Day Spa vs. Medical Spa – What’s the Difference?

Taking time to visit a spa can make a world of difference in our hectic lives. A little relaxation and rejuvenation goes a long way.

Whether you’re looking for a bit of pampering or you have a specific type of treatment in mind, it pays to realize that not all spas are created equal. In particular, there is a big difference between day spas and medical spas in the types of treatments you can receive.

Day Spas

A day spa can offer services like massages, manicures, pedicures, and mud baths. While these are relaxing and can make your skin and nails look nicer, they don’t treat any underlying issues you may have. 

Medical Spas

Medical spa services offer rejuvenation. Rejuvenating procedures actually correct skin tissue issues and make noticeable changes in the appearance of your skin. As the skin condition is being medically addressed, the treatments usually have much longer-lasting results.

When you go to a medical spa, you’re getting so much more than a day of pampering. You can get medical treatments that rejuvenate your skin, all in the comfortable environment of a spa.

Professional Oversight

A medical spa requires professional oversight by a doctor because it administers medical treatments that can have side effects. In many U.S. states, only a physician can own a medical spa as it entails the practice of medicine and receiving payment for medical services. A physician should be present to supervise any medical spa, depending on state laws.

Where spa treatments can be performed by estheticians, massage therapists, cosmetologists, and nail techs, most medical spa treatments are performed by licensed physicians and registered nurses. 

Medical Spa Treatments

What are some of the treatments you can only receive at a medical spa? 

  • Dermatological treatments – medical treatments that can address sun damage, wrinkles and acne
  • Botox and dermal fillers – proteins and prescription medicines that reduce the appearance of wrinkles and replace lost volume
  • Skin tightening – using heat treatments, the appearance of cellulite is reduced
  • Body contouring – this medical spa treatment freezes fat cells to restore skin to a firmer state
  • Laser treatments – removing hair and addressing wrinkles through the use of lasers

Rejuvenating your Skin at a Medical Spa

Medical spa treatments offer real rejuvenation of your skin or nails. You can go to a day spa for a makeover, but only a medical spa can offer dermaplaning. This is a non-invasive, non-surgical treatment that eradicates dead cells and “peach fuzz” that shaving doesn’t reach. It’s painless, simple, and helps remove acne scars and wrinkles.

Treating skin blemishes and imperfections such as scars or wrinkles can be done using microdermabrasion. This cosmetic procedure removes all or part of the stratum corneum for a rejuvenated look.

Rejuvenating skin peels use a mix of specialty-blended acids to add radiance to your skin and improve blood flow. With immediate results, your skin will look younger and healthier after just one treatment.

Cosmetic injectables like Botox and Juvederm target the underlying causes of frown lines and crow’s feet. 

With Botox, the muscles are injected to reduce muscle activity temporarily, resulting in visible smoothing of the lines. Results are seen within 5-6 days and they can last up to 4 months.

With Juvederm, naturally occurring hyaluronic acid is injected into areas of the face that have lost volume or fullness. The results are subtle and can last up to 24 months. 

Kybella is a treatment for unwanted extra fullness beneath the chin. Kybella destroys fat cells. Once these cells are destroyed, no further treatment is required as the cells can no longer store or accumulate fat.

Excellence in Treatment in a Spa Setting

With a medical spa, you’re able to get treatments normally reserved for hospitals in a much more relaxing environment. It’s a stepping-stone between a basic day spa and a cosmetic hospital. 

It’s comforting to know that there are always properly credentialed physicians and nurses at a medical spa. The knowledge, expertise, attention-to-detail, and experience are of a higher caliber than a day spa.

Often, a medical spa will also offer most of the cosmetic and relaxation services normally offered at a day spa, so alongside getting the best medical treatment for skin conditions they’re the place to go when you want to look and feel your best.

In summary, medical spas offer a much wider range of services that actually help to fix any underlying skin conditions you may have.