*Disclaimer: The information on this page is not intended to substitute for the medical expertise and advice of your healthcare provider. We encourage you to discuss any decisions about treatment or care with an appropriate healthcare provider.

Choosing a right Medical Spa


A medical spa is a cross between a doctor's office and a day spa, with all procedures carried out under the supervision and authority of a licensed medical doctor. However, not all medical spas provide same quality service and care to the clients. Visiting a med spa should be fun, relaxing and productive, and not result in a visit to the emergency room, infection or permanent scarring. While the non-invasive treatments carried out at most med spas have less risk of complication than full-on plastic or cosmetic surgery, serious injury could still occur.

Ask these questions before you book an appointment:
  • Is a doctor available in the Med Spa?

Medical treatments must be carried out only with full medical supervision. However, often the doctor is not on-site. Unlicensed personnel with a basic training in a specific procedure should not work on you. Make sure there is a licensed full-time medical director and nurse on-site preferably in the room with you, or at least in a supervisory position overseeing qualified medical personnel. Canadian Association of Medical Spas and Aesthetic surgeons recommends that the doctor be a licensed plastic surgeon.

  • Is staff experienced in specific procedures?

A medical spa may have several years of experience overall, but only a short period of time experience in the procedure you want to have carried out. Find out who your practitioner will be, how many times he or she has carried out the specific procedure you want in the last year, month and week, how often serious side effects occur, check credentials and finally ask about training and background. Professional and caring staff should not feel insulted by your questions.

  • Is the consultation up to standard?

Medical spas usually must encourage their patients to ask as many questions as they need to until they feel entirely comfortable, and will give them up-to-date information Consultations should be one-on-one with a medical professional and should leave you feeling satisfied with the outcome.

  • What is the equipment like?

The equipment should be up-to-date, well-maintained, sterile, and right choice available for different skin types. The equipment should be clean as well as the entire facility should be hygienic, with proper hand-sterilizing facilities available for both guests and personnel.

  • Are clients satisfied overall?

If clients return for repeat visits because they are satisfied with the medical spa's reputation and practice, it is a good sign to rely on. If you are interested in one specific procedure, ask if the medical spa can provide contact details of satisfied patients. A confident doctor would not mind doing this.

  • Is the price right?

Medical spas that make impossible promises or offer prices that are significantly cheaper than other places in the same area should be questioned more in details to make sure they provide a standard and acceptable level of service. Medical spa personnel who want to sell a series of treatments must be asked to give you more freedom and comfort level to decide given the budget that you have set aside for your cosmetics needs.

Do's and Don'ts in Choosing the Right Med Spa

DO take your time in finding a medical spa that is right for you, where you feel comfortable, and where the staff are fully trained, certified and licensed.

DON'T go for the lowest-price option. If a price is way too low, you have the right to become suspicious and investigate more, considering the procedure is going to be performed on your body and it is not just buying a new dress or fancy pair of shoes.

DO make sure the clinic or facility in question is devoted to medical spa procedures and aesthetics in general.

DO make sure that all medical procedures are performed by medical personnel, not unlicensed or non-medical staff. Check laws to see if procedures such as giving injections and doing deep chemical peels must be performed by a doctor, or if nursing staff can carry them out under a doctor's supervision. And if you see an untrained secretary giving injections or doing a chemical peel, don't be afraid to report them.

DON'T go to someone's home, a hotel room or a temporary rented space for a medically related treatment. Canadian Association of Medical Spas and Aesthetic surgeons recommends only visiting a med spa located within a physician's office.


Laser Safety Regulations for Medical Spas

Lasers are classified in 4 groups:

Class I: No known biological hazard

Class II: Chronic viewing hazard only

Class III: Direct viewing hazard,

Class IV: Direct and reflected hazard

1) Helium-neon lasers are class III. Dye, Nd:YAG, Alexandrite, Diode are class IV lasers and are dangerous to view due to scattered radiation. Use of goggles is mandatory.

2) All windows in a laser treatment room should be protected from beam transmission and covered with opaque material. There should be no mirrors in the treatment room.

3) All doors to a laser treatment room are to be closed and have a laser specific danger sign along with a pair of laser eyewear prominently displayed.

4) Eyes of patients and health care workers should be protected from laser beams. Laser-safe eye protection with appropriate wavelength and optical density should be worn by all health care workers and all patients and labeled to protect against improper use.

5) CO2 Erbium Diode exposure may result in corneal absorption, while Pulsed dye, Nd:YAG, and Alexandrite exposure may result in retinal absorption.

6) Patient eyewear choices include opaque tanning bed eyewear, laser eyewear with proper wavelength protection and optical density, or in the event neither are available; alternatives eye protection may include moist sponges or a wet towel.

7) Flammable or combustible materials such as anesthetics prep solutions, drying agents ointments, plastics, resins, hair should be exposed to laser beam.

