What 20 Years in Cosmetic Medicine has Taught Dr. Jean Carruthers
It’s both fascinating and inspiring to think back on how far cosmetic medicine has come since I started practicing. Here are a few of the specific points of progress that I’ve found most significant, and where I see today’s trends leading us into the future.
Global acceptance of BOTOX
We’ve seen a huge transition in the public acceptance of botulinum toxin as a dermatological solution. It’s gone from total shock and disbelief to global acceptance as a highly reputable procedure.
When Alastair and I first started researching the cosmetic applications of botulinum toxin A, it was the most poisonous poison known to mankind. People couldn’t believe that we were suggesting it could have positive dermatological outcomes as an injectable. Today we have a whole array of botulinum neuromodulators. The question has changed from “you want to insert what!?” to “which specific option would be best for this particular patient?”
Changing expectations of fillers
As Botox took center stage across the industry, a need arose to develop fillers that offered the same robust effectiveness. Botulinum neuromodulators are predictable and comprehensive, regardless of race, gender or other predetermined aesthetic factors. They ultimately work on anyone, which is what makes them such a popular treatment.
When I first started out, the same could not be said about fillers. As Botox gained acceptance around the world, further research was done on fillers that could provide similarly consistent results. Current hyaluronic acid-based fillers offer exactly that: a very safe, very predictable response.
Introduction of skin tightening technologies
In more recent years, I’ve witnessed an increasing reliance on Thermage and other radio frequency treatments to deal with the signs of aging skin. These modern, non-invasive alternatives to traditional face lifts have two key differentiators:
- They replace traditional surgery, thereby avoiding extensive healing periods
- They actually improve the quality of the skin, versus redraping the old skin into a new shape
It’s no wonder that so many patients are turning to these micro-frequency treatments to achieve a more youthful, radiant appearance.
Onset of combination therapies
This is something that we talk about all the time at our clinic. The mentality of patients has shifted from seeking out a specific procedure they think they need or want, to working closely with a physician to develop a customized program that suits their skin, body, lifestyle, diet and more.
These days the patient expectation is for a combination of neuromodulators, fillers, energy-based devices and other non-invasive treatments like Belkyra. These holistic approaches really can give patients exactly what they want — and patients are learning that first hand.
Increased procedural maintenance
Which leads me to my last point: increased maintenance. The shift towards combination treatments and procedures that work to improve the quality of the skin means that many patients are no longer choosing an invasive one-and-done surgical option. As a result, the skin continues to age, so you need to continue to undergo these treatments. Depending on the specific treatment, that may be at a monthly, bi-monthly, bi-annual or annual cadence.
This is a small caveat to the drastically improved repertoire of treatments and technologies available to today’s patients. I for one can’t wait to see where the industry goes in the next twenty years.
To meet with Dr. Carruthers, Dr. Humphrey or Dr. Beleznay and talk about what dermatological program is right for you, book a consultation.