheticians often handle treatments that target dead skin cells and would be found in a typical spa experience (facials, seaweed wraps, salt scrubs, etc.)

The American Med Spa Association’s treatment directory lists many of the top procedures along with helpful information that allows visitors to educate themselves prior to visiting a medical spa. Knowing what your state considers a medical treatment, and which practitioners are legally allowed to perform it is imperative research to do before going to a day spa. 

Call (402)384-8400 or book an appointment online today!

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