8) A laser should always be in standby mode unless an operator is ready to use it

9) How to deal with Plume: A plume is any smoke by-product from the lasers thermal destruction of tissue (may include skin, blood, or viral particles) and may be hazardous to one's respiratory tract. Plume can contain toxic gases and vapors such as benzene, hydrogen cyanide and formaldehyde, bio-aerosols, dead and live cellular materials including blood fragments and viruses. A laser protective mask (0.1m) should be used to decrease inhalation of particulate matter. Modified from/Courtesy of Candela

Skin Health and Beauty (A-Z)

The skin is a major organ of body that function as an anatomical barrier from pathogens and damage between the internal and external environment in bodily defense. The skin also provides a relatively dry and semi-impermeable barrier to fluid loss. Therefore, taking care of the skin helps to have a healthy and soft one. Healthy life style has tremendously positive affects that reflect on the skin. A clean skin guarantees your beauty. Everyone wishes to live a healthy and happy life, but it really takes efforts. Fortunately, nature has provided us with a variety of food, which we can include in our diet in its natural form.

A. Eat a healthy diet (fruits, vegetables in the form of salads and fresh juices).

B. Use of honey instead of sugar for juices.

C. Avoid junk food or fried foods.

D. Take brown bread, whole grains and oat bran. Use brown rice instead of white.

E. Drink 2-3 glasses of warm water first in the morning or take a glass of warm lemon juice with a tsp of honey.

F. Yoghurt (plain & natural) is a powerful skin cleanser. It can be used to massage all skin types.

G. Almonds have a high content of vitamin E and beneficial for the skin. Almond powder can also be used on face.

H. Have bath twice a day to keep your skin clean.

I. Steam your face once in a week. Add a few drops of eucalyptus oil to the water.

J. Avoid taking tea or coffee, instead replace it with green tea or buttermilk.

K. Keep your hair clean from dandruff. It may lead to pimples.

L. Use water based cosmetics for oily skin.

M. Wash your face whenever you go out and come back. Wash it after you wake up and before going to sleep.

N. Honey is an excellent moisturizer for dry skin but not for people with oily skin.

O. If going out in the sun use sun block and an umbrella and wear sunglasses.

P. Tea tree oil has antiseptic, anti-inflammatory properties. This oil is good for boils and rashes.

Q. Bath in cool water or lukewarm water. Hot water draws out natural oil from and will dry the skin.

R. Before going to bed, remove all traces of make-up to let your skin breathe.

S. Exercise at least four days a week to improve blood circulation to you skin and avoid stress.

T. Do not take alcohol, smoke or chew tobacco.

U. Applying moisturizer after a warm face wash or a warm shower is the best remedies for skin.

V. Try and maintain a constant sleep pattern.

W. Do not scrub and wash too hard.

X. Do not squeeze spots. Constant squeezing will cause scarring of the skin.

Y. Avoid skin contact with sharp or dull objects, towels, etc in public swimming pools.

Z. Do not use unknown used foot wares, swimming suits, hairbrush etc.

Botox pros and cons

Before going through the procedure, one should know what Botox can and can't do, and what the disadvantage might be. BOTOX is a trade name Botolinum Toxin, the basis that causes botulism. It is sometimes fatal food poisoning. However, in small quantities, BOTOX only interrupts nerve impulses to muscles in the face and temporarily paralyzes muscles responsible for facial expression, which often manifested by wrinkles and folds in the face. FDA has approved BOTOX for the removal of certain wrinkles. Fortunately, BOTOX is substantially diluted that serious side effects like allergic reactions are uncommon. If the doctor makes a mistake, in most cases the worst consequence is losing the ability to raise the eyelids all the way. A mistaken injection around the mouth may result in salivating. Regardless, even a perfectly performed procedure has consequences. Depending on which wrinkles is being treated, the client might not be able to frown or raise his / her eyebrows or narrow the eyes. Fortunately, if there is some unwanted results, BOTOX wears off after a few months. However if satisfied with the results, one has to go back every six months, at up to several-$100s per treatment. Botox injection must be performed by a trained professional. The reality is that Botox is not a cure for wrinkles; rather it defers them for few months. In some cases, if you are not a good candidate for the treatment, Botox can actually make you look worse. Botox products designed for therapeutic uses as well. Initially Botox was used for strictly medical purposes such as suppressing the unnatural muscle spasms, etc. For example, some symptoms of neurological conditions can be improved with Botox. Botox injection is also an effective treatment for excess armpits sweating. Unfortunately, many individuals have taken to injecting themselves and friends with Botox on their own. This is strongly not recommend. The risk of developing an allergy to Botox is not too high and even if your skin does adversely react to it the consequences will not be hard to manage. When the procedure is done by a professional dermatologist the only side effects that might occur are nausea, temporary headaches, swelling, bruising, pain. Muscle weakness that might limit facial movement is another side effect that can occur and might often be accompanied by flu like symptoms.

