NewsWellness Clinics Raise Alarming Safety Concerns

Wellness Clinics Raise Alarming Safety Concerns


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The burgeoning $15 billion med spa and hydration clinic industry, catering to the growing demand for wellness treatments and aesthetic enhancements, is facing escalating concerns over severe infections and injuries. This alarming trend is prevalent among patients seeking various treatments, including energy boosts and fat reduction, in environments lacking sufficient hygiene measures and regulatory oversight.

Patient Horror Stories Shed Light on Risks

Illustrating the risks associated with unregulated facilities, the case of Bea Amma is emblematic. In 2021, seeking vitality and a slimmer figure, Amma underwent over 100 injections of vitamins and fat-melting compounds at a med spa, only to be left scarred and battling a debilitating infection caused by Mycobacterium abscessus. This bacterium, commonly found in water, soil, and dust, highlights the potential dangers of unsanitary conditions and unapproved products administered by unlicensed personnel.

FDA Warnings and Unapproved Products

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued warnings concerning unauthorized fat-dissolving shots like Aqualyx, Lipodissolve, Lipo Lab, and Kabelline, linking these products to severe infections and skin deformities. Kybella is the only FDA-approved product for fat reduction, specifically intended for use under the chin. Despite these warnings, the allure of quick fixes often blinds consumers to potential risks, leaving them susceptible to practitioners operating outside the boundaries of ethical and safe practices.

Regulatory Gap Compromises Patient Safety

A critical issue facing the med spa industry is the lack of uniform federal health regulations, resulting in varying oversight standards from state to state. This regulatory gap provides opportunities for unregulated facilities to exploit loopholes. The American Med Spa Association is working to address this issue by providing legal and business resources to med spas to ensure compliance with state laws. However, the persistent risks associated with wellness treatments underscore the need for a more comprehensive and uniform regulatory framework.

Call for Prioritizing Safety and Regulation

As the pursuit of wellness and aesthetic perfection becomes increasingly mainstream, health officials, industry bodies, and consumers must prioritize safety and regulation in the med spa industry. Despite efforts to bridge the regulatory gap, the persistence of unlicensed personnel performing unauthorized procedures poses a significant threat to patient safety. The stories of Bea Amma and countless others serve as poignant reminders of the devastating consequences that can arise from ignorance and lax oversight in the pursuit of aesthetic enhancements.

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