Medical aesthetic procedures are growing in popularity, with many people seeking to have treatments termed “minimally invasive.” Med spas are facilities that offer a variety of services, some of which fall under the heading of medical or surgical. The rise in prevalence and popularity of these treatments has led the American Academy of Dermatology Association to develop a position statement regarding these centers designed to help protect patients and clients.
The Practice of Medicine
Most states do not recognize med spas as facilities that practice medicine or surgery. Both physicians and non-physicians may perform various services that enhance and/or improve clients’ appearances or wellbeing. These services are termed, “medical aesthetic services,” and they do not constitute the practice of medicine.
Definition of Medical Aesthetic Services
This term includes the diagnosis, treatment, or correction of various human conditions, infirmities, diseases, or injuries that involve the hair, nails, skin, or mucous membranes. Any treatment method or instrument that would change or alter skin or tissue falls under the definition of a medical aesthetic service. Therefore, scalpels, lasers, electrical impulses, chemicals, microwave energy, injection or insertion of a substance, and sanding meet this criteria.
Difference between Med Spas and Traditional Spas
A medical spa must have a director who is a licensed health care professional, and this practitioner must oversee all treatments and therapies. A traditional spa delivers simpler beautification services such as massages, non-medical facials, hair and nail care, and hair removal by waxing. While a medical spa may also offer these services, it will also offer more in-depth or enhanced services such as microdermabrasion, laser hair removal, and injectable fillers.
Med spas will vary depending on the state and individual laws and regulations. The services offered also depend on the practitioners involved and their unique philosophies. A reputable facility will perform appropriate procedures in a clean and relaxing environment.