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Medical Spas 101: A One-day Medical Spa Summit at Face & Body Southeast

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As a growing industry, medical spas are becoming more and more popular, specifically in the Southeast region. According to a recent American Med Spa Association (AmSpa) survey, the average medical spa generated $945,000 in total revenues in 2016, which is up 6.9% from 2015.

Alex Thiersch, founder and director of the AmSpa, explained why: “[The medical spa industry] is a totally different world, and the consequences of noncompliance with the medical board, the nursing board and the board of cosmetology could be severe.”

Skin Inc. sat down with Thiersch to learn more about the medical spa industry and why the Medical Spa Business Summit at Skin Inc.'s Face & Body Southeast spa expo and conference is a must for anyone curious about owning or working in a medical spa.

Skin Inc. (SI): What does the Medical Spa Business Summit offer for those interested in opening a medical spa?

Alex Thiersch (AT): [The summit will] give spa owners, estheticians and medical estheticians who want to learn more about medical spas and how to open a medical spa and how to get into the market.

It is a broad entry-level overview into what it takes to enter into the market, whether from an employee standpoint, adding medical aesthetics to your facility or opening your own free-standing med spa.

SI: How is opening up a med spa in Georgia/surrounding area is different from another state?

 AT: Whenever you are dealing with other states there are a few things that always pop up that you have to look for that are unique to that particular state: ownership is one. For example, California allows certain practitioners other than doctors to open up a med spa. Georgia and surrounding states have all different rules about who can actually own a med spa.

"Georgia and surrounding states have all different rules about who can actually own a med spa." —Alex Thiersch, founder and director of the AmSpa

Georgia also has a unique rule on laser certification, meaning they actually have a law on the books that talks about who can operate lasers and how much they have to be trained, who is on site, etc. That is very different than a lot of other states that don’t have any laser certification rules.

SI: Is there a particular law in Georgia about who can own a med spa?

AT: There definitely is, and we have all of these things listed on our website that our members can access. In Georgia, it seems that anyone can open a med spa. Many states have prohibitions, but Georgia does not have a clear statute that defines who can own so likely, anyone can.

SI: Are there any different penalties for noncompliance in Georgia or other areas that may be specific to that area?

AT: It is dependent on how aggressively the local or state medical board or board of nursing or cosmetology is going to prosecute your particular case. So it is not like there are standard penalties across the board, but the fact that Georgia has this separate laser law means that they are actively engaged and enforcing and keeping their eye on practices that use these lasers.

The question is not how much is the fine going to be, but how active the jurisdiction that you are in is. Since Georgia is astute and active enough to produce a law that means that they are very active in enforcing it, as well.

"...the fact that Georgia has this separate laser law means that they are actively engaged and enforcing and keeping their eye on practices that use these lasers." 

 SI: We’ve noticed a clear increase in medical spas across the country, so how is the medical spa industry changing in the Southeast?

AT: It is definitely growing. Atlanta, in particular, is a very hot market. North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee, is also very hot right now. We have gotten a lot of requests from people opening med spas in those states. It is growing probably faster than it ever has before, especially with some of the rules like in Georgia with anyone to be able to own allows for flexibility.

SI: How does the American Med Spa Association support people in the medical spa industry?

AT: Specifically, from a legality standpoint, [as a lawyer] a lot of what AmSpa does is focused on compliance, and there are a lot of legal hurdles that you have to jump through that the market is not knowledgeable of.

The Medical Spa Business Summit will be on Saturday, Octber 7, 2017, and requires a separate registration fee. More information on the summit can be found here, along with information regarding registration for the event. 


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Face & Body Southeast offers a unique blend of advanced education, cutting-edge product information and networking opportun­ities. The event will take place from February 8-10, 2020 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia, and we will be partnersing with the Bronner Bros. Don't forget to register for this one-of-a-kind event today. 

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