Monday, August 20, 2012
Although illegal medical procedures have always been a problem, the number of illegal medical spas in the U.S. is growing, and with it, the number of botched procedures and patient injuries. It is important that patients educate themselves on the dangers of these illegal “medspas” to ensure safety, and make the safest decisions possible.
According to the International SPA Association, over 1,500 medical spas opened in the U.S. from 2002 to 2010.These medspas or “medi-spas” provide services such as laser hair removal, microdermabrasion and Botox injections. Although these cosmetic treatments are considered medical procedures, in many cases, medical professionals are not supervising. Many times, patients assume the person performing the procedure is a registered nurse or otherwise certified, but licensed staff in these businesses are becoming increasingly rare.
Dr. M. Christine Lee, a California dermatologist, is an avid supporter of more extreme regulations after treating patients since 2000 with nerve and eye damage, severe burns and permanent scars from medspas. In 2004, she saw over a dozen women with faces covered in black stripes, due to burns from a botched laser hair removal treatment, all from the same medical spa. Lee said she now sees at least five patients every month with treatments gone wrong.
Illegal medspas have become such a problem as of late, that the State of California has taken a step toward correcting the issue for good, and is implementing punishment with a bite. California governor Jerry Brown has signed into law a bill which will greatly increase fines and jail time for anyone found guilty of illegally operating or aiding in the illegal operation of a medical business.
The message to heed from the medspa situation is this: before going through any type of medical procedure, make sure that both the business as well as the personal service provider are in compliance with state laws and certified. A white coat does not guarantee a person’s safety in the outcome of such serious procedures. All procedures done through competent physicians and professional companies result in successful and enjoyable results. This is one of the many benefits of turning to a board certified dermatologist for all of your skin care needs.
For more information on safe cosmetic procedures, consult Dr. Miller at Greenville Dermatology.