'Better, Cheaper, Faster' Driving Consumer Demand for Medical Spas

The number of US medical spas doubled between 2004 and 2006, according to recent research by Ireland-based Diagonal Reports. The growth drivers of the medspa market are much the same in different market around the world.

- greater consumer concern with appearance
- falling prices of treatments make medspas more accessible
- easier consumer access to treatments
- technical developments of products and devices

Jacqueline Clarke, Research Director for Diagonal Reports, points to technical developments in medical spa equipment as primary contributors to the growth of non-invasive skin care procedures. Lasers that can be used in a variety of procedures reduce both up front and training costs. The flexibility of the latest lasers to treat a wider range of conditions lower cost to the consumer.

Speed is one of the main drivers of sales growth for laser treatments. Fast procedures, that is both in terms of treatment time and recovery time continue make many non-invasive medspa treatments popular with time-poor consumers, says Clarke.

Diagonal Reports research reveals that, despite these positive advancements, the medical spa market is not all rosy. The negatives identified include increased competition,a complex regulatory situation, and worries about 'cowboy' practices. 'The medspa industry should not ignore the growing number of reports about a cowboy element--a word used to describe a range of practices, such as unlicensed/untrained providers of treatments and the dilution of products to increase profits,' warned Clarke.