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What is a Med Spa anyway?

Updated: Feb 12

It seems like the term "Med Spa" is the new buzzword lately where people are using it loosely like slang. Well this should ruffle your feathers a bit - it does mine!

Everyone loves a Hand and Stone massage or facial now and again. However, to clarify a typical "spa" is very different from a Med (medical) Spa. In fact, there are very specific criteria and licensure requirements qualifying a medical spa.

To define, a Med Spa is a medical practice that falls under the medical board requirements and is overseen by a medical doctor (MD). In fact, new clients at a medical spa are required to be seen first by a licensed individual such as a nurse practitioner (NP) who by law is capable of diagnosing and treating your condition, regardless if your condition is considered medical or cosmetic.

Furthermore, medical spas provide certain services that require higher licensure by registered nurses (RN) and above whereas your typical facial/massage spot does not. Once the practitioner develops your unique treatment plan it may then be carried out by other licensed professionals within their scope of practice according to state laws. Some states allow estheticians or other individuals with specific certifications in laser or microneedling for example perform these treatments while other states require a higher level of license for the same treatments.

In the state of New Jersey the insertion of polydioxanone (PDO) threads or the operation of a class 4 LASER device must be carried out by an NP, PA or MD who has been fully trained on the procedure whereas injectables can be delegated to the RN who has had proper training. Some microneedling devices may also be delegated to estheticians within their scope of practice and professional training. No matter what your expectations it is important to understand what kind of return on investment you will receive with any type of treatment being delivered. Be sure to ask questions and make sure that you fully understand the risks and benefits of each treatment.

Above all, seek a medical spa who carries more then one tool because a hammer isn't the best tool to drill in a screw.

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