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The Difference Between a Medical Spa and a Day Spa

Many of our patients ask us what the difference is between a Day Spa and a Medical Spa. At first glance, they may seem similar, especially if the menu of services appears similar. However, there is a very important difference between a Day Spa and a full-service Medical Spa. Let’s review what a Medical Spa is and what the key difference is between it and a Day Spa.

What is a Medical Spa?

A Medical Spa is a hybrid that combines a medical clinic and a skincare spa that operates under the supervision of a highly trained and specialized medical doctor such as a Plastic Surgeon. Medical Spas can treat conditions on your face and body like brown spots, redness, acne, fine lines and wrinkles, loss of volume, and broken capillaries that cannot be treated at all, or as effectively by a traditional Medi Spa. All skincare treatments should be performed by a Licensed Medical Aesthetician.

Medical Spa menus vary, but they typically offer treatments such as laser skin treatments, laser hair removal, IPL (intense pulsed light) treatments, microdermabrasion, microneedling, photofacials, Botox®, and dermal filler injections, chemical peels, liquid facelifts, and skin tightening or skin rejuvenation.

Experience and Training are Key Differentiators

One major advantage of going to a Medical Spa in a plastic surgeon’s office is the high level of training and credentials of each provider. You will also benefit from the staff’s professionalism as well as state-of-the-art skincare technology.

Many patients love the option of combining surgical treatments such as breast implant exchange, with non-invasive anti-aging treatments.

Injectables (like BOTOX® and Dermal Fillers), skin treatments (such as laser, intense pulsed light, and radiofrequency) and deep peels should always be performed under the supervision of a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Ask to see the doctor’s credentials to be sure he has been Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

Doctors in other specialties, designating themselves as “cosmetic medicine physicians,” may lack the comprehensive training needed for administering treatments to the deeper levels of the skin. They also may not have the experience necessary to achieve optimal aesthetic results or to manage potential complications.

It is always in your best interest to see a Board Certified Physician who specializes in plastic surgery and dermatologic care when seeking cosmetic medical procedures. Ask your Medical Spa if their surgeon has been certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

Simple Medi Spa Treatments with Fast Results

Chemical Peels

Chemical peels are topically applied acids that aid in the restoration and rejuvenation of the skin’s surface. They create an even and controlled shedding of several layers of the skin. Depending on the type and depth of the peel, few or many layers can be shed allowing new layers to be exposed and creating a fresh new appearance. Chemical peels can enhance your appearance by reducing blotchy and uneven pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles, freckling, age spots, sun-damaged skin, and acne scars in a relatively short period of time. Chemical peels stimulate the production of collagen and new cells. Most medical spas offer a variety of chemical peels that range from a very light peel to a very deep peel.


Microdermabrasion is performed at a Medical Spa with a jet of fine crystals, which are propelled and then vacuumed across the skin’s surface, removing the damaged cells to reveal fresh, invigorated skin.

BBL: Broadband Light

BBL treatments deliver light energy deep into the skin to treat a wide range of skin conditions including hyperpigmentation, sun damage, rosacea, vascular lesions, and active acne.  Three treatments are recommended for optimal results.


Microneedling treatments involve tiny needle pinpricks to the facial skin in order to encourage the body’s natural healing responses. The needles are so tiny that the pricks are barely noticeable, but the skin responds to these injuries by producing new tissues that will rejuvenate the skin. Since the microneedling creates these pinpricks evenly, tissues throughout the face restore themselves simultaneously for comprehensive anti-aging. Microneedling can address a number of different skin problems, including: skin tone and texture, large pores, skin elasticity and firmness, lines and wrinkles, sun damage, acne scars, scars from surgery, or trauma.


Plenty of Med Spas offer Botox® Cosmetic treatments, but few can provide the personalized attention and experienced injectors you will find in a full-service Medical Spa. Botox® is the world’s most popular cosmetic treatment because it softens unwanted frown lines and crow’s feet around the eyes, in addition to minimizing horizontal forehead wrinkles. Getting the results you want, though, requires an experienced injector who understands facial anatomy and produces results that look natural.

Optimum results may be achieved with BOTOX® injections in conjunction with laser treatments, microneedling, or other skin rejuvenation procedures offered by your Medical Spa.

Dermal Fillers

Dermal fillers are an excellent option to help eliminate wrinkles, sagging skin, and other signs of natural aging. You can achieve excellent results by using dermal fillers to add volume to any or all of the following areas: cheeks, lips, chin jawline, under eyes, temples, and buttocks.  Popular dermal fillers at medical spas across the country include Restylane®, Juvederm® Dysport®, and Sculptra®.

Protect Your Health and Safety

Depending on the licensing requirements of your State, injections at a Medical Spa may be performed by a nurse, physician’s assistant, or nurse practitioner. Research the injectors you want to see, they should have many years of experience and training and should work under the supervision of a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.

Never allow a non-medical, unlicensed person to perform a medical procedure and be sure that the procedure is supervised by a physician Board-Certified in Plastic Surgery or Dermatology. Your health and safety depend on it.

Call us at 678.566.7200 to schedule an appointment in our Midtown Atlanta or Alpharetta medical spas.

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