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What Is a Medical Spa? A Simple Guide to Medical Spas

The latest stats reveal medical spas in the U.S. are one of the fastest-growing industries with well over 5,000 currently operating. What is a medical spa and what differentiates it from a regular spa?

We’ve got the answer! Keep reading for a simple guide to medical spas and what you can expect from one.

Traditional Spa Experience

The traditional spa experience offers your choice of several treatments. Typical treatments include:

  • Different types of massage
  • Facials
  • Body treatments
  • Manicure
  • Pedicure

Most spas offer several types of massages, including Swedish, deep-tissue, and regular massages.

Many people who frequent traditional spas choose one or more treatments and spend several hours or even a day at the spa. A massage followed by a facial and manicure is a great combination!

A body treatment is like a facial only it includes the skin on your entire body.

The spa experience centers around relaxing and pampering yourself.

What Is a Medical Spa?

A medical spa differs in two major ways:

  • A licensed physician oversees the facility
  • Medical spas offer a wider array of services, some of which are medical in nature

At a regular spa, a doctor’s oversight isn’t necessary. The types of treatments on offer at a medical spa require a licensed physician’s input, even if the physician isn’t the one giving the treatment.

The types of treatments a medical spa offers that aren’t available at a regular spa include:

  • Facial fillers
  • Botox injections
  • Chemical peels
  • Laser hair removal
  • Varicose vein treatment
  • Spider vein treatment
  • Scar revision
  • Permanent makeup
  • Hair replacement
  • Weight-loss programs

Facial fillers, Botox treatments, and laser treatments are medical procedures. They require a doctor, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant for treatment.

It’s important you see a doctor first before any type of medical treatment. Once you’ve had a doctor’s consultation, it’s not always necessary that the doctor is on-site for your treatment.

Make sure the person giving the treatment is fully trained and licensed.

State-to-State Regulations

Each state has different regulations when it comes to medical spas. Some medical spa rules come from The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Medical spas also fall under the purview of The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Medicare, and Medicaid.

An aesthetician may work in a medical spa but there’s no such thing as a medical aesthetician. That’s a misleading term because aestheticians can’t perform medical treatments.

Always do your homework before getting any type of medical procedure or treatment.

A Day at the Medical Spa

What is a medical spa? It’s a spa that offers cosmetic medical procedures as well as regular spa treatments.

If you want fillers, Botox, scar revision, or other medical-type cosmetic procedures, a medical spa is a good solution. You’ll consult with a doctor first, though a physician’s assistant or nurse practitioner may do the actual treatment.

Medical spas are doctor-owned and overseen. They offer a more spa-like and relaxing experience than a regular medical office.

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