In today’s age-conscious beauty market, the boundaries between dermatology and anti-ageing products and techniques are becoming increasingly blurred.
More and more dermatologists are incorporating anti-ageing treatments, such a botulinum toxin (Botox) and dermal fillers, into their repertoire alongside lasers, peels and prescription drugs for treating skin conditions. Non-invasive lasers, such as Zerona, are used to treat cellulite, to shape and sculpt with no downtime.
Meanwhile, more and more doctors are moving into private cosmetic medicine and broadening the scope of their dermatology services.
“All aesthetic complaints start from a skin problem. Aesthetic treatments are, therefore, a cardinal, mandatory and complementary part of dermatology treatments,” says consultant dermatologist Penelope Tympanidis.
Time-poor professionals are increasingly reliant on the cosmetic sector for basic dermatology provision
Cosmetic physician and founder of Revereskin.com, Sach Mohan, adds: “As social pressures for us to look younger continue to grow and with nearly half of the already scarce NHS dermatology resources being used in the management of skin cancers, time-poor professionals are increasingly reliant on the cosmetic sector for basic dermatology provision.
“Many cosmetic skin clinics are equipped to provide a complete portfolio of treatment options for acne, pigmentation and vascular conditions that go beyond oral and topical prescriptions.”
Skin rejuvenation is big business nowadays, with patients most concerned with lines and wrinkles, sun damage, pigmentation and vascular lesions, as well as acne and acne scarring.
It is no surprise then that new treatments are constantly coming on to the market. Botox, dermal filler, lasers and chemical peels have been the bread and butter of aesthetic dermatology clinics for some time. However, in recent years, treatments have evolved further.
The latest trend is for treatments that use the skin’s ability to renew itself. Such treatments include platelet rich plasma rejuvenation (PRP), also known as “Dracula therapy”, which uses growth factors from the patient’s own blood to rejuvenate the skin. Also, skin needling or derma rolling, which involves creating tiny pinprick wounds in the skin to encourage new collagen production, has become increasingly popular.
Dr Mohan comments: “Patients say derma rolling makes total sense, harnessing the skin’s own ability to repair, regenerate and resurface itself. The major attraction is that the same stimulus is created as a medium-depth peel or laser resurfacing treatment without sacrificing any tissue, therefore leaving the skin less exposed to potential side effects. Also, recovery time is less than half that of comparable treatments for fine lines, pigmentation, scars and stretch marks.”
But, while anti-ageing treatments have a place in their own right, it is important to remember that these cosmetic effects on the skin can mask more serious underlying problems.
Dr Tympanidis concludes: “These treatments may wipe off the signs of ageing, but they may also mask more sinister activity of ageing skin, such as skin cancer. Anti-ageing and dermatology, therefore, are strictly correlated and complement one another at all times.”