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Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Medi Spa Advantage

Spa days are like baseball. They’re a popular pastime for many, they are a good way to relieve stress and, for some, they’re almost a rite of passage. Spa treatments can also be an important part of your skin care routine. The various treatments can help anyone maintain youthful, radiant skin at any age.

When considering who to trust with your skin care treatments, consider that not all spas are medical spas. While many spas offer treatments like facials or chemical peels, a medical professional may not perform the procedures. That’s the biggest difference between your average day spa and a medi spa. At Advanced Dermatology, for example, you’ll get the full spa treatment and trust your skin to a board-certified dermatologist.

In this blog post, I’ll address common treatments offered at ADSCA and other medical spas, as well as questions to ask that will help you make an informed choice when choosing the spa for you.

Chemical Peels

Chemical peels are topically applied formulas that revitalize the skin’s surface by creating a controlled shedding of the outermost layer of skin. This allows new layers to be exposed, creating a fresh appearance and smoother texture for the skin’s surface.

Types of Chemical Peels
  • Light Exfoliating Peels – These are great for patients new to chemical peels. For maximum results, these peels should be done every two weeks in a series of up to six treatments.
    • Light peels can improve mild to moderate cases of acne, soften the look of fine lines and improve skin texture. There is little to no downtime after the procedure.
  • Modified Jessner’s Peels – This blend of salicylic acid, lactic acid and resorcinol is great for reducing acne, and can help diminish the appearance of sun damage and decrease the appearance of fine lines.
    • Patients can expect about three to five days of downtime after the procedure, with the skin showing some peeling and flaking.
  • TCA Peel – This peel offers a deeper peeling depth and is great for improving skin texture, superficial blemishes and pigmentation problems.
    • This peel can be used on the face and other areas of the body. Patients will experience three to seven days of downtime afterward. 

Important Things to Discuss With Your Provider
  • What level of skin improvement do you hope to achieve? This is important, as various peels may be more beneficial for different goals.
  • Is your skin sensitive? Not everyone’s skin is cut out for chemical peels. Some people may require a lighter peel; others may not need one at all.
  • How much downtime should you expect after you peel? Depending on the peel, your skin may appear blotchy, flaky or very red after your treatment. This can last from a few days up to a week. It’s also important to note that after a peel, you should avoid sun exposure for at least a week.
  • What type of care is provided or recommended by your provider? Some peels may require some follow-up care. 


Facials include any of a number of services intended to exfoliate the skin, aid in anti-aging and eliminate dead skin cells. Generally, facials refresh the skin with less downtime than chemical peels. The types of facials available depend on the spa you visit, but generally focus on one area, such as the pores.

Important Things to Discuss With Your Provider
  • What are your expectations for the facial? This will help you and your provider choose the type of facial that is best for you.
  • Have you had any exfoliating treatments or other facials recently? You should allow your skin some recovery time before having another similar treatment.
  • What type of post-facial treatment does your provider recommend? Many facials may require protecting your skin from the sun for a period of time, using gentler face washes or certain moisturizers. 


Microdermabrasion is a procedure that involves using a diamond-tipped wand to remove impurities from the skin. This treatment can take care of pollutants, ultraviolet rays and other outside factors that may cause the skin to age prematurely. The end result is smoother, softer skin. Some spas, including ADSCA, offer a type of microdermabrasion that infuses oxygen with a healing serum to create immediate results. 

Important Things to Discuss With Your Provider
  • What are your expectations for the treatment? Depending on your goal, you may need multiple treatments to see your desired results.
  • Do you have any existing skin conditions or concerns? Microdermabrasion is not ideal for patients with visible, broken capillaries or rosacea.


This exfoliation procedure uses a special surgical blade to gently slough away the top layer of the epidermis. Removing the dead skin cells leaves the skin looking vibrant and smooth. Dermaplaning can also be useful in removing vellous facial hair (also called peach fuzz), which can trap excess dirt and oil, as well as rejuvenating skin tissue and reducing acne scarring, uneven pigmentation and fine line wrinkles.

Important Things to Discuss With Your Provider
  • What are your goals? Most people see results after just one treatment, but maintenance requires more over time.
  • Is it necessary? Not everyone needs this treatment.

Laser Skin Rejuvenation

This treatment combats the effects of aging and sun damage through the use of lasers. This procedure is often combined with other medi spa treatments, such as facials or microdermabrasion.

One type of laser skin rejuvenation is Ultherapy™. The ideal candidate for this treatment experiences:
  • Laxity of the facial skin
  • Sagging skin around the jaw line (jowls)
  • Loose neck skin
  • Wilting brow
  • Puffiness around the eyes

Before getting this treatment, it’s important that the patient not use any aspirin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory products for a least a week prior. Patients should also not take any fish oils or omega oils for at least a week prior to treatment. Most spas will require the patient to arrive early for medication before treatment.

Important Things to Discuss With Your Provider
  • Do you qualify for laser skin rejuvenation? It isn’t for everyone. Pay attention to the criteria listed above, and consider whether this treatment is necessary or if another method will satisfy your goals.
  • Is there another, easier method to achieve your skin care goals?
  • What activities should you avoid before or after treatment?
  • How much downtime should you expect after treatment?

If you’d like to schedule an appointment or get more information about ADSCA’s medi spa, click here. If you have any general questions, comment below and I’ll try to address them!


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