Most people do not understand what the difference is between an esthetician and a medical aesthetician. Although the two professions do have some similarities, there are also some vast differences as well. It is important to understand the difference if you are considering a career in esthetics or medical aesthetics, and you will want to know the differences in the training, license requirements and job potential.
Estheticians are those who are performing skin care services, which can include massage, hair removal, skin cleansing and skin toning. Medical aestheticians may also perform the same tasks than an esthetician does, however, medical aestheticians have also had further training that allows for them to work in a clinical setting where they can perform more specialized treatments. Therefore, while estheticians can usually be found working in a salon or a spa, medical aestheticians are more likely to be working in a rehabilitation center or a plastic surgeon’s office.
Estheticians generally are working with clients who have minor skin problems, like age spots or dry skin. Medical aestheticians tend to work with clients who are suffering from much more serious skin problems, including burns, trauma or helping people after they have had plastic surgery.
Estheticians usually are required to take at least 600 hours worth of training in order to obtain their license. Their studies will include training on skin conditions, hair removal, massage techniques, facial cleansings and management of salons. Medical aestheticians will usually also be trained in these same areas, but their training might also include pre and post-surgical skincare, permanent makeup, eyelash extensions, advanced hair removal and manual lymphatic drainage.
The career path for estheticians and medical aestheticians will vary as well. Spa estheticians will work in a salon or spa performing the tasks in which they were trained. They might also one day become a beauty educator and that would involve visiting various locations and training estheticians on different beauty products.
Cosmetic medical aestheticians will usually work either in a hospital or a rehabilitation center to help patients after they have suffered a trauma or an illness. Medical spa aestheticians will usually work in a salon or spa and will usually help clients with sun damage, perform chemical peels, do tattoo removal or cauterize varicose veins. A medical aesthetician might also eventually become a medical aesthetician training inspector and that job involves going to rehabilitation centers and medical spas to make sure that all regulations are being followed.
It is important to understand the difference between the two so you can figure out which path you want to follow.