The value of the UK cosmetic surgery market is estimated to rise to £3.6 billion by 2015, with a recent government report estimating that non-surgical treatments are worth 75% of this market1. According to healthcare search engine WhatClinic.com, one of the most popular non-surgical treatments for British women is now facial rejuvenation, in which interest has risen by 23% in the past 12 months alone.
With celebrities like Demi Moore, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Courtney Cox seemingly defying the ageing process, it’s no surprise that demand for both surgical and non-surgical facial rejuvenation has never been greater. Non-surgical options including chemical peels, dermabrasion, botulinum toxin and soft tissue fillers have increased dramatically in popularity, alongside the more traditional facelift surgery and less invasive laser surgery.
Enquiries into laser skin tightening have risen by 78% in the past year, while the average treatment price has dropped by almost one fifth (18%) during the same period. Laser skin resurfacing has seen an increase of 70% in the past 12 months, but this has been accompanied by a 34% rise in the average price of treatments. Both of these treatment types require approximately 7–10 days of downtime, but patients can be left with redness to their skin for a further 8–12 weeks.
The latest treatment in skin resurfacing uses plasma energy instead of a laser to generate new skin, with less bruising or discomfort and without any bleeding. Experts claim that plasma provides a greater level of control with less downtime. NeoGen plasma treatment is only available in five clinics in the UK, but has delivered results akin to the gold standard CO2 laser resurfacing treatment, with less downtime and greater effect.
Dr Susanna Hayter of MyBeautyDoctor.co.uk has run a private aesthetic clinic since 2005, and has been an anti-ageing treatment specialist for the best part of a decade. She comments: ‘I have found some of the NeoGen results to be very effective, with skin tightening and collagen induction similar to the gold standard laser treatments, but without the risks and with less downtime for the patient.
‘Because plasma is used — where the molecules are ionised by heat — the delicate area around the eyes can be treated very effectively, unlike treatment with a laser. And by adjusting the energy settings, it can be tailored to treat older or younger skin accordingly, making it appealing for a bigger variety of ages.’
The treatment tackles photoageing, caused by UVA and UVB exposure, using heated nitrogen gas to cause thermal tightening. Unlike harsh laser treatments, plasma can be used over the eyelid area to cause thermal tightening on the upper and lower eyelids. As with using a laser, plasma tightens skin and also encourages collagen to give fullness, but without the risks of ‘burning’ the skin barrier. The treatment can also be used to lessen the signs left by chronic acne scarring and other discolorations of the skin, as well as for reducing the signs of ageing on the neck and hands.
1. Review of the Regulation of Cosmetic Interventions. London: Department of Health, 2013. www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/192028/Review_of_the_Regulation_of_Cosmetic_Interventions.pdf (accessed 5 December 2013)