DERMATOLOGY TRENDS: Cosmetic procedures rise despite economic decline

A recent Reuters article, “Jobless turning to cosmetic surgery to boost prospects,” says that the weakened economy has given cosmetic surgeons a new type of client: people who have lost their jobs and want to look good for interviews.

According to a survey of members conducted by the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS), procedures that make consumers feel confident about the way they look continue to be in demand.

The survey collected responses from 562 ASDS members. Nearly 63% of respondents are maintaining a consistent volume of bookings for existing patients seeking cosmetic procedures compared to late 2007, while 24% indicated an increase. About 32% said the number of new patients had increased up to 30%.

“With the current unemployment climate as it is, Baby Boomers may be looking to put their best face forward on the interview circuit,” said Darrell Rigel, M.D., president of the ASDS.

Similarly, the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) says that the number of minimally invasive cosmetic procedures grew nearly 773% between 1997 and 2007—from about 1.1 million to 9.6 million. Among the top five non-surgical cosmetic procedures in 2007 were laser hair removal (1.4 million instances) and laser skin resurfacing and rejuvenation (647,000 procedures).

Class demand mirrors survey reports

The Arizona Republic recently reported that at the National Laser Institute, a nonsurgical medical aesthetic education facility based in Scottsdale, course popularity correlates to ASPAS statistics. The course in laser hair removal is the most popular offering; another top pick is laser skin resurfacing.

Founder and president Louis Silberman opened the institute in 2003. Besides Scottsdale, his company has offices in Las Vegas—and plans an expansion within two years to Dallas, San Francisco, Chicago, New York and Toronto. –BG

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