The growing field of medical esthetics is a popular option for many students studying in the field of skin care. Instead of working in a spa or salon, medical estheticians apply their trade in hospitals, doctor and dermatologist offices, and wellness and rehabilitation centers.
Patients suffering from diseases and conditions that can affect the hair and skin are the beneficiaries of this burgeoning line of work. Working as a medical esthetician is an emotionally challenging job because many of the patients are simultaneously undergoing long and painful medical procedures and treatments. Oftentimes, the patients are terminally ill, and it's the job of the esthetician to help them feel better about their physical appearances.
A medical esthetician may work in the cancer ward of a hospital, teaching women to apply concealing makeup or fitting them for a wig due to hair loss from radiation and chemotherapy. Another job a medical esthetician may perform is working in a hospital or rehabilitation clinic's burn unit, helping patients to care for and revitalize their skin. The same goes for accident victims who have noticeable or substantial scarring. Sufferers of severe acne may get help from a medical esthetician through their dermatologists. If you're a candidate for plastic surgery, you may need help from a medical esthetician for your pre- and postoperative skin care.
Working in the field of medical esthetics typically requires the same state board certification as a spa-based esthetician, but many schools have courses available that focus on the medical side of skin care. If you want to work in the medical field, you should inquire to different schools about these courses and, upon graduation, attempt to gain employment in some kind of medical facility, even if it isn't as a licensed esthetician.