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Stay spa safe from Day Spa Dangers
“You know you don’t want things done to your face that you don’t know anything about, so I tried to do my homework.”
Linda Hampton made that decision before undergoing laser hair removal. She knew there were risks involved and wanted to be safe.
“I was a little apprehensive because I was afraid to tell you the truth but after I had it the first time I had no problem.”
Dr. Jim McNatt with Georgia’s Medical Board says among things like Botox injections, and chemical peels, laser hair removal is the number one cosmetic procedure being offered at day spas and salons, but there’s concern.
“The use of lasers in day spas has been a problem and seems to be growing. There are a number of practitioners out there who are not authorized to use lasers in Georgia who are in fact using lasers to perform cosmetic procedures on patients.”
He says regulating the unlicensed practice of medicine isn’t easy.
“That’s difficult because we’re a small agency with a small budget. We have seven investigators for the entire state.”
With so few investigators, there’s a risk of people getting injured in unlicensed facilities. McNatt says, those injuries many times are not reported by patients.
“The complaints are not always from the patients having problems, it could be from a doctor in the town that knows this is going on and believes it is wrong,” said McNatt.
Dr. Anika Bradley is a plastic surgeon who runs a medical day spa in Georgia.
“Many of the procedures aren’t necessarily difficult to perform but they do have potential complications. Non-surgical does not mean not brought without complications,” said Bradley.
She says protecting yourself means knowing the difference between a day spa and a medical day spa.
“Medical spas always have a physician involved and thus they get that distinction. Day spas are places that tend to offer less aggressive treatment and many of them do not have physicians who are on staff. They are in things such as salons and free standing buildings that may have people trained in cosmetology.”
Dr. Kevin Baggett and Dr. Becky Campbell agree. They run a medical day spa of their own in Warner Robins.
“Some spas will have a medical professional that might be associated with it but they might not be on site. They might be in another city, said Baggett.”
According to the Georgia Medical Board, if it learns of an unlicensed person or business practicing medical procedures like laser hair removal or botox injections, they send out a cease and desist letter.
McNatt says they have limited authority in enforcing the law. There are no fines and for the most part he says, investigators don’t follow up.
“That was part of the reason that the board has been attempting for a number of years to pass rules and regulations that would make what was allowed and what was not allowed more clearer,” said McNatt.