Spas to Promote Age-​Appropriate Services

BY Rachel Cagle
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"Thinking of heading to a spa? Be cautious: The massage you enjoyed in your 30s could do some damage in your 80s, and risking an infection for a pedicure may no longer seem worth it, says Consumer Reports."

"But that doesn’t mean pampering is off-​limits. Here’s the lowdown on popular spa offerings so that you can keep indulging in self-​care safely. If you’re unsure about any treatment, consult your doctor first:

  • Facials: While facials are safe for most, skip them if you have overly dry, cracked skin on your face or neck, because some products may be irritating. And head to a dermatologist instead of a spa if you’re considering treatments such as a chemical peel, which can cause an infection or scarring if not done properly
  • Saunas and Hot Tubs: 'High temperatures may raise the body temperature and pulse, redirecting blood from the vital organs to the skin for cooling,' says John Osborne, M.D., Ph.D., a cardiologist in Dallas. 'This also can lead to low blood pressure and even cause fainting.' Skip hot tubs and saunas if you have poorly controlled high blood pressure or low blood pressure, angina, or heart disease. Healthy older adults, however, may benefit from them. Some research has shown that regularly spending time in a sauna, for example, is associated with lower blood pressure and a reduced risk of heart disease and sudden cardiac death.
  • Manicures and Pedicures: Manicures are generally safe at any age as long as the salon is clean and uses sterilized tools and disinfected footbaths. Technicians who use tools that aren’t sterilized can cause fungal and bacterial infections, and even spread diseases such as hepatitis C. Pedicures may be a problem for some older adults. If you have decreased sensation in your feet, whether from diabetes or another condition, you might not be able to feel whether the water is too hot or whether you’re getting nicked, says Alan Bass, D.P.M., a podiatrist in Manalapan, N.J., and a spokesman for the American Podiatric Medical Association. Poor circulation or any condition that affects your immune system can also make spa pedicures dangerous because both increase the time it takes for an infection to heal.
  • Massages: A massage can reduce stress, heart rate, and blood pressure; increase circulation; and help ease aches. But that doesn’t mean all types are safe for everyone, says Angela Barker, a licensed massage therapist and the owner of Premier Massage Plus in Milton, W.Va. 'For example, if you’re taking an anticoagulant, you shouldn’t get a deep-​tissue massage,' she says, 'and you should never be massaged near a surgical or recent injection site.' People with osteoporosis may need to be cautious. Ask your doctor whether a massage is safe for you. And always check a therapist’s certification."

Within the next year, according to AudienceSCAN, Massage Clients want to buy new smartphones (26.1%), laptops or desktop computers (23.3%), and iPad or Android touchscreen tablets (12.5%) for leisure purposes. So, in their free time, they're seeing digital ads that are leading them to take action, such as emails (57.7% took action within the last year), ads on daily deals websites (57.3%) and text link ads on websites (45.9%). They're also 42% more likely than other consumers to find ads on their mobile apps useful. A significant number, 62.2%, also spend at least three hours watching TV every day and, last year, 63% took action after seeing TV commercials. Through these advertising forms, they can learn what types of spa treatments are the best for their age and for any medical conditions they may have.

AudienceSCAN data is available for your applications and dashboards through the SalesFuel API. In addition, AdMall contains industry profiles on spas, as well as lead lists at the local level. Media companies, sales reps and agencies can access this data with a subscription to AdMall from SalesFuel.