What is Medical Aesthetics?

Learn the answers to medical aesthetics most commonly asked questions

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"What is Medical Aesthetics?" A Beginners Guide to Non-Invasive Treatments

Thanks to the popularity brought by social media influencers and ever-growing patient demand, the term “medical aesthetics” is becoming a more common medical and household name.

However, many still remain unsure of what exactly falls under the umbrella of “medical aesthetics.” A mumbled “Botox?” would be most people’s first response. While BOTOX is definitely one of the most popular medical aesthetic treatments, the list of non-invasive aesthetic services continues to expand with no signs of slowing down.

In this guide, we will start by answering the question: “What is medical aesthetics?” We will also go over frequently asked questions about the most popular treatments, who can practice, and other details of where it falls in the current medical landscape.

4 FAQs about Medical Aesthetics
1. What is Medical Aesthetics?

On the broadest level, medical aesthetics are medical procedures aimed to improve a patient’s cosmetic (aesthetic) appearance. Medical aesthetics treatments are non-invasive to minimally invasive and are generally administered in a med spa or doctor's office.

In the spectrum of beauty treatments, medical aesthetics finds itself nestled between esthetic treatments and surgical treatments

While esthetic services focus on more cosmetic, topical treatments such as facials and brow laminations, It’s key to remember that medical aesthetics are by definition MEDICAL. Med aesthetic treatments require a high level of training and understanding of physical anatomy to be safely and effectively administered. 

Injections such as BOTOX and other dermal fillers are not over the counter, and should only be administered by a trained nurse or physician. Injectors should invest in top BOTOX training and certification courses to deliver the best results to their patients. 

On the other end of the spectrum are surgical operations generally performed by plastic surgeons. Treatments like liposuction, breast augmentation, and facelifts do not fall under the medical aesthetics umbrella as they are invasive, often performed in a hospital, and usually require significant recovery time.  

2. Why is Medical Aesthetics So Popular?

Medical aesthetics offer extremely compelling options for those wanting to reach their beauty and health goals. Many feel that topical esthetic treatments only lead to short-term temporary results. On the other hand, many patients want to avoid full-on surgery, anesthesia, and recovery time associated with “going under the knife.”

 In contrast, Medical aesthetics offer a non-invasive middle ground while ALSO delivering longer-lasting results. For example, patients can come in for a half-hour BOTOX or dermal filler injection during their lunch hour and return to their daily lives already seeing results.

In addition, medical aesthetic treatments are becoming more and more socially acceptable. Thanks in large part to  social media promotion and influencer support, medical aesthetics has become a common practice in many circles.

3. What are the Most Popular Aesthetic Treatments?

Every year seems to bring new medical aesthetic treatments to the market. While time and inconsistent results often rule out these new offerings, a handful of top med spa treatments have earned a loyal patient following and carved out a consistent place in the current medical aesthetic scene.

    BOTOX has become the #1 anti-aging treatment in the US. The injected serum freezes nerve receptors and limits facial movements that lead to wrinkles, fine lines, eyelid hooding, etc. 
  • Dermal Fillers
    Dermal fillers add volume and “fill” out wrinkles and lines by attracting water into the patient’s skin. The filler is made of Hyaluronic acid, a natural sugar in the skin, that retains water and builds up the facial structure.
  • Body Sculpting
    Body Sculpting treatments work to remove stubborn fat using different methods such as freezing (CoolSculpting), heat (SculpSure), ultrasound rays (Emsculpt), and injectables (Kybella). These treatments are applied directly to the skin–no surgery needed. The results appear over time as the body flushes out the destroyed fat cells. 
  • Microneedling
    Microneedling applies hundreds of tiny needle punctures to a targeted area. As the skin heals, the production of  Collagen increases (a building block protein that builds facial structure) and patients experience healthier, smoother skin.
  • Laser Treatments
    Laser treatments target specific trouble areas. Lasers can remove outer layers of skin to bring out blemish-free under layers of smooth skin. Lasers can also be used for hair removal by permanently damaging hair follicles with focused heat. Lastly, tattoo removal is accomplished through rounds of laser treatments to break down and flush out ink. 
4. Who Can Practice Medical Aesthetics?

Because of its medical nature, injectors need to hold an active medical degree as a licensed nurse or physician to qualify for further aesthetic training.

There is no overarching accreditation structure when it comes to licensure. Requirements to practice vary from state to state. Most states require completion of an injector training course and passing a state licensing test. Some states require training hours under a licensed injector and continuing education (CME or CE credits) to continue practicing.

Patients should verify they are receiving treatments from highly qualified injectors with reputations for great results. Nurses and doctors interested in becoming injectors and finding a BOTOX job should research their options and develop a plan to join this highly rewarding industry.

Medical Aesthetics: Medicine + Beauty's Exciting Frontier

Squarely owning the space between topical beauty treatments and full on surgical operations, it's no wonder  so many are turning to medical aesthetics as a non-invasive middle ground to reach their beauty goals.

From lip fillers to BOTOX to medical grade skincare, the options for longer-lasting aesthetic beauty treatments are greater than ever. As this medical field continues to advance, we expect general popularity to keep rising as the results continue to sell themselves.

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