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Growth of the North American medical aesthetics market is expected to accelerate to more than 10% annually through 2026. What’s driving the growth? And how can dermatologists remain on the leading edge?

According to “The Future of Aesthetics” ( global trends report from Allergan Aesthetics, an AbbVie company, 23 million dermal filler and 14.6 million body procedures are predicted by 2025, driven in part by demand from an increased volume of younger patients, more patients from a diverse range of ethnic backgrounds, and more male patients than ever before. Aesthetic experts globally are seeing these trends.

“The Future of Aesthetics” report was commissioned by Allergan Aesthetics and independently developed by Wunderman Thompson Intelligence. Dermatologist Mona Gohara, MD says it, “is really progressive, and thoughtful, and necessary, and impressive that a company would take the time to look beyond the United States, as it pertains to aesthetic medicine. The fact that they’re looking at global trends is notable, because the reality of the situation is our patients come from all over the world.”

Ahead, she highlights some key findings from the data and the implications for dermatology practice.

It’s Time to Align

“There are two trains leaving the station at the same time, and we want to make sure that they’re on the same track. As the aesthetics market continues to evolve, to embrace a more diverse set of people, it’s really essential that we, as practitioners, are aware of these social and cultural drivers that are shaping the industry so that we can understand how to better connect, treat, and care for our patients.

That’s one side of the equation. The other side of the equation is the fact that this global trends report identified different trends.

The other train is really the fact that the aesthetics market or industry is expected to grow 10% annually through the end of the decade. We have this massively expanding market, and we have this expansion in the sense that globally our patients are coming from a more diverse set of social and cultural drivers. We need to make sure that those resonate and are on the same track. So this is really, really beneficial.”

Aesthetics Keeps Evolving

“The report highlights the growing impact of gender diversity in aesthetics. I think that this is so beyond masculinity and femininity. It really is nuanced and is something that’s going to have staying power for many, many years.

That being said, I also think Allergan set a precedent that should remind us as clinicians and any other industry partners that we have, that it’s important to reset every few years. It’s actually an important exercise to sit down and take stock of how aesthetic medicine is changing and to recalibrate.

I think it’s a very good exercise to continually ask ourselves, given this rapidly expanding aesthetic industry, ‘Is this still relevant?’ a couple years from now. I think that that should happen regardless.

You need data, and that’s what this provides us. This report is unique because it provides us with data. It’s not just a gut, or an inclination, or a gestalt, or, ‘What am I seeing in my office on what’s trending?’ It’s providing power in numbers, and that to me is a much safer way to practice.”

Prejuvenation is a Dual Driver

“I think that when people are old enough to make decisions about their body, they should be able to make decisions about their body. I’m not going to say, ‘You can make decisions here, but you can’t make decisions there.’ That’s my own philosophy. If you’re old enough to be governing your own body, that should be old enough to make decisions about aesthetic procedures.

Interestingly, it is worth noting that oftentimes it’s the younger patients who are driving the older patients into the practice. I can’t tell you how many times moms say, ‘Oh, my daughter got a little Botox and encouraged me to do so.’

Plus, we encourage our patients to take care of their skin early. We encourage them to use the right cleanser. We encourage them to use sunscreen. We encourage them maybe to add on a retinol. I don’t think that helping them along their journey in terms of the desire for aesthetic procedures is inconsistent.

Of course, if somebody is suffering with body dysmorphia, if there is some other psychological component that needs to be addressed, I would have no issue addressing that. But I think in general, there’s nothing wrong with preventing something. When people go to the gym to keep themselves healthy, it’s a similar phenomenon.”

Personalize Care. Recognize Nuance

“If a patient is non-binary or if a patient has brown or black skin, they’re going to feel much more comfortable gravitating toward a company or a doctor who is well versed in the fact that this is nuanced—that we are not the same.

I think that the 10 categories identified by this report really do mimic what is happening in our office. It’s very corroborative. I think more and more, this is why we’re seeing medical aesthetics rapidly take off, because people are finally being seen.

To me, this is just validating the fact that before there was a substantial number of people who weren’t being seen in aesthetic medicine. And now with the takeoff of aesthetic medicine, and understanding the nuances amongst all of our different skins and desires, it’s a validation overdue.”

Commit to Cultivate Competence

“I think that it’s really important for people to identify their comfort levels and their boundaries. That’s beneficial for both physician and patient. Nobody should be doing anything that they’re not feeling they’re completely proficient in. That’s just beneficial to everybody involved.

My biggest piece of advice is, ‘Do not be overwhelmed.’ Take small steps. The ASDS has done a great job over the past couple of years integrating lectures and webinars on identifying ways to diversify your practice as it pertains to aesthetic procedures. The first thing I would say is just, in the privacy of your own home, click on one of those webinars. Or attend a lecture that’s virtual. Take it one step at a time. There’s no reason to think that anybody needs to be proficient tomorrow morning.

I think the more important thing is to make a commitment to become proficient, or a commitment to become educated on this. Everybody will be on their journey at different paces, and that is completely understandable, and respectable. But the commitment can happen immediately.”

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