Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Mall medical spas cater to need for speed

A trip to the mall used to mean shopping and maybe a bite to eat. Now, a mall customer can stop to have some minor surgery or a laser treatment at a medical spa."We have lots of walk-in business," says William Nelson, medical director of Skinovative Laser Center at a fashion center mall in Chandler, Ariz.Eager customers don't get a beauty fix right away, not only because the clinic requires a consultation before treatment, but also because it's usually booked.Medical spas - especially those in shopping malls - have bridged the gap between the doctor's office and the cosmetics counter. There are more than 2,000 medical spas in the country, and though they accounted for 3 percent of all spas in 2004, that grew to 7 percent in 2006, according to the International Spa Association.Ease of use is keyNelson says people seek out mall spas because they are more convenient and luxurious than a doctor's office.Although some of the clinic's business is walk-in, most people know what they want and have done research before they arrive, Nelson says."People are not coming in here ignorant," he says.

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