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Entries by Medical Spa MD (1241)


The Future Of Medical Spas

Work in Progress. Check back later.

Technology Factors: Technology companies are tripping all over themselves in order to come out with new technologies and gain market share. With over 30 companies offering devices for hair removal alone, choosing technology is an important part of our offering. The cost of picking the wrong device can increase your cost substantially. We have seen that in some of our competitors. They can't offer hair removal for large body areas (legs and backs) and make a profit. This has forced them to eliminate these areas from their offering.
The addition of treatments like Thermage, Collagen Point Induction, and Pointe Lifts place us in direct competition with plastic surgeons.
Regulatory Issues: We expect regluatory issues to continue to increase. This benefits us by increasing the barriers to entry in the marketplace. There are currently many states that have little if any regulation about physician oversight with these medical devices. As states and state medical boards look more closely into these new treatments it is expected that the majority of states will only increase the ammount of physician oversight required. The fact that there are numerous non-physicians taking money away from physicians and the occasional horror story should also factor in. If and when increased regulation takes place it will impact our competitors to a great extent. We predict that all states will settle around Surface's model; Direct, on-site physician oversight.
Anticipated Changes & Trends in Industry: As the population gets older the market will only grow. We also expect to begin see a shift away from day-spa treatments in favor of proven medically based treatments. Non-invasive technologies will also take off as more treatments come online.

Changes in Medicine: The move towards technology solutions should present us with growing opportunities. As we grow our patient base we become more attractive to other businesses looking for a foothold in the market.


Medical Spas - Competitive Analysis 

Work in progress.  Check back later...

Retail medicne has not been refined, there is little competition compared to other markets, use of technology is minimal, and medical offices are not designed for efficiency. These features of the industry have created a situation that is ripe with opportunity for a retail chain with the right mix of business strategy, medical offering, and marketing.

There are no core cosmetic medical giants. The largest competition consists of individual physician practices that do focus exclusively on medical technologies as part of their product mix. These practices are generally poorly managed and poorly marketed. Most of these practices manage one clinc, with a small minority managing two locations.

Most physicians use the same technology they did ten years ago—a cash register and a calculator. If they’re ahead of the curve they might use spreadsheets and a copy of Quickbooks or an outside service. Supply chain management, true online retailing, and real-time systems are almost unheard of in the medical industry outside of large hospitals.

Conventional cosmetic practices attempt to get customers in the door with yellow page ads, sell their clientele products they'll probably only use once, and then get them out the door. The medical spa by contrast is not just somewhere to buy something, but a destination in and of itself.

There are three types of service providers that form our current competition and from which potential customers may choose; medical spas, plastic surgeons/dermatologists, and day spas.

Medical Spas: Success breeds competition. Starting up a clinic or medical spa needs only financing and physician oversight. Neither presents much of a barrier to entry. What does create a barrier however is being first to market. A lead, especially in a rather small and insulated community should lead to an insurmountable barrier.

Some franchises and small chains have attempted to fill this market by creating an offering that attempts to remove the physician from the business as far as possible. These businesses "rent" a physician in order to provide medical oversight to their operations (either by co-locating or off-site) but their business plans are flawed.

  • This model prevents offering treatments that must involve or be performed by a physician.
  • The model presents a "strip mall" look and feel as a medical practice.
  • The physican providing oversight is at risk: It's his medical licence on the line.
  • The physician discovers that he can do it himself leading to managerial problems.
  • The physician can not be bound to provide oversight if he chooses not to.
  • The model makes less money since physician treatments have the highest margins.
  • There is no opportunity to add new physician treatments or technologies.
  • Marketing and PR abilities are curtailed.
  • The patient wants a specialized physician.

Plastic Surgeons/Dermatologists: The bulk of our competition comes from individual physicians offering cosmetic treatments, usually Botox, hair removal and/or skin rejuvenation procedures. In general, physicians do not have the marketing, advertising or PR savvy to pose a significant threat to entry into this business. In fact, prices and marketing will put pressure on these practices to stop offering competing services. 

Day Spas: Day spas offer some competition with their current client base and established presence. Their competing offerings may consist of hair removal, microdermabrasion, non-medical wrinkle, cellulite and facial treatments, and some Botox by visiting physicians. These visiting Botox treatments are generally promoted poorly. 

None of these competitors have a specialized scope of offering, marketing resources or focus that prevents competiton from entering the market. Those that offer competing services do so on a small, (and sometimes shoddy) scale and without  marketing savvy. 

