What is a MedSpa?
If you’ve been researching and looking for some cosmetic treatments in your local area, you might have come across businesses that call themselves ‘Medspas’, ‘Medispas’ or ‘Botox Bars’ and wondered what these are. This type of practice has popped up in the spa industry and have become much more common in the last few years.
Medspa’s are also known as ‘medical spas’ are they are a type of beauty day spa that offers selective cosmetic procedures. On the surface these might seem very similar to the type of services offered by traditional cosmetic dermatologists such as Dr. Michele Green.
Medspas have become very popular recently, mostly because they are appearing in a lot of locations making them very convenient, and because some Medspas offer cheaper services than more traditional practitioners. This can entice people to have the cheaper solution since nobody likes paying more for something that is perceived to be identical. However, it should be noted, this comparison is based on a fallacy. Medspas may be cheaper but often there is a good reason for this.
The Difference Between a Medspa and a Dermatology Practice
‘Medical spa services’ and traditional dermatology services have quite a lot of cross over, at least in terms of procedures available, but once you start looking at the detail, there are some important key differentiators.
Firstly, when you visit a traditional dermatology practice, such as Dr. Michele Green you will be seen by Dr. Green herself. Dr. Green is a board-certified dermatologist who is also a graduate from Yale University, with an MD from Mount Sinai Medical School in NYC and was chief resident during her tenure there. You know from the start, that when you visit our practice your health will be in good hands.
For a Medspa to operate, a qualified doctor should oversee any invasive procedures that are carried out. For lesser beauty and rejuvenation treatments, that are more related to what you’d find in a spa, then an Esthetician may carry out the work that you’re having instead of a Medical Aesthetician. Spa treatments are typically non-invasive so can be carried out by an Esthetician, however injections such as Botox cannot be done by an Esthetician.
For invasive medical treatments you should expect that the qualified professional themselves should carry out the work that you are having. The problem with this is that at Medspas this is not always the case, and the qualified doctor who is ‘supervising’ the skin rejuvenation treatments, is perhaps doing so from their back office, and not actually carrying out the treatments personally. Often, the supervising physician is not even on the premises, at the time of the procedure, since they only are required to be ‘reachable.’
In fact, one of the major problems with having work carried out at Medspas is the confusion on who is carrying out the work that you are having and whether they are really qualified to do so. The rules and regulations can be interpreted in different ways and there are differences state to state which adds to this confusion.
How to Determine Where to Have Treatments Carried Out
Ultimately, if you are looking for some cosmetic treatments to be carried out, there are a number of things you should consider before you agree to anything.
Determine who is going to be carrying out the work and what their qualifications are. Are you sure you want to trust someone who is not a qualified doctor using procedures such as injectables (Botox injections, dermal fillers), chemical peels and even laser treatments on you? Some of these may seem like ‘easy’ treatments but they are genuine medical procedures with risks, so you should consider them as such. For example, procedures such as laser skin tightening can cause lasting damage if done incorrectly. That’s why you should only consider having a procedure like this carried out by a trained medical professional. It’s one thing having some skin care products applied to the skin as a part of a facial at a Medspa, but quite another having invasive treatments that can have a lasting impact on your health and looks.
Another important factor is whether you have any medical conditions or allergies. Are these risks discussed with you prior to the treatment? A professional dermatology practice will ascertain whether you are suitable for a treatment. Ask about side effects and what these may be. Are these explained to you in detail?
Not all treatments are suitable for everyone. Medical conditions and simple things such as your unique skin tone can have an important influence on what treatments should be used. All these things need to be taken into consideration by the person undertaking the work. Bad side effects from cosmetic treatments are not common, but all the same you shouldn’t overlook the potential risks.
One of the reasons that bad results from cosmetic treatments is rare is because in the majority of cases procedures are undertaken by professionals. With the rise of treatments being undertaken by those with lesser or no qualifications the chance that something might go wrong is increased. If something does go awry, such as you react badly to a treatment or need some specific aftercare, is there a medical doctor available to see to your needs? Again, this is not always the case at Medspas, so you should always confirm first.
If you were to have plastic surgery, you’d want a trained medical doctor who is a plastic surgeon to carry out the work. You obviously wouldn’t let someone that isn’t qualified to do the work. The same consideration should be made for cosmetic dermatology procedures too. Qualified dermatologists who have a team of trained health care professionals to assist them come at a cost and this is why you may find that the price of a treatment is higher than at a Medspa.
Need to Learn More About MedSpas?
We have highlighted some of the issues that are related to Medspas and why it might not be in your best interest to use them. To learn more why it is best to be careful where you have your cosmetic procedures carried out, take a look at this article, titled: Inside the Wild Medspa Industry to learn more about how medspas work and what some of the issues are with them (the article notes that Medspas “offer all of the fancy, high-tech procedures of a doctor’s office, with little of the required training”).
If you’re considering a cosmetic treatment, Dr. Green can discuss the best and safest options with you. To book an appointment at the Doctor’s office, please contact our NYC based clinic or call 212 535 3088