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IAPAM Reports on the Top Aesthetic Medicine Trends for 2013

January 15, 2013 |

The International Association For Physicians in Aesthetic Medicine (IAPAM) has released the Top Aesthetic Medicine Trends for 2013. With the Affordable Healthcare Act now moving forward, successful physicians will need to incorporate synergistic non-insurance based modalities into their practices, from advanced acne treatments to hCG for weight loss. Also, price will be a factor in 2013.  While the economy is improving, more and more patients are using social media to seek out aesthetic services in their area, at the best price.


As the population ages, more tech-savvy, active and image-conscious older consumers have realized that they will need to work longer, in order to spend comfortably as they age.  This is compounded by governments and corporations raising or removing retirement thresholds.  Therefore, to stay competitive, more and more older employees or those looking for work or a career change, will seek out anti-aging procedures to keep themselves youthful, vibrant, and relevant.  Here are some of the trends the IAPAM sees as increasing in popularity for 2013, as driven by this baby-boomer market.

Stem Cells for Skin Rejuvenation

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy and stem cells enriched treatments are evolving.  In 2013, PRP therapy will become more mainstream as: its popularity grows, physicians become more aware of this therapy as being used by competitors and colleagues, and the cost of the therapy declines so that it is comparable to botox and dermal filler treatments.

PRP therapy has been widely used in sports medicine and wound management since the late 1990’s.  However, in the early 2000’s, it was found that the topical application of the growth factors contained in PRP “stimulated the rejuvenation of photoaged facial skin, improving its clinical appearance and inducing new collagen synthesis.” Further, the injection of PRP has gained popularity in the last decade, “since it secretes various growth factors with roles in skin regeneration and may induce the synthesis of collagen and other matrix components by stimulating the activation of fibroblasts, thus, rejuvenating the skin.” (Source:  Dae Hun Kim MD et al. Annals of Dermatology. 2011 November; 23(4): 424–431.)

Experts using this treatment, such as Dr. Martin Braun of Vancouver, have found it to “ have beneficial effects on acne scars, wrinkles, facial folds, crow’s feet and fine lines.”

Advanced Acne Treatments

Dermatologists say that approximately three-quarters of 11 to 30 year-olds will get acne at some time. Acne can affect people of all races and all ages and most commonly affects adolescents and young adults. According to Brown University, approximately 17 million Americans are estimated to have acne at any one time.

Advancements in the treatment of acne have progressed exponentially, from the development of industry-leading topical therapies by companies like PCA Skin, which exfoliate, promote cell turnover and control sebum production and P. acnes proliferation, to the use of  acne clearing systems, like Palomar’s Acleara, powered by an advanced vacuum and filtered broadband light technology. Acleara’s vacuum cleans pores by extracting build up of sebaceous material. As well, the targeted heating of sebaceous glands, and the use of the broadband light activates porphryns to destroy P. acnes and reduces sebum production through photodynamic action.

2013 will see an increase in physicians adding advanced acne treatments to their practices.  Technologies and procedures, coupled with the sale of physician-directed acne management skin care lines, can be a profitable addition to any practice.

The BB Cream Phenomenon

An adjunct to the growth in advanced acne, blemish and dark spot treatments is the rise in the popularity of the “BB cream”, or “blemish balm or blemish base.”  This is an all-in-one treatment, used to both cover and treat blemishes such as acne, sun spots and age spots, as well as act as an overall serum, moisturizer, primer, foundation, and sunblock. It also has anti-wrinkle, anti-inflammatory and soothing effects. Several BB creams contain hyaluronic acid and Vitamin C.  This cream originated in Asia (Korea) in the mid-1980’s and was initially used primarily as a skin lightener.  However, its popularity has exploded in North America, and now most of the global cosmetic leaders from Jane Iredale to Clinique to Estée Lauder to Revlon to Garnier carry versions of BB creams.

2013 will see the development of additional lines of BB Creams as well as CC Creams (Colour Control Creams) and associated topicals (AA Creams etc.)

Facial Rejuvenation Using Fillers

Facial rejuvenation using fillers in the nose, cheeks, chin, is becoming increasing popular, and with pricing being an issue for patients in 2013, many will forego full-on invasive cosmetic procedures and instead choose to use longer lasting fillers to reverse aging on their skin.

While first-generation fillers were for filling lines, with fillers like Sculptra and Radiesse, dermatologists can build volume.  This new generation of fillers is more robust, and allows physicians to build lost facial bulk, build up specific vectors of the face and allow for more customization than traditional surgical techniques.  More and more dermatologists and plastic surgeons will likely turn to fillers because of current economic conditions.

Ultimately, 2013 will see more physicians embrace the versatility of fillers, as well as using fat injections thereby moving the evolution of “virtual” facelifts forward.

Advances in Cellulite Therapies

Cellulite therapies have been improving in the past 5 years, and in 2013, with the introduction of the recently FDA approved Cellulaze, effective and long lasting cellulite solutions are on the horizon.

New technologies, like Cynosure’s Cellulaze laser, treat the fibrous bands beneath the skin while also thickening and adding elasticity.  This procedure requires small incisions, whereby the Cellulaze laser fiber is threaded through a very small cannula and the SideLaze3D (TM) laser levels out bumps of fat, treats dimples by releasing fibrous bands that pull down the skin and stimulate collagen production. (Source:

The fight to remediate cellulite will move away from topical solutions toward lasers and other minimally-invasive technologies in 2013.

