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Trends in Aesthetic Medicine

Sharon McQuillan, MD September 2008 issue of Skin Inc. magazine
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The medical aesthetic and medical spa industries are growing exponentially, with no clear end in sight. The increasing acceptance, availability and affordability of many minimally invasive cosmetic treatments has fostered what Sander Gilman, PhD, an American culture and literary historian, has named the “Era of Glamour.” This era ushers in the premise that medical aesthetic treatments are part of a normal routine that works to maintain a natural and healthy appearance.1 Following are some of the current trends in the field of aesthetic medicine, as well as a look to what its future may hold.

New vision of beauty

An internationally conducted study by Allergan, Inc.1 suggests that there is a change in women’s perception of their beauty. Of women surveyed, 83% revealed that they wanted to look as natural as possible in order to better reflect their personalities and expressions, and to protect their emotional well-being. This is good news for office-based practitioners. These findings coincide with the current esthetic market-drivers, including people’s desire and ability to minimize the effects of aging, as well as the new societal value of successful or healthy aging.

The expansion of aesthetic medicine

This proliferation of consumer acceptance has resulted in an upsurge of technological and treatment advances, establishing aesthetic medicine as a subspecialty, with a defined body of knowledge and a standard of procedural competence. This subspecialty is no longer limited to the fields of plastic surgery and dermatology, as many specialties are offering medical aesthetic treatments in order to better accommodate their patients’ esthetic needs. The American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine has recognized the need to establish best practice standards in aesthetic medicine and in 2008 launched the Aesthetic Anti-Aging Fellowship, a seven-part didactic and hands-on clinical training series and certification program.

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