How safe is your day or med spa, and what do you know about regulations?

Illinois LicenseTechnology has increased the options in cosmetic health and wellness beyond the days of plastic surgery being the main alternative procedure when face creams and treatments fail to do the job. Today we can go to an esthetician at a medical spa for laser treatments and Botox injections with as much ease as going to get a haircut. While Day and Med Spas are becoming increasingly popular, so are the occasional news report of a problem with a service or treatment. Would you know whether the person performing skin laser treatments is required to be licensed and at what level? Is the person working with you covered by their malpractice insurance? To whom would you make a complaint? The more information we know about the law and Med Spas, the better we can use these facilities and share knowledge with one another.

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Responsibility (IDFPR) regulates medical spas.

There are several Esthetician[i] professions regulated and licensed by the IDFPR. These state licensed health and wellness professionals must complete specific education requirements and pass state required examinations to obtain their professional license required to practice.

Esthetic services provided at day and med spas are “treatments that affect layers of skin below the surface or treatments that affect other soft tissues of the body, or which are injected (Botox) or removed from the body (liposuction) are medical procedures that which require direct medical supervision. These procedures should only be performed by a licensed cosmetologist or esthetician.

What may happen when injuries or damages occur at a med spa?

In 2010, the IDFPR issued a news release warning the public to be more aware of spa treatments that can be performed by a licensed cosmetologist or an esthetician.[ii] With an increase in day and med spas, there are more people new to using these types of services, who may be at risk of “infections or injuries caused by untrained or unsupervised attendings performing what, in some cases, are actual medical procedures.[iii]

In the event of injury or infection, a patient may seek reimbursement for damages directly or through and insurance claim or lawsuit. If the damages are a result of medical procedures performed by an untrained or unsupervised attendant, and not the licensed cosmetologist or esthetician, there could be additional investigations and discipline on the behalf of the state, through the IDFPR and other authorized agencies.

About the American Med Spa Association and its resources

To learn more about the day and med spa treatments, particularly those considered medical procedures requiring a licensed esthetic professional, the American Med Spa Association (AmSpa) website for Illinois offers answers to frequently asked questions by the consumers of day and med spa services. The site covers issues involving federal, state and local laws and regulations, as well as FDA and DEA information about the substances and products used in treatments.

If you have more questions about day and med spas in Illinois and want to learn more, contact the health law firm of Michael V. Favia & Associates in Chicago.

About us: Michael V. Favia & Associates, P.C. is a health law, litigation and licensing firm in Chicago representing individuals, healthcare professionals and organizations with civil legal matters as well as professional licensing and regulation.

Chicago health law and litigation attorney Michael V. Favia and his associates in several locations and disciplines, advise and represent private individuals as well as healthcare professionals in all types of litigation and administrative matters involving licensing and regulatory agencies.

Michael V. Favia and Associates, P.C. represents individual physicians and health care organizations in the Chicago area with a variety of legal matters. With offices conveniently located in the Chicago Loop, Northwest side and suburban meeting locations, you can schedule a discrete meeting with an attorney at your convenience and discretion. Michael V. Favia & Associates is available at (773) 631-4580. Please visit and feel free to “Like” the firm on Facebook and “Follow” the firm on Twitter. You can also review endorsements and recommendations for Michael V. Favia on his profile and on LinkedIn.



[i] “The practice of esthetics covers a wide array of techniques that may include (but certainly is not limited to) steaming, waxing, extraction, chemical peels, and pore cleansing.”

[ii] IDFPR News Release: State Warns Holiday Shoppers to Remember: Safety First, Many Day and Med Spa Treatments Need Doctor Supervision. Dated December 15, 2010.

[iii] See HNii above.