Physician Directed Weight Loss Continues to Grow

With less talk about hCG on talk shows, hCG weight loss is now going back into physicians offices as one of the most effective rapid weight loss tools available. This is a safe, quick program that works with most patients. According to Shape magazine, the hCG Diet is still the second most popular diet in North America, and in response to the grim statistics shared in this year’s “F as in Fat 2012 Report,” in the US, the hCG for weight loss protocol is positioned to have strong growth again in 2013.  The report, ”How Obesity Threatens America’s Future 2012,”  states that, “if obesity rates continue on their current trajectories, by 2030, 13 states could have adult obesity rates above 60 percent, 39 states could have rates above 50 percent, and all 50 states could have rates above 44 percent.”

First discovered by Dr. Simeons in 1954, as outlined in his manuscript, Pounds and Inches, hCG has been used for over 50 years as a weight loss aid. Administering hCG for weight loss requires a properly trained physician who has been certified in the protocols.  Long term success of doing an hCG weight loss program is only achieved by using pharmaceutical strength hCG, (not the FDA banned homeopathic hCG which mainly contains water and alcohol,) and the completion of all 3 Phases of the Protocol, including the important Maintenance Phase.

Alternative Uses for Botulinum Toxins Continues to Grow

From microbotox to migraines to multiple sclerosis, the uses and markets for neurotoxins will continue to expand in 2013.

Some physicians are using neuromodulators (Botox & Dysport) to reshape the face, instead of strictly for wrinkle treatment. Neuromodulator treatment can shrink excess facial muscles in women, which would otherwise make them appear more masculine.

Equally, as reported in an October 2012 article by Sheng Chen for the journal Toxins, “due to its efficacy, longevity of action and satisfactory safety profile, botulinum neurotoxins [are now being used] in a variety of ophthalmological, gastrointestinal, urological, orthopedic, dermatological, secretory and painful disorders,” including migraines.

In 2013, more and more uses for Botox and other botulinum neurotoxin will be discovered and applied, from sialorrhea or excessive salivation to temporomandibular disorders.

More Affordable Cosmetic Lasers

Introduced in 2012 and gaining popularity, there is a wave of new lasers like the Emerge™ Fractional Laser, which retails for around $25,000 making it more affordable for physicians to add lasers to a new aesthetic practice.

Fractional approach to skin rejuvenation has been recently suggested to increase the treatment safety and accelerate recovery while maintaining efficacy comparable to traditional ablative procedures.  Also, fractional laser skin resurfacing has been shown to be an alternative to injectables in the treatment including mild to moderate wrinkles.

The Emerge™ Fractional Laser provides non-ablative skin resurfacing results with little to no downtime. The Emerge laser’s compact size, intuitive user interface, and custom preset controls are designed to help easily treat conditions such as mild to moderate wrinkles and pigmented lesions. Expand, build, and complement your aesthetic offerings with the Emerge Fractional Laser – proven technology from the inventor of microfractional laser resurfacing.

Social Media and Price will Drive Demand in 2013

Reversing the trends up to 2010, 2011 and 2012 saw the average costs of both surgical and non-surgical procedures decrease, and 2013 is likely to see this decrease in price trend continue.  Also, professional associations, such as the AAFPRS reported that “42 percent of patients received most of their information about cosmetic procedures from social media,” and this percentage is sure to rise in 2013.  Together, this paints a picture that target markets for non-invasive treatments, such as women between 18-35, will be using social channels like Facebook and Twitter, less than traditional networks like friends and colleagues, to seek out physicians who offer their requested services at the best price.

Jeff Russell, Executive Director of the IAPAM and a medspa business expert shares that, “social media interactions between patients and physicians offices has greatly increased over the last 12 months. Cosmetic patients will now Google doctor rating websites and then visit their Facebook page to see what others have said about them, their products and their services. It is more important than ever to provide exceptional customer service to patients, since they will not hesitate to communicate a negative experience to all of their friends via social media. Social media is now also a great medium to inexpensively (often at no cost) offer patients promotions and educate them on the procedures provided at one’s clinic. Having a practice Facebook page is a must have for any medispa or cosmetic practice. Jeff shares these and other insights in his wildly popular Aesthetic Practice Start Up Workshops.

Also, a new survey, conducted by the independent market research company Ipsos on behalf of Reuters News, found that “nearly a third of people surveyed across the globe say they’re open to traveling abroad to undergo cosmetic procedures at a lower cost”.

The report cites the trend “as being driven by the lower cost of treatments available in less-developed countries combined with cheaper flights and a steady rise in Web-based services and travel brokers.”

While this survey relates more to surgical procedures, it speaks to the aforementioned trend among women, under the age of 35, as well as those 35-49, who are seeking the “best rated” services at the lowest cost.


The market for anti-aging treatments will continue to grow in 2013.  With new, less expensive technologies on the horizon, the trend toward lower cost aesthetic treatment options appear to be key in 2013.   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 patient’s needs.”

Since 2006, 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.

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

Websites: h

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