Day Spa vs Medical Spa: What’s the Difference?

Today, a spa day could mean more than just an excuse to pamper yourself with a relaxing mud bath or facial. Since the early 2000s, medical spas – or med spas – have been growing in number and popularity across the United States. If you’ve come across the term medical spa, you may be wondering how it differs from a traditional spa, also called a day spa.

Here, we’ve broken down the purpose of each spa, the services each one offers, and how they differ from each other. We hope this information helps you determine which type of spa is right for you based on your individual skincare needs.

Day Spa

Purpose: The purpose of a day spa is to invoke feelings of calm, relaxation, and well-being. Spa treatments can help you feel invigorated and pampered, and services are administered in warm, peaceful environments that promote a sense of serenity.

Services: Massages, facials, manicures and pedicures, mud baths, body wraps, and waxing treatments.


Medical Spa (MedSpa)

Purpose: The purpose of a med spa is to provide non-surgical medical and cosmetic treatments to rejuvenate damaged skin. Med spas use cutting-edge medical and cosmetic technology to medically treat a multitude of skin conditions in a calm, peaceful spa setting. A medical spa is not a doctor’s office.

The goal of treatment is to reduce or correct the following skin conditions:

  • Acne
  • Scarring
  • Fine lines
  • Wrinkles
  • Sun damage
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Stretch marks
  • Cellulite
  • Aged, thin, and sagging skin

Med spa treatments are more intensive, invasive, and have longer-lasting results than day spa treatments. These treatments will have noticeable effects on the appearance of your skin.

Services: CoolSculpting, body contouring, skin tightening, Botox and dermal fillers, injectables, chemical peels, microdermabrasion, laser and light therapies, and hair removal.

What’s the Difference?

The biggest difference between day spas and medical spas is the type of treatments offered at each. Day spas cannot offer any medical treatments. All services are administered by a trained and licensed esthetician, and there are generally no side effects from treatments.

Medical spas must be overseen by a licensed physician, because they are providing medical treatments that could have side effects. They require specially trained staff, usually nurses, dermatologists, or plastic surgeons who are present to administer invasive treatments like laser therapy, deep chemical peels and Botox. Estheticians can administer non-invasive medical treatments like microdermabrasion and superficial chemical peels.

The other key difference is the number of times you’ll visit each location. You may schedule spa days less frequently as a special treat, before an important occasion, or as a stress relief activity. On the other hand, treatments at a medical spa often necessitate multiple sessions to see results for your skin.

Ageless Allure Medispa Offers Traditional and Medical Services

Ageless Allure Medispa (AAMS) is proud to offer full-day spa and medical spa treatments. Our medical services are overseen by K. Wade Foster, M.D., Ph.D., a board-certified dermatologist. Dr. Foster also heads Florida Dermatology and Skin Cancer Centers, which has ten convenient locations across Florida. We also have experienced estheticians and a licensed massage therapist on staff.

At AAMS, we are dedicated to helping you treat your skin care needs through individualized treatments, exclusive products that are scientifically proven to address skin concerns, and the most up-to-date medical and cosmetic technology available.

We invite you to browse our services and contact our office today to schedule an appointment for treatment.