Many consumers are considering cosmetic treatments that reduce wrinkles and provide better skin tone, according to just-released survey data from the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery.

The top two procedures consumers are considering are:

  • Ultrasound, laser, light and radiofrequency treatments for wrinkles and skin tightening, cited by 45 percent of respondents
  • Laser and light treatments for redness, tone and scars, 41%.

The results are from the 2014 ASDS Consumer Survey on Cosmetic Dermatologic Procedures. More than 8300 consumers provided opinions on cosmetic treatments in general and ratings for 10 specific procedures. Chemical peels and body sculpting ranked next on the list of procedures being considered.

Three of the top four treatments involve lasers, light, ultrasound and radiofrequency devices.

‘Dermatologic surgeons are – and have been – at the forefront in developing laser, light and energy-based treatments,’ said ASDS President-Elect George J. Hruza, MD. ‘Devices and protocols have improved significantly in the past few years, making these minimally or non-invasive procedures we perform safer and more effective than ever.’

Both laser resurfacing to smooth wrinkles and skin-tightening via high-frequency ultrasound have become safer and typically produce good results, he said. ‘I would hypothesise that’s one of the reasons both are top treatments under consideration,’ he said.

Technological advances likewise have improved the results of laser and light treatments for redness, skin tone and scars, and of laserlipolysis – a procedure to remove stubborn pockets of localized fat and tighten overlying skin. Body sculpting options also include cryolipolysis (known as ‘fat-freezing’), tumescent liposuction and other non-invasive treatments.

ASDS member dermatologists performed 175 000 body contouring treatments in 2013, with laserlipolysis in particular showing dramatic gains. ‘Patients are concerned about excess body fat for both health and image reasons,’ said ASDS President Mitchel P. Goldman, MD. ‘It’s by far the No. 1 concern according to our survey. We have the tools to address that issue, and patients increasingly seek our expertise.’

Consumers also are considering chemical peels, in which dermatologic surgeons remove the outer layer of facial skin to reveal smoother, rejuvenated skin. ASDS members performed 517 000 chemical peels in 2013.

‘Chemical peels have been a staple in fighting the effects of aging, sun damage and other imperfections for decades,’ said Goldman. ‘Though the treatment generally is being eclipsed by the newer laser, light and energy treatments, many patients still opt for peels. They frequently are one of a patient’s first procedures because of the familiarity factor.’

Goldman recommends consumers consider a provider’s expertise carefully when pondering cosmetic skin procedures. Dermatologic surgeons are the experts in the health, beauty and function of the skin and have extensive training and education, he said.

‘ASDS member dermatologists pioneered the research and development of many of today’s most effective skin procedures,’ he said. ‘We are the logical choice.’