Nearly 30 percent of consumers say they are considering a cosmetic procedure with dermatologists named as the greatest influence for their decision, according to survey data released today by the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery.

The first-ever ASDS Consumer Survey on Cosmetic Dermatologic Procedures asked more than 6,300 consumers in a blind online survey for their opinions on cosmetic treatments in general and ratings for 10 specific procedures – from wrinkle-relaxing injections and body sculpting to laser hair removal.

While 6.4 percent of those surveyed previously had a cosmetic treatment, nearly 30 percent said they are considering a procedure. When asked what provider they chose, consumers not only picked dermatologists as the physician of choice for nine of the 10 procedures but also said dermatologic surgeons are their dermatologist of choice in nine of the 10 categories.

Dermatologists exhibit a greater influence on decisions to have cosmetic procedures than friends, physician referral or 11 other choices, consumers said. They also said the specialty in which a physician is board certified is the most important factor when contemplating a cosmetic procedure – more important than cost, physician referral or eight other choices.

“Board certification tells potential patients that a doctor is highly trained and most qualified to care for their skin health and beauty needs,” said ASDS President Timothy C. Flynn, M.D. “That training and qualifications are key reasons consumers choose dermatologic surgeons.”

Consumers cited personal rationales for seeking cosmetic treatments, choosing as their top reasons that they want to look “as young as I feel for my age” and want to “appear more attractive” or “feel more confident.”

More than 80 percent indicated excess weight is the cosmetic condition that bothers them the most. Other conditions consumers are “most bothered” by include:

  • Lines and wrinkles around the eyes (63 percent)
  • Skin texture and/or discoloration (62 percent)
  • Sagging facial skin (61 percent)
  • Excess fat under the chin (60 percent)
  • Lines, wrinkles and/or folds in the mid-face around the cheeks and mouth (60 percent)

“Thanks to advances in cosmetic surgery – many spearheaded by dermatologic surgeons – dozens of cosmetic treatment options are available to consumers today,” Dr. Flynn said.

Procedures being considered the most by consumers include ultrasound, laser, light and radiofrequency treatments for wrinkles; laser and light treatments to reduce facial redness, improve skin tone or improve scars; and body sculpting.

Consumers gave the highest overall satisfaction rates to cosmetic procedures that are performed by dermatologists more often than by other practitioners – such as injectable wrinkle treatments (92 percent) and injectable filler treatments (92 percent).

“Patients rightfully demand satisfaction, and dermatologic surgeons provide that with their training and expertise,” Dr. Flynn said. “With these procedures being performed by so many dermatologic surgeons, it’s no surprise that they have the highest patient satisfaction rates. We are the skin experts.”

About the Survey

Data were obtained through a blind online survey conducted March 26 to April 1 through the web-based ZoomPanel service. The survey received nearly 6,350 responses.