The Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation (IDFPR) recently released the following statement on "medical estheticians."
The Department has received a number of inquiries about “medical estheticians.” While the Department does not issue “advisory opinions” or dispense legal advice, the public’s interest in this subject merits this statement from the Department. Parties seeking a legal opinion should consult with their own attorney.
The State of Illinois does not have a “medical esthetician” license. The Department only issues a general esthetician license. Although some estheticians may practice in specific areas of esthetics, the Department does not license individuals in any specialty area.
The Department is concerned that the use of the term “medical esthetician” may be misleading and deceptive to Illinois consumers. Specifically, consumers may be misled to believe that a “medical esthetician” has some type of medical training that has been sanctioned by the Department or that the licensee has been authorized by the Department to perform some type of medical service.
Depending on the services offered, a person using the term “medical esthetician” may be subject to prosecution for the unlicensed practice of medicine. The Department deems the use of the term “medical esthetician” by a licensed esthetician to be a violation of the Barber, Cosmetology, Esthetics, Hair Braiding, and Nail Technology Act.
Due to the potential for public confusion, the Department cautions all licensees to monitor their advertising to insure that they are fully and accurately disclosing their license status. Estheticians using misleading terms in any advertising may be subject to discipline under Section 4-7 of the Act.
If a licensed esthetician is employed by a physician and is performing services or procedures by delegation of the physician that are not within the scope of practice of a licensed esthetician, the esthetician may not hold himself or herself out as an esthetician while performing the delegated service or procedure. (In this circumstance, the individual is acting as an unlicensed assistant to the physician, not as an esthetician.) An individual may not indicate in any manner that any such service or procedure delegated by the physician is part of the practice of esthetics. The person receiving services must be a patient of the physician (there must be a physician-patient relationship), the physician must examine the patient and determine the appropriateness and the course of treatment, and the person receiving the physician delegation must carry out the course of treatment as instructed.