More and more people are heading to doctors’ offices for aesthetic treatments nowadays, which is largely due to the breadth of noninvasive options available—you can lose inches off your waist and tighten sagging skin, all without a single needle or stitch. To show just how popular the in-office skin care devices used in these treatments really are, a company called P&S Market Research published a report that details everything we want to know about the future of this market.
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Forecasted to reach $14.6 billion by 2023, the skin care devices sector is skyrocketing. According to the report, one subcategory expected to witness the fastest growth in demand for these technologies over the next five years is skin tightening and body contouring. We spoke to New York dermatologist Hooman Khorasani, MD, to get this thoughts on the surge.
“A driving force behind the need for skin tightening and body contouring devices is our aging population,” says Dr. Khorasani. “Additionally, data from the CDC National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey shows that more Americans are overweight and obese than ever before. Tried-and-true techniques utilized to treat these concerns require invasive surgical procedures, but advances in nonsurgical alternatives for skin tightening and body contouring are closing the gap with surgical treatments. Not only are the results similar, but the downtime is far less and there are fewer associated risks. If patients are able to get a similar result from a nonsurgical means (e.g. lasers, radio frequency, ultrasound, or cryolipolysis) with minimal risks, then the choice is a simple one.”
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However, one big point of difference is how long the results last. Dr. Khorasani notes that the results of noninvasive skin tightening and body contouring aren’t permanent like their surgical counterparts (in most cases), so the need for more treatments upfront and/or “refresher” treatments down the road is usually necessary.
In terms of which devices are the best for treating these two concerns, it varies based on the expert you ask, but Dr. Khorasani has his favorites. “For tightening skin on the face, I like to use Thermage RF, which utilizes radio-frequency energy to heat the collagen under the skin and tighten it, as well as spur collage turnover.”
With regards to body contouring, he recommends SculpSure. “This is a diode laser that causes fat cells to heat up and ultimately be destroyed. “The destroyed cells are then slowly eliminated from the body over a three-month period,” Dr. Khorasani says. “The results after multiple treatments (the number of treatments varies by patient) do not match invasive liposuction, but do they rival them.” It’s important to make sure you see a board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon with experience using these devices. “Noninvasive treatments do have associated side effects and it’s important to see a provider who is familiar with managing them,” he adds.
One common complaint associated with skin-tightening treatments, according to Dr. Khorasani, is that some patients do not think their results are as dramatic as they’d hoped. As far as whether or not companies will take this to heart and continue to improve on existing technologies rather than pushing others to market just to launch “something new,” is left to be determined. “I expect companies will work on making current devices more efficacious with the ability to provide longer-lasting results.”