Have you recently gone to your dentist’s office to see a sign posted that she now offers Botox? Does your OBGYN now offer laser treatment for telangiectasias? Is your family practitioner suddenly treating varicose veins in his office? More than ever, there is an uptick in the number of doctors expanding their practices to include cosmetic procedures. Sure, you might want to trust the doctor you’ve been seeing for years, and it’s convenient to go to one place to address all your medical and cosmetic concerns. And it’s okay, since they are MDs, right?
Why not all doctors are qualified
Medical professionals have their areas of study. But some, enticed by the promise of expanded business (and income), get quick weekend training or conference certification. Some claim that since they already have a medical degree, that it is perfectly safe for them to administer what they see as cosmetic treatment. But board-certified dermatologists, cosmetic surgeons, and especially phlebologists have an expertise to see beyond shortcuts and know exactly how to treat a specific condition. Skin and veins require additional, highly specialized expertise, and it takes more than 4-day-long workshops to acquire that. Proficiently handling lasers and injections is its own area of expertise, as well, which requires a lot of education, training, and experience.
Beware the med spa
Not all med spas are created equal. Some will have trained MDs, dermatologists, and phlebologists on staff. But that doesn’t mean you will be treated by those people. And while some do use highly trained nurse practitioners to administer lasers and injections, plenty of places use less-than-qualified or barely-trained assistants. Some of these are looking for a lucrative opportunity to cash in on the cosmetic enhancement craze, but they only have minimal training. To get around this, they refer to themselves as “aesthetic specialists,” and instead of “patients,” they have “clients.”
Most med spas employ aestheticians, who are trained skin care professionals. There are different types of certifications to practice, but most are not medically trained. For the most part, they may be licensed to perform facials, body treatments, wraps, rejuvenation therapies, spray tanning, and hair removal. There is also a category of medical aestheticians, who work under plastic surgeons and dermatologists to perform chemical peels, advanced hair removal, microdermabrasion, and laser treatments. Their business is beauty—not health.
What can go wrong
There are reports of some professionals misusing sclerotherapy, or causing severe burns from mishandling a laser. Some patients have reported severe reactions to treatment or having botched procedures that have left large scars. Dermatologists are reporting an increase in their “repair” procedures to fix work done by unqualified (or underqualified) professionals, both MDs and aesthetic specialists.
And remember with varicose veins: these are a medical condition. You want your sclerotherapy treatment done by a trained phlebologist or vein specialist with plenty of experience and expertise in treating veins. If you have more questions about the sclerotherapy procedure or are ready to consider sclerotherapy to remove your varicose veins, visit us at www.sdveininstitute.com or contact us at 760-944-9263.