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IAPAM Reports on the Top Aesthetic Medicine Trends for 2012

December 21, 2011 |

The International Association For Physicians in Aesthetic Medicine (IAPAM) has released the Top Aesthetic Medicine Trends for 2012.  In the upcoming year, physicians will see successful aesthetic practices be those who offer “combination” treatment packages, integrating: facial injectables, medical skin care, IPL/laser rejuvenation and non-invasive body contouring.   

The IAPAM sees the market for minimally-invasive procedures continuing to grow in 2012.  Dr. Tom D. Wang, President of the American Academy of Facial Plastic Surgery (AAFPRS) concedes that “consumer interest in aesthetic procedures and treatment has continued in strong fashion.  However, some effects from the recent recession still linger.  Dr. Wang has “noted [that] some patients [are] choosing to have less invasive injectable treatments or non-surgical procedures in an effort to defer facial surgery for the time being.”  Dr. Wang has also noticed that more and more patients are doing “a lot of research online and via social networks prior to committing to procedures.  This has been fueled by the increase in the number of websites and chat boards devoted specifically to aesthetic topics.”  To capture this knowledgeable patient population, physicians will need to offer the latest aesthetic medicine procedures, utilize the most current technologies and package synergistic treatments for the most effective, yet cost effective results.

Combining Non-Invasive Procedures Gives the Best Results

Dr. Gregory Buford, recognized speaker and consultant for the Plastic Surgery industry, comments that, “as we head into 2012, consumers are becoming more savvy about which tips and tricks from their practitioners really work and which do not.”  Both Drs. Tess Mauricio, respected board-certified dermatolgist, and Gregory Buford see “more application and research on combination treatments.”  Dr. Buford offers that, “I think the direction we will take in 2012 is an extension and refinement of combination therapies we are already practicing.  More and more aesthetic providers are abandoning mono-therapy and combining medical skin care, facial injectables, and laser conditioning and offering these synergistic packages to their clients.  This “Holy Triad” of facial rejuvenation can be extremely effective in addressing age-related changes on multiple levels and produce results far more dramatic than previously seen.”

The IAPAM agrees that successful aesthetic practices are those that offer patients a combination of minimally invasive procedures. “Just offering Botox ® alone is not enough to provide a physician with a successful, and more importantly, a profitable aesthetic practice.  The key is combining neurotoxins like Botox ®, Dysport ® or Xeomin ® with other complementary skin rejuvenation procedures,” says Jeff Russell, IAPAM executive-director.  

New Cosmetic Injectables will Offer Choice to Consumers

New neurotoxins, specifically Xeomin ®, will capture increasing segments of the injectables market in 2012. Well known dermatologist, Dr. Bruce Katz, shares that, “Xeomin ®, the latest neurotoxin [will] rival  Botox ®” in 2012. Dr. Katz, “had the opportunity to offer [his] patients Xeomin ® and they were extremely pleased with the results. Slated for mass distribution in spring 2012, Xeomin ® is known as “the naked injectable” because of it is free of many additives and complex proteins found in Botox ® and Dysport ®. With the addition of Xeomin ®, we expect friendly price competition among the botulinum toxin injectables, which will possibly drive the price of these products down. Xeomin ® was approved by FDA in July 2011 for the temporary improvement in the appearance of moderate to severe frownlines between the eyebrows in adult patients and we are predicting high demand for the treatment during the product’s consumer launch.”  Dr. Buford agrees.  “The advantage of Xeomin ® is that it will provide injectors and consumers with another choice.  Whether it will truly differentiate itself from Botox in terms of duration of effect, and overall performance, remains to be seen.” 

Also, Dr. Francesca Fuso, a prominent dermatologist in New York, mentions, “there are new neurotoxins that are still undergoing clinical trials. They will have the same effect as Botox ®, but instead of being injected, they can be applied topically. If these new products are approved in 2012, they will provide patients with yet another option in a year of options.”

Equally, new fillers, such as Belotero ® and LaViv ® will offer increased choice to both physicians and patients in the dermal filler arena. Dr. Mitchel Goldman MD, a member of the Advisory Panel recognizes that, “the approval of LaViv ® the first autologous fibroblast filler and Belotero ® along with the FDA approval of Lip Augmentation with Restylane ® will enhance the use of fillers in 2012 and provide additional products to enhance patient care.”  Dr. Buford explains that, ” Belotero ® is a thin hyaluronic acid injectable designed for superficial treatment of fine lines and wrinkles.  Instead of competing with the thicker, more durable products, this one will likely be well positioned for stubborn lines following laser resurfacing as well as fine lines and wrinkles around the mouth which simply were not adequately addressed with the previous thicker fillers,” and nationally recognized dermatologist, Dr. Tanya Kormeili shares that, “LaViv ® [represents] the new generation of fillers. This filler is actually made from cells taken from the patient. After taking a tiny amount of tissue from the patient, the product is cultured and grown in their lab, and in 3 months a tissue identical match is produced. The product is placed into the tissue to generate more of the patient’s own collagen.” 

