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In South Carolina, the “Medical” in Med Spa is a Critical Distinction for Care

Medical Requirements for Med Spas

Many people think cosmetic treatments, such as, injectables, skin tightening, peels, or fat reduction are simple, elective choices that are done in an hour or so. But, each of these treatments are deemed the practice of medicine by the State of South Carolina, and are therefore governed by the same requirements that Medical Doctors must follow with any other medical procedure.

We think this is a good thing, because it protects patients and providers.  As a medical spa, Coastal Skin Solutions is careful to follow state-mandated regulations (and more) to help ensure the best possible care and safety for you.

In South Carolina, facilities offering medical spa services are required to have a South Carolina-licensed Medical Doctor (MD) to oversee the procedures performed on patients. While a physician can delegate aesthetic treatments to a host of certified providers (NPs, RNs, PAs, Aestheticians, and Laser Techs), an MD (who is also trained in the procedures we offer) must be readily-available to oversee the work and step in to help, should there be an emergency.

This is certainly reassuring to our patients, and also to our staff. Each of our team members have been carefully trained and certified in the treatments they perform, and are well versed in how to respond in the rare event of an emergency. However, as a medical spa, we still require oversight from a licensed MD.

Our on-site Medical Director is Craig Koniver, MD. As a key member of our injection team, many of you may already know him for his expertise with neurotoxins and dermal fillers. For those who do not, Dr. Koniver is the founder of the Koniver Wellness Institute and is internationally known for his work in Regenerative and Functional Medicine.

Dr. Koniver plays a very active role in our medical spa and under his direct supervision, Coastal Skin Solutions not only follows the laws of South Carolina very carefully; we go beyond to continually review our practices and procedures and make sure we are giving our patients everything possible for the best care available in the safest environment.

So, before we begin to treat a patient, we:

  1. Must have a Medical Doctor trained in our procedures, to oversee our operations and be readily available in case of an emergency.

  2. Must have all staff members professionally-trained and certified in the treatment options they perform.

  3. Must establish a patient-medical practitioner relationship, where patients are evaluated and properly informed of the steps in our procedures and risks involved. We must also secure your explicit permission before proceeding with any treatment. Finally, we must keep official medical records of any treatments performed, and have these medical records available to you should you need them.

  4. Must do the treatments in a clinical setting, with proper procedures followed.

These steps are expensive and sometimes cumbersome, but they are required. And we believe that they are worth it to protect our patients, and, for that matter, our people.

Why is all this so important? You’re probably aware of house parties or pop-up shops that offer Botox® or other injectables. These are fun and the atmosphere helps some patients feel more relaxed and comfortable. But there are risks involved. And if not performed by properly trained providers with appropriate oversight, the consequences can be serious. Similarly, we hear of practices that stay open after hours or on weekends and do not have proper oversight.

If you are considering treatments, we strongly urge you to properly research practices you are evaluating and ask questions about safety and compliance with South Carolina requirements.

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