Medical spa vs. Day spa. Do you know the difference?

We’ve come to realize that optimal health is a balance of body, mind and spirit. Imbalances whether due to stress, poor diet or medical conditions can throw an entire system out of kilter.

medical spa 300x200 Medical spa vs. Day spa. Do you know the difference? Photo

Do you know the difference between a medical spa and a day spa?

Spas can be a great place to regain some balance by decreasing stress, relieving aching muscles, making lifestyle changes, and boosting self-esteem with aesthetic pleasures and benefits – whether it’s a day spa or a medical spa.

What’s the difference? We’ve outlined the key differences below so you can use the right facility to cure your ailments.

Medical Spas

These facilities have doctors who either perform or supervise treatments, which may be done by licensed and trained aestheticians or nurses and medical assistants. The staff consists of doctors and medically trained employees, which are both insured.

The fundamental focus of a medical spa is offering long-term solutions to a range of issues related to fat, cellulite, muscle, hair, unwanted capillaries, pigment, acne and wrinkles. Sophisticated medical equipment may be utilized.

Staple services offered may include:

  • Diet supplements and diet plans
  • Acupuncture
  • Massages
  • Permanent hair removal
  • Liposuction
  • Laser skin therapy
  • Facials by phototherapy
  • Facial fillers

Doctors offering these services include:

  • Plastic surgeons
  • Gynecologists
  • Dermatologists
  • General surgeons
  • Internists
  • General practitioners
  • Neurologists

Unfortunately, some of the desired services may not be offered at the same location, so more than one site may be needed for the procedures sought.


Day Spas

Day spas are generally more luxurious and the décor can be elegant since the focus is on relaxation and feeling better. Additionally, clients don’t have to spend long times in waiting rooms like medical spas where patients suffering from various medical conditions may be co-mingling.

Except for the licensed massage therapists however, most day spas don’t require personnel to be medically licensed.

If you are looking to be pampered, relaxed or achieve temporary fixes, then a day spa is just the place for you but don’t expect permanent or complicated solutions in most cases.

Results may not be observed until 5-6 weeks of treatments (which feel good and are usually harmless).

Services include:

  • Facials
  • Seaweed
  • Clay application
  • Alpha hydroxy acids
  • Massage
  • Teeth whitening
  • Skin filler injections
  • Hair removal
  • Lash enhancement
  • Light therapy
  • Skin rejuvenation


Hybrid Spas – The Best of Both Worlds 

Some day spas amass professionals at one site by bringing in doctors to run and provide services.

Besides massage, weight loss programs with nutritional guidance and manicure/pedicures, many FDA-approved services include:

  • Microdermabrasion
  • Chemical peels
  • Acne and scar treatment
  • Laser hair removal
  • Laser ablation of capillaries and spider veins
  • Body contouring
  • Chiropractic services

This win-win situation serves to:

  • Make the spa more effective
  • Increase clientele for doctors and nurses
  • Enhance the spa’s reputation and provide credibility
  • Supply an added income source for doctors
  • Provide a different work site for doctors that may be reluctant to offer these services in their primary office for fear of credibility loss

The treatments help empower individuals to take responsibility for well being and arrive at ideal health.


Which One is Best?

As with the practice of using any facilities or professionals, some are great at their job and some are incompetent.

While both types of sites can achieve desired results, the crucial aspect of choosing a facility is the expertise and credentials of those performing the treatments. Look at the experience and length of time that the practitioner has had performing the craft.

A doctor may be one who only completed a weekend course and then has embarked on treating others, while an aesthetician may have been successfully performing the services for 20 years.

The Medical Spa Society is a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating both professionals and consumers “improving professionalism in the medical spa industry” and providing more training.

Before having any procedure, do your due diligence. Get a referral from someone you respect, ask questions and get recommendations from people who have had the same procedure.

Enjoy your services. Pamper yourself!