Similar to the fashion industry, in the world of aesthetics, trends come and go. Each year the American Society of Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) reports on the most popular procedures for the past year. These statistics give us a good indication of what people are focusing on and insights into how the standards of beauty are advancing.

In 2015 ASAPS reported that cosmetic procedures in general had increased by 39% over the past five years (from 2011) with surgical procedures up 17% and non-surgical procedures up 44%.

It is evident that patients are looking for more of the non-invasive treatments rather than undergoing surgery.

The procedures with the most significant increases between 2014 and 2015 were:

  • Nonsurgical Skin Tightening (up 58%)
  • Tattoo Removal (up 39%)
  • Microdermabrasion (up 34%)
  • Buttock Lifts (up 32%)
  • Male Breast Reduction, for the treatment of Gynecomastia (up 26%)

Injectables overall, such as Wrinkle Relaxers like Dysport or BOTOX, as well as, cosmetic dermal fillers such as Restylane and Juvderm, saw a 21% increase in 2015.

While certain surgical procedures remain in high demand, such as face-lifts and breast augmentations, there is also a growing trend towards non-surgical options.

Why are patients opting not to go under the knife?

The downtime associated with treatments like injections is significantly less than with a surgical procedure. When patients choose to undergo surgery, there are various preparations that need to be made, including arranging to take time off work for about a week, ensuring a care taker is available during their downtime, planning around social events, etc.

Injectable treatments do not require any time off work and visible swelling or bruising subsides very quickly. Also, the results are subtle and natural looking.

Dermal fillers are growing in popularity for facial rejuvenation due to lower costs and no recovery time. Although dermal fillers cannot fully replicate the results of a face-lift, they do soften the signs of aging and sometimes can delay the need for a face-lift.

Dermal fillers popular among millennials

Many practices are seeing significant growth in the number of millennial patients who want to explore their options with preventative anti-aging. These patients are interested in preventing the signs of aging, and for many young patients, receiving wrinkle relaxers is part of their regular aesthetic routine. Implementing a preventative treatment requires fewer treatments overall and delays the visible signs of aging.

The future of Aesthetics

As techniques and technologies continue to advance, patients have a broader array of non-surgical options to choose from. It has become standard for doctors to tailor procedures to the individual patient, with still having a full range of options at their disposal. The consensus of most aesthetic doctors is that while there are surgical procedures that will remain a staple over the years, the future of aesthetics lies in the non-surgical world.

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