Summary: The introduction of the med spa has undoubtedly changed the landscape of the beauty industry. A plethora of new injectables and nonsurgical procedures have flooded the market in recent years, offering people with concerns about their appearance effective, noninvasive options that never existed before. If these procedures aren’t surgical and are easily accessible at the med spas that have popped up on every street corner and in every shopping mall, they must be no big deal, right?

Blurred Lines between Beauty and Medicine

The world of injectables, such as BOTOX® and JUVÉDERM®, has exploded in popularity and gone mainstream in the past five to 10 years. For example, BOTOX® use is up almost 400 percent since 2000 and most people have either had some type of cosmetic injection or know someone who has. Furthermore, injectables have become the center of social events, such as BOTOX® parties, giving people the opportunity to gather and simultaneously enjoy wine, appetizers and BOTOX® injections in someone’s home. All things considered, it’s no surprise that many people have developed a fairly blasé attitude toward med spa procedures and don’t necessarily associate them as being medical in nature.

Follow the Money

To fully understand the growth in places offering cosmetic injectables, you have to understand the lucrative nature of the aesthetic business. There is big money to be made in cosmetic injections, which explains why they are available through so many outlets including those outside the realm of med spas and dermatologists. Many types of doctors from gynecologists to family physicians and even dentists are expanding their practices to include cosmetic injections. Not to say that these individuals could never deliver great results with injectables, but do you really want your dentist giving you BOTOX® if his or her expertise actually lies in root canals and tooth extractions?

Many entrepreneurs have recognized the financial potential in the injection industry and are approaching doctors to create profitable business partnerships under the umbrella of the doctor’s medical license. As long as a med spa operates under the supervision and direction of a doctor, they can open their doors and have nurse practitioners and licensed medical aestheticians administering injectables. Some are taking this business model a step further and including other beauty treatments such as hair salon services, waxing and pedicures. Although there’s nothing inherently wrong with these one-stop-shops for all things aesthetic, ample research is key to know that you’re trusting your appearance to someone who’s credible, capable and actually cares about your safety and your results.

A Skilled Injector = Superior Results

Although there’s no anesthesia or stitches, it’s important to understand that cosmetic injections are medical procedures that present very real risks for complications, especially if not administered properly. Furthermore, BOTOX® and other injectable are not unlike a paintbrush in that they are artistic in nature and most effective in the hands of someone experienced. This may sound like simple advice, but do your research before letting anyone near your face with a needle. Unfortunately, you don’t have to search very hard to find horror stories of people who received terrible results, dangerous infections or worse because they didn’t verify the legitimacy of their injector. Look for a credible practice that only employs injectors who have extensive experience in administering injectables and focus on safety as well as continued training and education.

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