Take a trip into many a modern spa these days and you may find more than you bargained for if it happens to be a med spa. Not only will they fix your hair and nails, but they'll inject a little Botox and add a little filler to your face. Fancy liposuction after your highlights? They can do that! They'll also remove unwanted hair via a laser and will sedate you for many of the more advanced procedures.
But how do you know who is treating you? Med spas are sometimes under the direction of an MD - usually a plastic surgeon or dermatologist, but he's not always there. He's not even often there, in fact. He approves machinery and helps with training. He signs off on procedures that need it. But in the end, at person is often left under the care of an esthetician who may or may not be proficient with the machinery or techniques that she's using.
There have been many stories of horrific skin burnings from laser hair removal, as well as deaths caused by liposuction done at med spas by people who, although perhaps legally permitted, should not have been allowed to administer the treatments. And depending on the state a person lives in, someone with a simple hair cutting license can perform laser hair removal.
Med spas, some complete with a doctor's name attached, as well as professional looking spas, people wearing white lab coats and advertising in glossy publications alongside plastic surgery ads, can be misleading. While most ARE places that offer excellent services by qualified personnel, some are offering procedures that are legal but are being carried out by people who have neither the training, nor the experience to ensure a safe outcome.
If contemplating a visit to a med spa, do your research. Make sure they are fully licensed for the treatments they advertise, and that the technicians and staff are experienced in the fields they are working in. Check for complaints or legal issues.
Medical boards in several states are currently looking into legislature to tighten rules and regulations surrounding these med spas (that are growing much faster than traditional spas or old school beauty salons) and the old rules still apply : if it looks too good, it probably is. And just because something has "medical" or "professional" or even "licensed" in front of it, doesn't mean it's the right place for you. Do your homework and don't rush into something because you're promised it'll all be wonderful in the end.
For more information, contact the medical spa society here : http://www.medicalspasociety.com/index.cfm and check with the Medical Board of your state. You can start that search here : http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/education-careers/becoming-physician/medical-licensure/state-medical-boards.shtml
Have you visited a medical spa? How was your experience?
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