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How to Become a Medical Esthetician

There are lots of great careers in the beauty and skin care industries, but few are as interesting and rewarding as working as a medical esthetician.

A medical esthetician provides a lot of the same treatments and has a lot of the same skills as a standard esthetician who might be found working in a beauty salon or spa, but they do it in a medical setting and work with people who really need the treatments to help them with medical problems.

Some medical estheticians work in oncology clinics or in hospitals helping cancer patients learn how to relieve the dry skin that can often accompany aggressive cancer treatments courses like chemotherapy, helping them stay more comfortable as they fight all kinds of cancer. Others work with people who have suffered serious burns or injuries resulting in scarring, helping them learn how to use make up to camouflage their scars and therefore allowing them to look and feel better. Other medical estheticians work with dermatologists to help patients with specific skin problems like acne or psoriasis, or offer treatments like facials, microdermabrasion, laser hair removal and more to people with different conditions who need them.

What qualifications does someone need to practice as a medical esthetician?

There are different licensing requirements in each state that can allow you to practice as an esthetician or medical esthetician. Generally, the licenses are the same whether you want to work in the medical or cosmetic fields, though in some states there is a Master Esthetician license which may be better suited to those hoping to work in medical esthetics. This generally requires more practical experience in terms of hours logged, and also includes additional treatment and product types you may not cover in standard esthetician training.

Beauty schools often offer different options when it comes to training for those who want to specialize in treating medical patients, because there are naturally some things that are more important when dealing with medical esthetics than others, and where a mainstream cosmetic esthetician may learn things like acrylic nails, fake tanning and eyebrow threading that are popular in salons, these are not generally as important for medical estheticians.

It usually takes from six months to a year to qualify as an esthetician, and how long it takes you will depend on the courses available in your area, whether you study full time or part time, and how many hours experience you need to get a license in your state. Some states only require you to have logged 300 hours, whereas in others it can be as many as 100o hours. Your local beauty schools or vocational colleges will be able to help you understand the courses you’ll need to meet the requirements in your area.

Some people choose to take additional courses that can help them in the career they are planning, for example if you plan to start your own medical esthetics practice or business then you may want to do some financial and business studies as well as the practical training you need to work as an esthetician.

When can I train to be a medical esthetician?

You can start esthetics training while you are still in high school if this is the career you have chosen, with some schools giving the option to do vocational training at a beauty school or vocational school for part of the week while returning to high school the rest of the time to finish your basic education in subjects like math and English.

If you want to wait, or you have already graduated high school, you can start training to be a medical esthetician at any time, and can even do it part time while still working in your current job if you are prepared for it to take a little longer to get your license. Inquire with local beauty schools and colleges about courses and when term starts. You may find there are some theoretical parts of your course that can be done online, however as this is a very practical style of training and work the majority of your course will take place on campus.