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Bridging the Gap Between Esthetics and Medical
By: Adele Beck
Posted: July 22, 2008, from the March 2007 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
Picture this: A treatment room with two doors, one on either end of the room. Inside, one medical-grade hair reduction laser and one highly qualified medical technician, both able to perform procedures in a five-minute time frame. Outside one door is an assembly line of women, hands held high above their heads, waiting to clear their underarms of unwanted hair. Outside the second door is a clerk, cash register at hand, graciously accepting $200 from each of these women who are happy to pay to rid themselves of this unwanted hair.
Entrepreneurial mode kicks in. Cha-ching! Receiving $200 every five minutes computes to a whooping $2,400 an hour. A spa could make a million dollars in revenue in just over a month and also bring its state the distinction of being the state with the most hairless armpits. With that vision in mind, my partner and I opened our first medical spa.
A complementary relationship
Well, probably needless to say, was my vision wrong. Apparently, some people are OK with hairy armpits, and not everyone can afford expensive laser treatments. So where does an aspiring medical spa go from there? The goal of a medical spa is to provide a facility where clients come to enjoy themselves for the day with stress-release treatments, as well as to receive medical procedures performed by highly qualified personnel. Avoiding the feel of a clinical, sterile atmosphere without compromising the safety of the client or the quality of the procedure is the ideal design: a medical facility where one can see a visible difference in the products they use and the treatments they receive.
But what really defines a medical spa? In what ways can all the necessary treatments be incorporated to create a true medical facility as well as relaxation spa? Why, with the high ticket price of laser treatments, does it need $100-an-hour facials or $20 bikini waxing or wraps, scrubs and massages that take up not only costly manual time but also uses up valuable products and space? To define a medical spa, it must be looked at as a marriage of medical and esthetics. As soon as you put “spa” in the name, people immediately desire specific things: spa treatment, stress relief, relaxation and luxury, all of which contribute to a thoroughly healthy well-being.
One the most important reasons to incorporate esthetics into a medical spa is to help keep the spa growing. The facility can make money with these treatments. Every waxing ultimately can turn into a laser hair removal, every massage or body treatment into a fat reduction or cellulite treatment, and every facial into a laser treatment. And if the spa is connected to a plastic surgeon, any or all of the above can turn into a surgery.