Medical Spa vs. Day Spa: What Is the Difference?

medical-spa-vs-day-spaSpas are a wonderful way to relax and unwind from stress. They offer a wide range of services to help you look and feel your best. However, there is a big difference between a medical spa and a day spa, so it’s important to know which one to go to for what. Both of these spas offer services that improve your appearance and boost your confidence, and might offer some crossover services, but they generally do not offer the same types of treatments. If you’re shopping around for a specific treatment, it helps to know what services each one offers so you can make the right choice for an appointment.


Medical Spas Offer Medical Aesthetic Services

Unlike a day spa, a medical spa does not offer massages or pedicures, but instead focuses on treatments that use state-of-the-art technology to improve the condition your skin and body. These treatments offer long-term or permanent solutions for a wide variety of issues related to fat reduction, cellulite removal, hair removal, broken capillaries, unwanted pigmentation’s, acne, rosacea, fine lines, and wrinkles. At a bare minimum, most medical spas will offer core services including permanent hair removal, photo facials, and laser skin therapy. In large cities or metropolitan areas, they may also offer additional services such as body shaping, teeth whitening, and facial fillers such as Juvederm and Botox.


Day Spas Offer Beautifying Services

Day spas focus on the types of services you might expect to get at a salon. Most day spas offer clients hair styling, body scrubs and wraps, manicures and pedicures, waxing, and several different types of massages, including Swedish, hot stone and deep tissue. Although day spas offer facials as well, these facials usually include such things as alpha hydroxy acids, seaweed masks, or clay to soften or tighten skin instead of using lasers. None of the treatments offered at a traditional day spa will offer long lasting results or involve complex technology.


Medical Spas Have Medical Professionals

A medical spa normally has one or more medical doctors involved in the business, and these doctors either supervise or consult on all of the treatments. Procedures not performed by a doctor are often performed by a nurse or a licensed aesthetician specifically trained in the treatments the spa offers. Unlike a day spa, a medical spa usually only employs doctors and medically trained staff. Employees for both types of spas are insured.


Day Spas Use Cosmetologists and Massage Therapists

At a day spa, no extensive procedures are usually performed. They do not use medical equipment the way a medical spa does. Most of their services involve massages, manicures, and facials. Although laws vary by province, most of these spas are not required to staff medical personnel to perform these services. Manicures, pedicures, and facials are administered by licensed aestheticians. Massages are performed by licensed massage therapists. Day spas also usually do not have a doctor on-site or even as a consulting staff member.


Ultimately, the decision of which spa to go to will depend on what kind of services and atmosphere you are interested in. Day spas are more elegant and luxurious because they focus on relaxation and making clients feel good. Medical spas are often more purposeful in appearance and may feel more like a doctor’s office. Whereas the benefits of day spa services are generally short lived and require constant maintenance, medical spa treatments will have long-lasting positive benefits to your health, appearance, and self-confidence. If you are interested in aesthetic improvements that provide lasting results, visit a medical spa.



View the list of services offered by a well-respected Medical Spa.


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