What are the Maryland laws for operating a microdermabrasion machine in a salon?
Microdermabrasion is a skin-freshening technique that helps repair facial skin
that takes a beating from the sun and the effects of aging. The plastic
surgeon uses a device like a fine sandblaster to spray tiny crystals across
the face, mixing gentle abrasion with suction to remove the dead, outer
layer of skin. As with other skin rejuvenation techniques, more than one
treatment may be needed to reduce or remove fine wrinkles and unwanted
Microdermabrasion isn't always performed by your plastic surgeon. In many
cases, a specially trained aesthetician who works for the plastic surgeon
may perform microdermabrasion treatments. It is still important to choose
someone who is skilled, trained and qualified for your procedure. In most
states, aestheticians are regulated by the same organizations that regulate
other medical care.
The following is a selected portion of the Minutes of the Board of
Cosmetologists on November 7, 2005:
1. Concept Paper Regarding Medical Procedures - Mr. Harry Loleas, Deputy
Commissioner, addressed the concept paper that was submitted by the
Board regarding the prohibition of all medical procedures in licensed salons.
Mr. Loleas advised the Board that the Department, recognizing the Board’s
concerns, also notes the proliferation, in Maryland and other states,
of “medical spas” where a patron can come for medical treatments (e.g.
Botox injections; exfoliation via microdermabrasion), a massage, and
esthetic, or other cosmetology, services all at one location. Mr. Loleas
stated that these topics warrant further discussion in order to accommodate
the needs and wants of the public while, at the same time, ensuring the
public’s health and safety.
Mr. Spizler, Board counsel, noted a current statutory provision and a current
regulation which, potentially, would be violated under a “medical spa”
scenario. First, Business Occupations and Professions Article, §5-605,
Annotated Code of Maryland provides that a person may not practice
cosmetology in any place other than a licensed beauty salon or licensed
barbershop (except for “salon sponsored” services, by appointment,
rendered in a hospital, hospice facility, nursing home, assisted living facility
or residence of a mentally or physically infirm person). Second, COMAR
09.22.02.03(J) prohibits the use and possession of lasers,
microdermabrasion equipment, or “any other mechanical devise used to
remove one or more layers of skin” in a licensed beauty salon; and COMAR
09.22.02.03(K) prohibits the use of “any product or method that causes
tissue destruction or penetrates the blood fluid barrier, including chemical
peels and glycolic acids,” in a licensed beauty salon. Thus, as explained by
Mr. Spizler, the following quandary is created regarding a “medical spa”:
• If the “medical spa” is not licensed as a beauty salon, a licensed
cosmetologist, a licensed esthetician or a licensed nail technician is barred
from practicing at such a location (BOP, §5-605).
• If the “medical spa” is licensed as a beauty salon, the mere
possession, and the use, of microdermabrasion equipment, as well as “any
other mechanical devise used to remove one or more layers of skin,” is
prohibited in the salon, as is “any product or method that causes tissue
destruction or penetrates the blood fluid barrier” (COMAR 09.22.02.03(J) &
2. Citation Fines - Mr. Loleas spoke regarding the schedule of fines the
Board approved regarding the issuance of citations. Mr. Loleas commended
the Board members for the work they had put into formulating the schedule
and the fines. After reviewing the documentation regarding the proposed
fines for citations issued for “improper disinfection,” Mr. Loleas suggested
that the proposed $300 fines (maximum by law) were too high, and $150
would be more appropriate. After a discussion, the Board agreed with Mr.
Loleas and lowered those proposed fines for “improper disinfection” to $150.