Predicting the Future of Cosmetic Dermatology

What do you picture when you imagine the future of cosmetic dermatology, a field that aims to erase the skin’s evidence of the past? Dr. Ronald Moy, president-elect of the American Academy of Dermatology, tried his hand at prognostication for the specialty at the annual meeting of the Pacific Dermatologic Association.     

Amusement park fortune teller photo by flickr user benleto (CC).

Much of it will be based on a molecular approach to aging. Dr. Moy’s training  back in the day relied more on medical dermatology, but looking at the textbooks now used by a daughter who is in medical school, there’s much more of a genetic and molecular emphasis, he said.     

Among other changes ahead: “Collagen as we know it will be taken off the market very soon,” so we’ll soon see some changes in procedures using collagen, he noted.     

New technology means expensive machines, “so unless you’re practicing as a group, it’s going to be very difficult” to offer the most modern services, Dr. Moy added. The roles of robots, computers, and teledermatology also likely will increase.     

Synthetic medicines will be individualized to patients. Skin cancer will be treated nonsurgically with cocktails of immunostimulants. Hair transplants will disappear like the hair that went missing, and hair cloning will fill the void.     

Lasers will evolve like other modern mobile devices, becoming hand-held and used by patients to remove hair, fat, wrinkles, lentigos, and more. Stem cell research will lead to lipoinjection of stem cells to generate volume-filling effects. If radiofrequency devices continue to improve, they might replace facelifts for less invasive cosmetic surgery. We’re already seeing a strong trend toward very small incisions for brow lifts, fat redistribution, and facelifts, and the less-invasive theme will only grow stronger, he predicted.     

If you were to put a face on the future of cosmetic dermatology, would it look like the one Dr. Moy describes? Do you see something he doesn’t? Look for my full story soon for greater details on Dr. Moy’s predictions.     

–Sherry Boschert (@sherryboschert on Twitter)
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