Aesthetic Dermatology

Body sculpting, microneedling show strong growth


Dermatologic surgeons performed over 8.9 million cosmetic procedures in 2018, with laser/light/energy-based treatments and injectable neuromodulators making up the largest share, according to a survey by the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery.

Cosmetic procedures performed by dermatologic surgeons

The society’s members performed an estimated 3.5 million laser/light/energy-based procedures and 2.1 million injectable neuromodulator procedures last year as the total volume of cosmetic treatments rose by more than 7% over 2017, the society reported. The total number of procedures in 2017 was 8.3 million, which represented an increase of 19% over 2016.

The largest percent increase in 2018 by type of procedure came in the body-sculpting sector, which jumped 43% from 2017 to 2018. In terms of the total number, however, body sculpting was well behind the other major categories of cosmetic treatments at 624,000 procedures performed. The most popular form of body sculpting last year was cryolipolysis (287,000 procedures), followed by radiofrequency (163,000), and deoxycholic acid (66,000), the ASDS reported.

“The coupling of scientific research and technology [is] driving innovative options for consumers seeking noninvasive cosmetic treatments,” said ASDS President Murad Alam, MD.

Among those newer options is microneedling, which was up by 45% over its 2017 total with almost 263,000 procedures in 2018. Another innovative treatment, thread lifts, in which temporary sutures visibly lift the skin around the face, appears to be gaining awareness as nearly 33,000 procedures were performed last year, according to the ASDS.

Year-over-year increases were smaller among the more established procedures: laser/light/energy-based procedures were up by 6.6%, injectable neuromodulators rose just 0.9%, injectable soft-tissue fillers were down 0.8%, and chemical peels increased by 2.4%, the society’s data show.

The survey was conducted among ASDS members from Jan. 15 to May 21, 2019, and the 596 responses were generalized to the entire ASDS membership of over 6,400 physicians.

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