Dermatologist vs Medical Spa: What's the Real Difference?

Having a cosmetic procedure no longer necessarily means going under the knife of a plastic surgeon.  In the past several years, quick, less-invasive procedures have emerged to keep you looking fresh and rejuvenated on your own time, schedule, and budget.  Lasers, injections, and peels for everything from wrinkles to double chins have skyrocketed in popularity, accounting for over 11 million aesthetic procedures annually.

However, with these simpler procedures comes a heightened need for patient safety and awareness.  The truth is, the skill level of practitioners offering such services can vary widely, and it can be difficult for patients to separate true expertise from effective marketing.  When selecting where to have your next cosmetic service performed, consider the following to help ensure that you make the best educated and safest decision possible. 

Understand the Primary Difference between a Dermatology Clinic and Medical Spa

The clear difference between a dermatology clinic and medical spa is that one is the primary practice of a medical doctor and the other is not, a distinction that makes a huge difference.  Physicians such as dermatologists have rigorous standards to uphold.  They have completed many years of medical training, including attending a school of medicine, completing a residency, and potentially undertaking a fellowship.  They work alongside skilled nurses who have also undergone medical training and who, like the physicians who employ them, have developed an intimate familiarity with the nuances of skin and facial structure.

Medical spas are often physician owned.  However, this can be a far cry from being treated by the physician themselves or one of their nurses.  In many cases, treatments here are performed by aestheticians.  Aestheticians may also be thoroughly trained and up-to-date on the latest developments in cosmetic procedures and applications.  Many are also licensed.  However, the requirements of aestheticians vary from state-to-state and are often quite lenient, offering patients little to no guarantee that they are receiving treatment from a highly trained expert.

Don’t Choose Cosmetic Procedures based on Cost

Discount pricing often offered by medical spas can be tempting.  If you’ve been researching a treatment and find it at a heavily discounted price, proceed with extreme caution.  We understand that the lure of saving money can be tempting, but you may be sacrificing safe and desirable results in return.  If a practitioner is highly skilled and reliable, prices don’t need to be slashed in order to get clients through the door. 

Always Consider a Provider’s Level of Experience

From Botox to laser hair removal, patients have access to a multitude of cosmetic procedures.  It would be impossible for any single provider to be an expert in all of them.  When searching for the practitioner for your needs, do some research to uncover their level of expertise.  In many cases, a simple online search will return plenty of insight.  Additionally, investigate any relevant certifications or training they may have and memberships held.  All of these components help add up to an attentive and dedicated provider who takes their education and your safety very seriously.

In Baton Rouge and Lafayette, Dermasurgery Center is home to skilled, board-certified dermatologists, nurses, and nurse practitioners who offer many of today’s most in demand cosmetic procedures.  Learn more about the services we offer and which ones may work for you by contacting our office.