Spa and Doctor Microderm Compared

The decision to have microdermabrasion for my acne scars was shortly followed by a dilemma: Should I have it in a medical clinic or at a spa? Two short visits, one to our dermatology clinic and the other to the local spa, helped me take a decision.

Specialist training is the most important difference between a spa and a medical facility. In a spa or beauty salon, microabrasion is done by a trained aesthetician, while in a doctor's office the procedure is performed by a qualified doctor or nurse. I used to think doctors are better than aestheticians, but after around 30 sessions in a spa, I'm convinced that spa microderm abrasion is just as effective.

The machines used in the two locations are different as well. Most devices designed for medical use are more powerful than the ones sold to beauty salons and aesthetic facilities. The micro crystals and most before and after care products are similar, though.

After talking to a beautician and a doctor, both trained in microderm abrasion, I realized that the procedure itself is performed similarly, the results are quite the same, and so are the contraindications and side effects.

Medical microdermabrasion costs more than spa microderma. The price of a single micro dermabrasion treatment in beauty salons or spa varies from $75 to $200. Some spas offer 5-10% discounts if you buy a 6-10 micro abrasion treatments package. The same micro dermabrasion session performed in medical offices costs somewhere between $100 and $300, initial consultation not included (which may cost an additional $150).

The best way to decide where to have your microderma abrasion treatment is to test both locations. Go to a medical facility for the first consultation and the first two microdermabration sessions, because it's better to discuss your condition and expectations with a trained doctor. See how the procedure takes place, keep your eyes wide open for details and write down the progress you make after these two sessions.

Then have the next two sessions in a beauty salon or a spa. Compare the services and weigh in all the benefits (online gift certificates, discounts for booking several sessions in advance, free parking, bonus massage minutes or product samples). The salon/spa is a good choice if the results are similar to the ones you got in the clinic, and the price and bonuses are appealing.

Next, a few tips on personal microderm kits.