The 2018 Medical Spa Forecast

Alex Thiersch shares his 2018 medical spa forecast. // Photo credit: gustavofrazao/iStock/Getty Images Plus

According to the American Med Spa Association (AmSpa), the medical spa industry has been growing steadily since 2010, and it is set to keep expanding this year, Here are tips on how to profit on the market’s expansion in 2018.

Operate Inside the Lines: In 2017, regulatory enforcement increased throughout the country. State boards began pursuing those who they perceive to be bad actors with enthusiasm they hadn’t shown in the past. This almost certainly will continue in 2018, so if you or your medical spa is not compliant with national, state, and local regulations, you should address this immediately.

March to the Tune of Progress: This past year, more startups entered the medical aesthetic industry than in any other year in recent history. These entrepreneurs and companies are creating innovative products and offering useful services the industry hasn’t had before. In 2018, more new people and companies will enter the marketplace backed with money, fanfare, and marketing power. Consider this an opportunity to learn about products and services from new players in the market.

Expand Your Practice: It is expected that a number of very large medical aesthetic chains, including Beverly Hills Rejuvenation Center, Ideal Image, Kalologie 360, and Orange Twist, will make a splash in the industry in 2018. Franchising medical spas will give entrepreneurs an enticing opportunity to enter the industry, and by latching onto an established brand, they can side-step some of the headaches associated with medical spa ownership. But it also will also increase competition in the field. 

Hire a Nurse: The medical aesthetics industry has traditionally been run by physicians who are referred to as “core doctors”—plastic surgeons, facial plastic surgeons, oculoplastic surgeons, and dermatologists. However, non-core doctors like OB/GYNs and emergency-room doctors have also flooded into the marketplace in recent years, and I expect that to continue in 2018. In 2017, Illinois amended its Nurse Practice Act to allow nurse practitioners to achieve full practice authority, and I expect other states to follow suit. This will allow nurse practitioners to become a vital part of medical spa infrastructures, and we will likely see more nurse practitioners enter the industry as training becomes more readily available.

Listen to the FDA: Microblading has become a sensation in the past year, and because it provides an extremely large return on investment, many med spas will want to offer it, if they don’t already. However, this service has faced restraints, because the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has raised questions about which devices are approved and who is qualified to use them. However, the FDA is preparing to make some announcements regarding microblading devices that will help clarify the matter.

 

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