Dermatologists, freestanding spas, and salons often offer similar aesthetic treatments. So why should you always choose your Dermatologist for your skincare needs?
We have all heard the old adage—“you get what you pay for” which is one of the many reasons you should stay away from coupon websites or discount “spas” when looking for BOTOX®, laser treatments or other types of skin care procedures.
If you’ve ever bought a cheap pair of shoes or a “clunker” of a car, you most likely have experienced the truth of this maxim firsthand. But while there may not be serious repercussions for making a bad purchasing decision at a retail store, when it comes to cosmetic procedures for your skin, buyer’s remorse can be devastating and even worse…they could be permanent.
The first thing to understand when choosing where to have your next cosmetic procedure is the difference between your Dermatologist’s office and a freestanding (or salon based) spa. Dermatologists attend college, then medical school and go through a residency program, giving them a great deal of education and training under their belts. Dermatologists are medical experts when it comes to hair, skin, and nails, and also hire licensed providers, including nurses and aestheticians with the requisite training to properly perform aesthetic treatments.
Many spas or salons often hire what are referred to as “skin care specialists” who do not have the same level of training as a licensed aesthetician. One should also beware of freestanding spas that claim to be medically supervised. Just because a spa is “medically supervised” does not necessarily mean a doctor will be performing, or physically supervising your procedure; only that a doctor (not necessarily a dermatologist) “oversees” the establishment itself.
What can go wrong?
Why is it essential to have a trained, skilled professional at your Dermatologist’s office performing your cosmetic procedures? When it comes to a common procedure like BOTOX®, there are a lot of variables that many patients don’t think about. The amount of BOTOX used can affect short and long-term results, as can the placement of BOTOX and facial fillers. Aesthetic medicine is an art as well as a science. An experienced provider will look at the contours of your face, the shape of your eyes, and other factors to achieve the best results. Millimeters make a difference. And since the results of injectables can last several months (or longer), you want your practitioner to get it right.
Allergic reactions and skin sensitivities can occur with routine facial treatments. Most spas and salons are not equipped to handle unexpected reactions during or after treatments. At your Dermatologist’s office, the providers treating you have an understanding of your medical history before you have treatment—that, coupled with their training and expertise can help them make the best decision for your particular needs, as well as treat any reactions quickly and effectively. Some topical medications used to treat acne and other skin problems can make your skin sensitive to laser or light treatments. Your Dermatologist will recommend that you discontinue certain medications for a period of time before undergoing treatments. Some products you use can also thin the skin, which may make procedures such as microdermabrasion prohibitive. If the treatment you thought you wanted isn’t the best option for you— at your Dermatologist’s office you can get other, medically sound recommendations to help you achieve the results you’re looking for. Litigation involving facial treatments such as microdermabrasion and chemical peels is not unheard of. With these techniques, layers of skin are being abraded away or burned off with an acidic solution. If not done correctly, painful, even severe damage can be done to the skin, more treatments may be needed to correct the problem, or the scarring can wind up being permanent. While a discount spa may seem attractive, if a poorly trained or unskilled spa employee makes a mistake, you could be the one paying the ultimate price for years to come. For the safest, best results on cosmetic procedures for your face, a dermatologist’s office is the way to go. Bottom line: save those coupon deals for hotels and restaurants, not for healthcare or aesthetic medicine. Your skin will thank you for it!