Choosing the right skin care product

The desire to have great skin make a lot of people, especially women fall into the trap of buying expensive products even if it is not right for their skin type. Choosing the right skin care products may be difficult because of the variety of choices in the market. The followings are some tips on how to choose the right ones.

A dermatologist should examine your skin and assess its type. Only a dermatologist can tell you what type of skin you have. If you have oily and acne prone skin, you must stay away from oil and cream based products. People with dry skin, must stay away from products that contain drying agents such as salicylic acid.

Expensive products are not necessarily the best. Surprisingly good skin care products can be found in the drugstore or the grocery too. However, the fact is that a product that works for someone might not work for another person. The key point is that a skin product must matches the type of skin. Here is the most common type of skins.

Normal skin: absence of skin complications such shininess, acne or irritation is a good sign indicating a normal skin. Most skincare items can be used.

Oily skin: Feels slightly greasy or slick to the touch. Oily skin is usually more prone to blackheads and whiteheads. Ultra light, oil-free and exfoliating items that will remove oil and dirt are recommended for this type of skin.

Acne-prone skin: This type tends to breakout frequently with pimples, blackheads or whiteheads. Products that are non-comedgenic, not pore-clogging and contain benzoyl peroxide are most suitable for acne-prone skin.

Sensitive skin: Skincare or shaving products or extreme weather conditions can easily irritate sensitive skin type. Products that do not contain dyes, fragrances or irritants are specially formulated for sensitive skin.

Dry skin: Often feels tight and itchy and is more prone to irritations. Products that contain hydrating ingredients like Aloe, Urea and Allantoin are products of choice for this type of skin. In particular, moisturizers should be used more often for dry skin.

Combination skin: it is most common in males. They tend to have dry patches and oily patches on their face at the same time. products that gently clean skin without harsh abrasives and moisturizers are good candidates for combination skin type.

Health Concerns of UV Radiation

Prolonged exposure to UV radiation may have severe harmful effects on the skin, eye, and immune system. Severity of the damage is directly proportional to the UV wavelength, intensity and duration of exposure. UV-A oxidizes the melanin pigments in the skin and stimulates their production. Optimal melanin synthesis and pigmentation is a protective mechanism to prevent further skin damage. However excess exposure to UV-A rays can cause DNA damage and hasten skin ageing by altering the collagen fibres of the skin and thereby reducing its elasticity. Skin aging can appear as premature wrinkling and folds, dark circles under the eyes and abnormal hyperpigmentation etc.

Sun burn- Over exposure to the sun's UV-B rays may cause an injury to a blood vessel close to the skin surface. This may lead to sunburn, which is manifested by reddening and swelling of the damaged area.

Melanoma- melanoma is considered as the most common form of skin cancer. Studies have shown that there is a strong link between sunburn in childhood and the onset of malignant melanoma in adults. UV-B radiation causes DNA thymine base pairs to link leading to mutations and cancer. Some reports have indicated that UV-A radiation is more likely to cause melanoma than assumed previously. If true, many sunscreens currently available offer only very little protection against melanoma, as they mostly block UV-B and not UV-A. Therefore one should not rely exclusively on sunscreens as the only mean of UV protection. UV-A radiation can also be blocked by wearing hats and appropriate clothing. One of the best ways to protect against the dangers of melanoma is early diagnosis. Melanoma has a high cure rate if it is identified early on. Other types of skin cancer that may result from UV exposure are basal and squamous cell carcinoma. Over exposure to UV rays could result in immunosuppression and this has been cited as one of the reason for cancer development in these patients Moles that develop later in life should also be a source of concern. Most benign moles have been present since childhood. However, it is possible for childhood moles to become malignant. Because of this, changes in the appearance of any mole should be noted.

Actinic Keratosis- Over dose of UV radiation could lead to a skin growth known as actinic kearatosis, which appears as a red and rough elevation on the skin. This commonly affects parts that are exposed to sunlight.

UV rays and eyes - Over exposure to UV radiations are particularly harmful to the eyes. It may result in Photokeratitis (Welder's flash) leading to cataract, Pinguecula formation, Pterygium. In addition to direct radiation from sun, Ultraviolet rays can also be reflected towards the eyes by sand and snow. Surprisingly, the amount of UV rays that reflects to eyes are increased for example in photokeratitis, also known as snow blindness. Photokeratitis is sunburn of the cornea, and usually recedes within one to two days. It occurs when the eyes are exposed to large quantities of UV light in a short amount of time. The reflection of UV rays off of snow and sand are enough to incur this injury. Increasing exposure to UV rays is one of the causes of opacity of the eye's lens, called cataract, a condition that results in blurred and fuzzy vision.

Choosing a right medical spa


Lasers safety and risks


Health & Beauty (A-Z)


Botox pros and cons


Choosing right products