Mall Med-Spa Warning

POSTED: Monday, October 5, 2009 - 6:56am

UPDATED: Thursday, June 3, 2010 - 10:58pm

Medicine at the mall -- in store fronts instead of traditional doctors offices, procedures are being performed ... mostly laser hair removal and cosmetic injectables. Many of these places are licensed by the state as electrology facilities, not health care clinics.

Who can legally perform these procedures?

According to the Florida Board of Medicine: "An MD, a physician assistant, and an ARNP or nurse practioner may perform laser hair removal, skin resurfacing, skin rejuvenation, injection of botox and collagen. Electrologists may perform laser hair removal under the director supervision of a physician."

Monica Jimenez's underarms were covered with blisters after laser hair removal and wants tighter regulation. "Being burned this bad, I have never experienced," she said. "It was just a pain that -- my body was shaking, like literally shaking and I could hardly breathe."

Med spas located within a doctor's office are a safer option for patients, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. But if a med spa is located in a mall or salon, patients are urged to inquire about the training of medical personnel. Make sure the procedure is supervised by a board certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist.

If it's an injectable, ask to see the manufacturer's label. Make sure the product is FDA-approved. Make a treatment decision based on a practioner's experience -- not price.