Franchises and Chains.

More coming later...


Mesotherapy vs. Cellulite

In the battle to look good, there’s a cosmetic treatment that is going a few rounds with cellulite and small fatty deposits. Mesotherapy is knocking out fat and rejuvenating skin in people who give it a try.

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Study Shows Patients Want to Look Better, Not Different

Despite the popularity of "makeover" reality shows, most Americans who might consider cosmetic plastic surgery would not want to drastically change their appearance, according to a national survey of 1000 American households.

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Treatment Of Adult Acne

Long article on current treatments for acne in adults. Covers topics from topical treatments to hormonal and photodynamic therapies.

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Pathogenisis Of Acne

A brief review of the pathogenesis of acne will create the context for a discussion of the features of the disease in adults and the treatment approaches that target specific pathogenic factors.

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The Prevalence Of Acne In Adults

In 1999, Professor William Cunliffe and colleagues at the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom published the first study in almost 20 years to investigate the prevalence of acne vulgaris in adults. The authors introduced their study by noting that over the past 10 years they had seen the mean age of patients seeking treatment for acne in their clinic climb from 20.5 to 26.5 years, although they were not certain as to whether this was due to a greater prevalence of adult acne or a greater awareness of the disease and willingness to seek treatment.

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What To Consider Before Having Botox Injections

Botox is revered by millions as the answer to achieving a more youthful appearance without having to resort to "going under the knife." Botox injections can dramatically soften expression lines, worry lines, frown lines, crow's feet and laugh lines.

Botox is actually a paralyzant made from botulism toxin that is injected into the muscles under the wrinkles. These wrinkles occur as the muscles under the skin contract when we laugh, smile or frown. Paralyzing the muscles with botox prevents the  facial muscles from activly reinforcing these creases and smooths out the surface skin. However before you book an appointment for a Botox treatment there are a few factors that you might want to consider first.

All Botox is created equal: When Botox is shipped it comes in the form of a freeze-dried film of crystals inside a glass vial. The physician hydrates the Botox by mixing it with saline to make the  solution that's actually injected. With the rising level of competion some doctors are diluting the solution they use in an attempt to save money. In some cases, price may be some indication of the quality of care. However, that's not always the case. May physicians are able to offer less expensive treatments because the have more patient traffic.

Botox is not cheap stuff:  so it would be wise not to go for the bargain botox, as there can be grotesque complications as a result. It is very likely the saline in the diluted botox can migrate into other muscle areas causing problems such as double vision, droopy eyelids, droopy lips, uncontrollable tearing and drooling. It is also not a good idea to get botox if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Remember this is a toxin that has like any other foreign substance the potential to migrate to other places in the body. Although some cosmeticians and surgeons will tell you it is okay to have botox as long as you don't breast feed your baby for two days afterwards your best course of action is to not get botox at all if you are nursing!

Botox doesn't work for everything: Botox cannot be injected into some lines around the mouth on the upper lip or into the lower frown lines around the chin. This is because botox injections can paralyze the face for up to six months in these areas which are called the perioral area. If a practictioner tells you that it is safe to inject botox into the area above the upper lip you are probably not dealing with a professional.

Botox is safe: The FDA gave Botox the okay for use in April 2002. Since that time Botox has proven safe in getting rid of our most hated facial wrinkles. I’m talking about wrinkles like the laugh lines Gladys Rhome suffered from as well as frown lines and crows feet. Doctors have been using Botox for more than ten years and so far they’ve seen no serious side effects.

You may experience a little localized pain, tenderness and bruising in the aftermath of the injection. Your muscles in the vicinity of the injection may also be a little weak. However some people see this as a minor annoyance. You can usually see the affects of the injections within 3 days.

The treatment lasts approximately three months to six months. Most people will need another injection after that time. You can repeat the injection as long as you don’t have any serious side effects. The two good things about a Botox treatment are that it can be repeated as many times as you like. And, the treatment takes less than an hour. You can literally do it on a lunch break from work. In fact, doctors say the more treatments you have the longer the lasting effects seem to be.

Botox is used in extremely small amounts and does not spread throughout the body. An allergic reaction is not very common. However there is the possibility that you may have a problem with a droopy brow or eyelid. It is not a problem that will not correct itself over time. Botox can be used by almost anyone. However you should not use it if you’re are pregnant, breastfeeding or have a neurological disease.

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