The Medical Aesthetician

Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

The word "aesthetician" has many people confused. It can have different interpretations for different people. For instance, when it is spelled "esthetician", it may represent a person who has chosen to work in a salon or spa setting. Adding an "a" to the word changes its meaning altogether, for some people, depending on their education on the subject. The "aesthetician" will be the subject of this definition.

Whether we address the aesthetician as "medical," "paramedical," "clinical," or "camouflage therapist," the fact is that this person has chosen to work in the medical field.

The student has completed a 600-hour course within a school or college setting, usually consisting of two semesters. He or she will receive 10 units toward a college degree, if classes were taken at a community college level.

Upon completion, the student must meet the standards of the Department of Consumer Affairs, and be examined by the State Board of Cosmetology. This examination consists of a 210 question written exam and a two hour practical examination. If the student passes this exam, an esthetician license is issued at that time.

At this time, it is up to the esthetician to continue to advance his or her education by attending seminars, advance classes, conferences, etc. Continuing to learn new techniques and procedures and to be always open to new ideas marks the difference between a successful aesthetician and one who is not.

The following is an outline of the role an aesthetician plays in a medical practice. It is not intended to be a job description that the human resources departments expect to receive.

This is a blueprint of the capabilities an aesthetician can bring to the physician's practice.

How Aestheticians Can Help Physicians

  • Prepare patient for surgery
  • Provide treatments ordinarily not available in a physician's office or that a physician may not have the time to provide
  • Provide postoperative treatments to accelerate healing
  • Recognize potential problems with patient ie: hyperpigmentation, milia
  • Enhance patient's results and enhance physician's reputation
  • Provide patient referrals

How Physicians Can Help Aestheticians

  • Provide medical care and evaluations to patient
  • Prescribe medication when necessary
  • Perform treatments aestheticians are not trained to perform
  • Enhance reputation of aesthetician
  • Recommend aesthetician-related treatments
  • Provide patient referrals

How Physicians and Aestheticians Can Help Patients

  • Work with the patient to be sure the proper treatment is provided and continued until it is no longer necessary
  • Reinforce any procedures and or treatments that may be recommended

How This Relationship Can Be a Win-Win Situation

The physician and aesthetician work as a team to provide the patient with the knowledge and treatments necessary for continued success.