Expanded Uses for Neurotoxins

Dr. Houtan Chaboki, board-certified facial plastic surgeon, offers an interesting insight into alternative uses for Botox ® and other neurotoxins.  “One trend that I’m seeing in my aesthetic patients is the use of neuromodulators (Botox & Dysport) to reshape the face, instead of wrinkles. For example, I use neuromodulator treatment to shrink excess facial muscles in women, which would otherwise make them appear more masculine. This treatment is not for wrinkles or aging. Traditionally, this treatment has been popular in patients from Asian countries, but I’ve seen more non-Asian patients requesting this facial reshaping procedure.”  

From microbotox to migraines to multiple sclerosis, the uses and markets for neurotoxins will continue to expand in 2012.    

Higher Demand for Non-Invasive Body Contouring Treatments

Non-invasive devices like the Zerona ® and VelaSmooth ® both continue reshaping the body with new entrants expected in 2012.

Dr. Mitchel Goldman MD, concurs.  “The advancement of lasers and energy devices such as Ulthera’s focused ultrasound, Bela Countour ® and Exilis radiofrequency and Lutronic’s advanced Nd:YAG laser will enhance treatment of skin laxity and pigmented lesions.”

Many of our expert physicians, including anti-aging expert, Dr. Richard Baxter, also commented on an increased use of ultrasound devices.  Dr. Baxter believes “the big story for 2012 is the approval of technologies like Liposonix ®, which offer completely noninvasive ways to safely reduce localized fat with precision in a single treatment. Focused ultrasound is also used in Ulthera ®, which is continuing to refine treatment protocols and technology. So focused ultrasound is the big trend.” 

Turning Back the Hands of Time

Dr. Fusco envisions that, “in 2012 lots of people will be having work done on their hands. A patient recently related a story about a woman who had fallen asleep on an airplane. Her face was gorgeous, very youthful looking, but her hands, exposed on top of her blanket, gave away the fact that she was much older than what the onlooker first thought. People need their hands to match their faces, and now it’s easy.” 

Turning back ‘the hands of time’ of the hands typically requires a combination of dermal fillers as well as IPL/laser rejuvenation to help eliminate age/sun spots.  

Lasers are For More than Hair Removal

Dr. Bruce Katz predicts “a higher demand for laser treatments in 2012.  Some of the newer laser treatments offer truly compelling results without invasive surgery, significant pain and substantial downtime.”  IPL (Intense Pulse Light) and Lasers can accomplish a full range of anti-aging treatments including: skin tightening, vein removal, removal of age and sun spots, skin resurfacing, as well as treating acne scars and rosacea. 


The market for anti-aging treatments will continue to grow in 2012.  With new technologies, as well as new ways to bundle and market existing procedures, the trend toward more minimally invasive procedures does not appear to be going away any time soon.   The IAPAM’s Jeff Russell concludes with “as we have seen with our past annual trends predictions, the key is creating an anti-aging program for each patients needs. Patients just don’t come in for Botox ®, they want a combination anti-aging treatment which often includes neurotoxins, dermal fillers and skin rejuvenation with chemical peels, microdermabrasion and skin care.” 

Since 2005, the IAPAM has been a leader in providing aesthetic medicine industry trends, as well as aesthetic medicine and medically supervised weight loss education for physicians. For more information please visit or contact the IAPAM at 1-800-219-5108 ext. 704, or email

About the IAPAM:  The International Association for Physicians in Aesthetic Medicine

The International Association for Physicians in Aesthetic Medicine is a voluntary association of physicians and supporters, which sets standards for the aesthetic medical profession. The goal of the association is to offer education, ethical standards, credentialing, and member benefits. IAPAM membership is open to all licensed medical doctors (MDs), dentists (DDSs/DMDs) doctors of osteopathic medicine (DOs),  physicians assistants (PAs) and nurse practitioners (NPs).  The IAPAM offers aesthetic medicine and hCG medical weight management programs, including: Botox ® training, medical aesthetic training, laser training, physician hCG training, and aesthetic practice business training. Additional information about the association can be accessed through the IAPAM’s website ( or by contacting:
Jeff Russell, Executive-Director
International Association for Physicians in Aesthetic Medicine (IAPAM)
1-800-219-5108 x704

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