As I write, I am here in San Francisco at the The Aesthetic Academy meetings. Yesterday I took the Certified Aesthetic Consultant Exam and should have my results in 2-3 weeks. (Keep your finger crossed for me!) And now that the hard work is over, I can take a deep breath, sit back, and learn.
A handful of the nation’s top aesthetic physicians are here presenting their favorite technologies for non-surgical rejuvenation, fat reduction and anti-aging. I'm noting a continuous theme with every. single. presentation.
The theme: the industry landscape is changing. For example: in 1997 (and maybe even 2007) a person might go to a doctor, have a surgery, and ride off into the sunset. These days, informed consumers are seeking more progressive solutions with little or no downtime. They have high expectations, plenty of options, and do lots of research. They aren’t jumping into invasive surgeries. In fact, according to ASAPS, the surgical segment of our industry is only experiencing growth of 3% each year, whereas non-surgical procedures are growing over 10% each year. As I listen, I agree… as a Service Provider, a Practice Manager, and as a patient myself. People want procedures that are better, faster, and easier to recover from.
From my perspective, I see these savvy, well-informed patients demanding these advancements. And I also see (especially at the industry conferences) that the technology is getting better. But I wonder: is the technology getting better because the market demands it? Or are people starting to access these treatments because the new, effective, non-invasive options are finally available? Which came first? The chicken or the egg?
Whichever scenario is happening, the technology is getting better. Science is looking to affect the skin/tissues on a molecular level. We are hearing more and more about changing 'the behavior' of the tissue. I even heard the phrase “reprogramming genes like software”. Indeed, genes are kind of like little strings of data, not unlike software. Heating, cooling, and using all types of energies to manipulate, denature, and contract are becoming the methods of choice for patients AND practitioners. Very interesting. So while plenty of facelifts are still happening, it sounds like the future of medicine is going 'molecular'.
Here are the buzz-worthy, popular topics for non-surgical and non-invasive technologies here at the show:
- RF Devices (radiofrequency, now with less treatments)
- Enzymes, Stem Cells in Skin Care
- IPL, Photo Facial (oldie but a goodie)
- Circumferential Reduction, (Body Contouring and Fat Reduction)
- (Still trying for a great) Skin Tightening modality
- Cellulite Treatments (still nothing permanent, but looking good in the temporary-realm!)
- Micro-cannulas (for injecting soft tissue fillers like Juvederm)
- Voluma (the new filler from Allergan)
More to come from San Francisco!
In the meantime, Stay Fabulous, My Friends!