Despite concerns that the U.S. economy is heading toward a recession, procedures that make consumers feel good and confident about the way they look continue to be in demand according to a new survey released today by the American Society for
Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS). The survey collected responses from 562 ASDS members.
Nearly 63 percent of member respondents are maintaining a consistent volume of bookings for existing patients seeking cosmetic-related procedures compared to six months ago, while 24 percent had indicated an increase. Additionally, nearly 32 percent of dermatologic surgeons indicated that the number of new patients making appointments had increased by up to 30 percent.
"These findings indicate that patients investing in the health and beauty of their skin are still a priority during unsteady economic times," said Darrell Rigel, M.D., president of the ASDS. "Looking good helps people feel confident," added Dr. Rigel. Additionally, with the current unemployment climate such as it is, Baby Boomers may be looking to put their best face forward on the interview circuit.
The survey also revealed that there have been steady uses and growth in specific cosmetic-related procedures such as fillers, laser-related and injectable toxin procedures (e.g., Botox(R), Reloxin(R)).
— Twenty-eight percent said that their current use of fillers had increased up to 30 percent, compared to six months ago, and nearly 38 percent said that they expect to see an increase by up to 30 percent six months from now. Almost half (49 percent) of respondents said that their current use of fillers had not changed and nearly 46 percent expect the volume will hold steady.
— Thirty seven percent of respondents indicated that their current use of laser-related procedures had increased, compared to six months ago, and more than half (51 percent) indicated that it was consistent. About 36 percent believe they will see an increase six months from now of up to 30 percent while 48 percent expect no change.
— More than 40 percent of respondents indicated that their number of injectable toxin procedures had increased, compared to six months ago, and close to half (48 percent) of respondents indicated that their number had not changed. About 38 percent expect it to increase up to 30 percent six months from now while 48 percent expect no change.
Dr. Rigel attributes the steady increase in these cosmetic-related procedures to the more than satisfactory results patients are seeing in the cosmetic dermatologic treatments they are receiving from their dermatologic surgeons who pioneered less invasive procedures. "Patients are more inclined to have these types of procedures because they require almost no downtime and are easier to afford than more invasive procedures like facelifts," said Dr. Rigel.
Other findings from the survey showed that 51 percent of respondents did express that their patients were more concerned about the costs of cosmetic-related procedures than they were six months ago. Additionally, 44 percent of the respondents indicated that existing patients are allowing for more time in between visits, perhaps as a way of handling economic strain without having to do without.
Survey Methodology and Return Rate Perception Solutions conducted an online survey to ASDS members during March of 2008 on how the economy may be impacting member practices and what the ASDS can do to help. About 2,987 members were invited via e-mail to complete the survey. A total of 562 members completed the survey on-line resulting in a 22 percent return rate. The return rate is comparable to similar studies with a short duration period conducted by Perception Solutions.