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Dermatologist-administered Treatments Boom in Popularity

Surgical procedures are often consider by clients who are concerned about aging and skin cancer prevention, and they are becoming more and more common.

During the last decade, many dermatologic procedures were approved and improved, and it didn't go unnoticed by patients. According to research recently published in Dermatologic Surgery, there has been an explosion in demand and performance of dermatologist-administered skin treatments.

The overall increase in both cosmetic and noncosmetic procedures between 2001 and 2007 was an amazing 120%. (The number may be even higher through 2009, but those numbers aren't available yet.) Individual procedures' increase in popularity range from big to huge: ablative resurfacing went up 66%, non-\ablative resurfacing (laser, light, radiofrequency) went up 330%, Botox (pre-Dysport) went up 324% and soft-tissue fillers went up 405%.

Dermatologists may love these numbers, but there's one increase that may raise both doctors' and patients' concern: an 85% increase in skin cancer procedures. But the good news about this number is that the cancer is being caught early enough to treat.

So why the boom? Boston University assistant professor and researcher Dr. Emily Tierney says patients, mostly baby boomers, are drawn in by "overall advancements in procedural facets of dermatology as a specialty during the last decade combined with the increased societal emphasis on skin cancer prevention and early diagnosis, as well as a desire to prevent and reverse the skin signs of aging."

"Dermatologists have been integral to the rapid evolution of photomedicine, with the advances in laser and light devices to treat a diversity of skin conditions," she explains. "These include actinic keratoses to nonmelanoma skin cancer, pigmentary and vascular disorders, hair and tattoo removal, wrinkles and other signs of photoaging. In addition, the popularity and growth in minimally invasive cosmetic procedures, including botulinum toxin injections, dermal fillers, and nonablative skin rejuvenation techniques have increased exponentially." From DailyBeauty, February 1, 2010

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