If you have a skin issue that needs attention, you might be wondering whether it is better to go to a doctor or a licensed esthetician. “What’s the difference between a med spa and a day spa anyway?”

Day spas are typically run by estheticians. An esthetician is a dedicated licensed professional who can do minor skincare treatments on their own, permitted to treat only the top layer of the skin. Estheticians running a day spa must be licensed in the state where they practice.

There are different levels of esthetician licensing. At the least, a licensed esthetician can treat mild acne issues, giving you regular facials, microdermabrasion and helping you choose skin care products that won’t aggravate acne.

A med spa is run under the supervision of a doctor, like Victor Mancha, M.D., who runs AlluraDerm MD Med Spa. Dr. Mancha is licensed to perform treatments that target the deeper layers of the skin. He also possesses a medical license that allows him to prescribe prescription skin medications, something day spas cannot do on their own.

Many estheticians obtain additional education to become certified licensed estheticians. That means they can perform more advanced treatments, but must work under a doctor’s supervision to do so.

Obviously, med spas and day spas have many things in common. The biggest thing they have in common is also the most important thing: doctors and estheticians can help people feel better about themselves through safe, proactive skin care and anti-aging treatments.