Medispas vs Day Spas - Wherein lies the difference?

As medical spas – or medispas, as they are often called – increasingly adopt the look and feel of day spas, prospective clients may not always understand the difference between the two. Both medispas and day spas offer legitimate services, some of which overlap, and each claims a solid, loyal customer base.

When trying to decide which is best for your needs, consider that while medispas and day spas offer many of the same treatments, medispas host a licensed, onsite physician who oversees the facility and either performs or supervises the performance of more invasive treatments, including medical grade chemical peels, microdermabrasion and laser treatments. These physicians may be general practitioners, dentists or plastic surgeons. Before booking your first appointment at a particular medispa, it’s a good idea to ask if a physician is in fact onsite, and if not, what role he or she plays at the facility, as well as how to contact him or her in the event of an emergency.

Day spas, on the other hand, place more of an emphasis on pampering and relaxation. They trace their origins back decades, when a visit to the spa was considered a short holiday. Spas of yesteryear resembled resorts where guest stayed several days in luxury accommodations while rejuvenating through massage, body wraps, masks and other treatments.

Although destination or resort spas still exist, they spurred a more popular offshoot in the form of the day spa, at which clients do not have to be rich to enjoy small indulgences in the form of facials, manicures and massages, among other treatments.

Treatments available at many medispas, too, were once only available to the rich. However, new technology has made plastic surgery and less invasive cosmetic procedures significantly less expensive, making the procedures more affordable.

Increased demand coupled with a willingness to pay cash for such procedures makes the medispa option an attractive one for physicians who have struggled with lower payments from insurers over the years.

Medispas approach the spa experience by combining clinical medicine with a relaxation experience. They are a type of hybrid between a medical clinic and a spa. In addition to offering purely aesthetic treatments, they provide treatments for medical conditions, including broken capillaries that can affect your appearance. Estheticians are not allowed by law to treat such conditions, or to treat them as effectively, depending on a given state’s law.

At a medispa, a patient may be receiving a facial in one room, while another is undergoing skin resurfacing in the next room.

Medispas are able to offer clients the opportunity to try the latest in fat reduction, wrinkle reduction, skin tightening and other procedures. Some medispas offer a complete wellness focus, including such services as nutritional counseling, acupuncture and consultations with naturopaths.

Many medispas have taken to blurring the lines between clinic and spa by offering a larger menu of services, many of them more traditionally found in day spas, as well as creating a relaxing environment through the use of soothing interior colors, lighting and music.

Meanwhile, day spas are increasingly turning to dermatologists and plastic surgeons in order to boast a wider range of treatments. Some host special events in which a physician who offers skin and weight reduction procedures provides free consultations to existing clients and guests, further blurring the lines between day spas and medispas.

While the distinctions between the two may be less clear than ever, there is a difference, so think carefully about what you're looking for, then make the best choice based on that.

1 Response...

Suzann L. says:
February 17, 2013 at 12:16 PM
Excellent information!
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