Is the Medspa Safe? Finding Medical Spas that Ensure Patient Safety

Medical spas are often found inside the cosmetic surgery or aesthetic center, but there may be a few standalone medspas in your local area. Medical spas offer several clinical-grade services and treatments such as facials, Botox injections, facial rejuvenation treatments and even cellulite reduction procedures.  The International Medical Spa Association reports over 2,500 medspa facilities across the country in 2008, a significant increase from only 400 in 2004.

However, some ‘medspas’ aren’t regulated by a physician and may have taken on a 'medical' name to promote their services. Since medi-spa regulations vary from state to state, you’ll need to make sure you’re going to a location that is supervised by a licensed physician, and has a strong track record of satisfied patients.

Here are some tips on finding medical spas that ensure patient safety:

1. Search online for reviews and testimonials. If you’re searching for insider information about your medspa destination of choice, head online for any feedback from patients and even contact the owner or doctor via e-mail for an overview of the facility. 

2. Check the doctor’s qualifications. Learn as much as you can about the doctor or supervising physician with some online research.  Any certificates or affiliations with national boards and organizations can help you determine if the physician is even licensed to perform the services.

3. Make sure the doctor will be present during your treatment. Many medi-spas are in operation all day long, but the doctor may not be at the location during every treatment. When a doctor is on-site, you have a better chance of handling any complications immediately.

4. Steer clear of lasers. Laser skin rejuvenation treatments can result in burning and other complications that leave you with serious skin problems for the long-term. Unless you’re sure you’re working with a trusted doctor, head to a professional dermatologist for a laser treatment whenever possible.  Inexperienced staff members at a medi-spa may not be able to perform this delicate procedure with the precision and detail it requires.

5. Don’t rely on coupons or specials for the best rates. Many medspas offer special packages and discounts for new clients, but these seemingly unbeatable prices may mean you receive a lower quality treatment. If Botox seems like too good of a bargain, you may be signing up for an ineffective or low quality treatment.

6. Get a second opinion. If you go to one medspa for a consultation and they recommend a series of treatments, hold off on signing a contract until you’ve visited at least one or two other medspas in your area. 

Knowing ahead of time if you really need that series of ten cellulite reduction treatments can help you save money and ensure you’re getting the results you want. It’s also important to remember that medical spas are largely unregulated in the United States, and may be under different levels of regulation overseas. 

Whether you’re considering Botox or laser skin resurfacing, making sure there is a real cosmetic surgeon or supervising physician behind the medical spa is a top priority.

Learn more about medspa treatments in our cosmetic surgery information guide, or consult with a medspa specialist in your area to get started on your research.