Mesotherapy is used to help rejuvenate the skin from the effects of aging and also to help shed fat as an alternative to liposuction. Programs in dermatology and medical aesthetics may train students to perform mesotherapy as well as other skin care procedures.
Dermatology is a medical specialty open to those who have already attained their Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) or Doctor of Osteopathy (D.O.) degrees and want to specialize in preventative skin care, diseases that affect the skin and trauma to the skin. One of the requirements for a doctor who wants to be a board-certified dermatologist is to complete an accredited residency program. These programs are open to licensed physicians. Many schools also require applicants to have at least a year of postgraduate training. The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education keeps a list of accredited programs on its website (www.acgme.org).
Medical aestheticians are trained aestheticians who know how to employ popular skin care techniques to improve the look and feel of skin. They also have some additional medical training, allowing them to help people who may have undergone surgery or are being treated for a medical condition affecting the skin. They will often work in collaboration with dermatologists or plastic surgeons.
Since anyone working in the beauty or spa industry must be licensed, it may be useful to find a certificate program that prepares its students for licensing. Also, because of the nature of the work, choosing a school that emphasizes sanitation and infection control may be helpful. Certificate programs require a GED or high school diploma for admission. Some coursework in this field may be available online.
Medical Aesthetician Certificate
This is a relatively new field, so there are only a few programs specifically in medical aesthetics. There are many certificate options for training in beauty and skin care, such as cosmetology and aesthetics, however. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), medical aestheticians sometimes enter the field with cosmetology training plus some college-level coursework in biology and anatomy (www.bls.gov).
Students in some medical aesthetics programs may get training similar to that of students in cosmetology and aesthetics, because much of the coursework involves different treatments for the skin. In addition, this type of program, which is sometimes called a medical skin care certificate program, may also include courses on anatomy and physiology and on medical office procedures. At the end of the program, aspiring medical aestheticians may be able to assist with minor surgeries and scar removals.
This type of certificate program can vary from school to school. Some are geared for the licensed aesthetician and may not include much of the skin care coursework contained in a general aesthetician certificate program. Most programs involve clinical work experience. Classes may include:
- Physiology and anatomy
- Medical office procedures for aestheticians
- Advanced skin treatments
- Makeup as camouflage
- Medical aesthetic machinery
Dermatology Residency Program
A doctor who wants to specialize in dermatology must complete another 3-4 years of residency work from an accredited institution. Many accredited programs provide hands-on training in clinical settings with patients who may suffer from a variety of dermatological conditions or diseases. These programs are typically affiliated with teaching hospitals that see thousands of patients each year. An accredited program will expose residents to many kinds of dermatology, such as pediatric, surgical and cosmetic dermatology.
Residency programs also include conferences and seminars on various topics relating to dermatology. Those topics may include:
- Diseases of the skin
- Mohs surgery
- Laser surgery
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
From 2014-2024, the BLS predicts faster-than-average employment growth of 14% for all physicians and surgeons, including dermatologists. According to PayScale.com, most dermatologists earned median salaries of $204,072 as of January 2016.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that employment of skincare specialists is projected to increase 12% between 2014 and 2024. This is faster than the national average for all occupations. Professionals in this field earned median salaries of $30,090 per year as of 2015, according to the BLS.
Continuing Education, Certification and Licensing
Some schools also offer associate's degree programs that specialize in medical aesthetics. Depending on the schools involved, certificate coursework may transfer into an associate's degree program. No uniform licensing or certification programs were established for medical aestheticians as of 2010, but aestheticians and cosmetology workers are licensed by the state. Requirements vary, but they generally involve completing an education or training program and passing an exam.
Accredited residency programs will prepare individuals for the national exam required for certification from the American Board of Dermatology (www.abderm.org). The professional organization also offers continuing education, conferences and job information for professionals. Some institutions offer fellowship or Ph.D. programs for those who have completed a residency program and want to specialize in a particular area of dermatology or go into research or teaching.
Because mesotherapy itself is not offered as an individual program at any accredited school, students interested in this field should seek training in dermatology or medical aesthetics. It is important for students in skin care programs to earn certification and licensure to meet minimum employment requirements.