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Skin Care: Then and Now—Medical Esthetics
By: Steven H. Dayan, MD, FACS, Tracy L. Drumm and Terri A. Wojak
Posted: July 1, 2013
In the past 15 years alone, there has been nearly a 250% increase in the total number of cosmetic procedures, according to American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. With a remarkable 461% increase in nonsurgical procedures alone, esthetic medical practices had to make important decisions regarding skin care and the integration of esthetics. To remain competitive today, those adaptations need to be considered on a daily basis to achieve ultimate client satisfaction.
Physician’s point of view: Steven H. Dayan, MD, FACS
In the late 1990s, medical professionals started working with estheticians to offer a wide variety of services. Naturally, there was some opposition to this movement in the industry. Why would a physician offer “cosmetics,” and how would the two work together? Were they not competing for the same clients?
Cosmetic surgeons have many treatment options available for patients, including injectables, lasers and surgical procedures. There are also proven topical agents used to treat skin conditions, including tretinoin, certain antibiotics and hydroquinone. The cosmetic industry continued to grow, with patients spending large sums of money on over-the-counter (OTC) skin care products that didn’t have scientific research to support them. At the same time, physicians continued to simply recommend soap and water along with sunscreen. Although these all helped aid various esthetic conditions, there was a missing piece to the puzzle.
At its root, the job of an esthetically focused physician is not necessarily about making people look better, but feel better about themselves while treating them safely. Instead of focusing on existing concerns, some physicians decided to take a preventive approach to esthetics. After some skepticism, I took the advice of trusted colleagues and professionals in the industry and looked into adding skin care to my facial plastic surgery practice. After all, two of the top five noninvasive cosmetic procedures performed consistently were chemical peels and microdermabrasion. I quickly started seeing the benefits: Patients were happy with their results, and they were coming back on a regular basis for skin care maintenance. Those who received skin care services from my highly trained estheticians while using effective products remained loyal to the practice.
As opposed to only recommending a gentle cleanser and sunscreen, skin care should be a part of every medical esthetic treatment. Through the years, I have implemented different methods of introducing the importance of skin care to my patients. Estheticians at my practice now cleanse every patient before I treat them, and apply the appropriate post-treatment products and sunscreen. Additionally, surgical patients receive a complimentary ultrasound treatment to assist in the reduction of swelling and to speed the healing process.
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