What’s the Difference Between a Medical Spa and a Day Spa?

By: Lisa

When I say the word “spa,” what do you picture?

A spa is traditionally a place where people go to bathe in mineral-rich, natural spring waters. Obviously, the definition of what a spa is has evolved a bit since then! For many people, they imagine a relaxing oasis, with waterfalls and smooth stones everywhere. For others, they picture a steam bath where they can “sweat out the toxins.”

One of the questions that I am often asked is: what is the difference between a traditional “day spa” and our Azul Medical Spa? Typically, a day spa consists of a number of different beauty and healthful procedures, which may include facials, waxing, massages and hair treatments. Although these treatments can be incredibly relaxing, they don’t really provide any long-term aesthetic results. Day spas are rarely allowed to perform medical treatments that combine the usual pampering with cutting-edge cosmetic technology. That’s where medical spas come in!

A medical spa is the perfect solution for someone who wants to rejuvenate their appearance, using medical based products and procedures that are non-invasive or minimally invasive. In the best medical spas, patients can find a number of non-invasive aesthetic treatments, including injectables, lasers, deeply hydrating facials, microneedling and medical peels.

Why can’t day spas perform medical procedures?

In most states, whenever medical-grade products and procedures are performed, there needs to be a licensed physician supervising the facility. That’s what makes a medical spa a medical spa!

Will a doctor perform the procedures?

Treatments at the Azul Medical Spa are performed either by a licensed esthetician, a physician’s assistant (PA) or an advanced registered nurse practitioner (ARNP). All of the providers here at Azul are licensed to provide the services and cosmetic procedures offered at Azul Medical Spa and Dr. Flaharty oversees and trains all of us.

If you decide to explore cosmetic surgical options, you will likely have a consult with Dr. Flaharty.

What are some of the treatments offered?

Here is just a taste of some of the procedures that we offer at the Azul Medical Spa.


CoolSculpting is the revolutionary technology “freezes” fat cells. When intense cold energy is applied to the body, the fat cells will freeze and while leaving the surrounding tissue healthy and unharmed. Eventually, the former fat cells will be eliminated by our body, resulting in a slimmer, more contoured shape.

HydraFacial MD®

This is the gold standard of facials. Unlike a day spa facial, where they simply cover your face in clay, the HydraFacial MD is made up of four steps: exfoliation, acid peel, extractions and hydration. It’s completely customizable and can be adapted in accordance with your needs and skin type.

Botox and Fillers

Botox and fillers are a wonderful, non-surgical way to look refreshed. With Botox, we inject the tiny twitch muscles in the face (the ones that cause crow’s feet and forehead lines) and we can minimize the source of these wrinkles. Just a few days after treatment, those fine lines will start to vanish before your eyes.

Dermal fillers are meant for the deeper and more prominent wrinkles and lines on the face. Think of it as essentially filling these wrinkles with a cosmetic caulking gun. We inject tiny amounts of natural materials to fill in sunken areas and wrinkles to increase volume and fill out your face. It’s non-invasive, quick, and leaves you with immediately noticeable results.


The versatility of lasers has allowed doctors to address a large variety of cosmetic concerns in a quick and safe way. Lasers offer far more precision than using acid peels – to get rid of acne scars, break down stretch marks, reduce enlarged pores and eliminate dark spots on the skin. Lasers also give us a new way to stimulate collagen production in the lower layers of the skin. And, of course lasers can be used for permanent hair reduction on the body.

Medical Peels

A medical, or also known as chemical peel, is where we apply a chemical solution to your skin, intentionally damaging its top layer. As the damaged skin exfoliates, the healthier, smoother skin underneath will be revealed. Peels are a simple and easy way to minimize wrinkles, eliminate hyperpigmentation and help refresh aging skin.


A great new advancement in facial rejuvenation! We use super-fine vibrating needles to pierce the skin to a precise depth. This intentional damage to the skin will produce new collagen – tightening the skin, shrinking the pores, and minimizing wrinkles and uneven skin tone.


Using a special tool, we exfoliate and polish the outer layer of your skin to reveal the firmer, younger-looking skin underneath. This light exfoliation also removes any fine facial hair and dead skin cells, leaving your skin much smoother. It’s a fantastic monthly maintenance treatment.

How much do these treatments cost?

This will depend on the type and number of cosmetic procedures you wish to have done. Our Spa Menu in this magazine can help you get an idea, and coming to see us for a free consultation will tell you exactly what to expect.

Will I see results immediately?

The answer here is “it depends on the treatment”.  Treatments such as fillers, microdermabrasion and hydrafacials produce immediate results while others including Coolsculpting, botox, and laser treatments can take time to reveal the full benefit of the treatment. Also, some of these procedures can require a few sessions for noticeable results to appear. Many of the cosmetic procedures offered at Azul Medical Spa can be used as monthly maintenance or preventative treatments, helping to keep your skin healthy and youthful looking.

So, the bottom line is that, if you want a nice massage, by all means, hit a day spa. But if you want the cutting-edge of advanced anti-aging skincare treatments, you want to come to Azul Medical Spa. If you’d like to learn more about Azul, please visit us at www.azulbeauty.com. Not only do we offer the most advanced medical spa services available, we also have a number of non-invasive cosmetic procedures that can help you on your way to a harmonious rejuvenation. Give us a call at (239) 415-7576 to book your appointment at the Azul Medical Spa and get a jumpstart on reversing any signs of aging! Remember, at Azul, we’re always innovating and looking to acquire the best and newest in cosmetic technology to get you the results that you need!


Posted in: Procedures

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