By Wendy Lewis

The third 2013 5-Continent Congress was held on September 18-21 on the glamorous Promenade de la Croisette in Cannes. World-renowned experts in lasers and energy-based systems, fillers, toxins, and skin care gathered at the Palais de Festival – the home of the Cannes Film Festival – to work, teach, and network with colleagues.

“International specialists from more than 30 countries and five continents may participate in extensive interaction and advanced trainings, workshops with hands-on sessions, live demonstrations, current news and trends, and more making this congress so successful,” says New York City dermatologist David Goldberg, MD, president of the Congress. “5CC has grown to be a lot more than just a meeting about lasers and light.”

The first 5CC in 2009 focused mainly on lasers and energy-based devices, but the 2013 meeting was expanded to include coverage of all topics of importance in dermatology and plastic surgery. The goal of the 5CC is to provide a global conference dedicated to all aspects of aesthetic medicine. To fulfill this mission, the 5CC Board spans several continents to include leading dermatologists from the United States, Europe, Israel, and Asia. For each congress, the Board, in turn, gathers leading speakers and researchers from around the globe.

With four consecutive auditoriums for 4 days, 5CC featured an extensive roster of innovative scientific sessions including state-of-the-art lectures on major aesthetic concerns and hands-on demonstrations. Delegates were introduced to the latest techniques and research on lasers and aesthetic medicine, toxins, dermal fillers, cosmeceuticals and peels, emerging technologies, and lasers and light-based devices. Participants were able to gain from the experience of some of the leaders in aesthetic medicine, who presented a number of options for the most common indications like skin tightening, body contouring, and anti-aging.


Hot topics presented at the Congress included an emphasis on new entries for skin tightening, medical use of lasers, updates on radiofrequency energy, and innovations in body contouring.

Boston dermatologist Jeffrey Dover, MD, ran a session on combining toxins. “In our practice, new patients are offered Dysport®. Existing patients may continue on Botox®,” he says. “Most patients will say, ‘Whatever you think is best.’ We have found that results of Dysport are equivalent, if not better. If you look at the data, there is really no difference in onset of action.” He adds that, “More physicians are using lower dosages of toxins in the forehead to avoid brow ptosis, which is exactly what patients don’t want.”

Additional lectures on the use of dermal fillers and fat grafts for lips, lines and volumizing were presented by Drs Susan Weinkle of Bradenton, Fla, Julius Few of Chicago, and Miles Graivier of Roswell, Ga.

“I believe the 5CC Meeting was an outstanding complement of cutting-edge technology. The meeting allowed for out-of-the-box thinking and the presentation of practical approaches to aesthetic medicine,” Few says.

Skin tightening and body shaping were some of the most popular sessions. The roles of radiofrequency, ultrasound, fractional ablative and nonablative, cryolipolysis, and picosecond lasers were explored in detail.

Company-sponsored workshops and symposia were held from Thursday to Saturday. Syneron–Candela showcased the VelaShape® III system for body shaping and cellulite and UltraShape® V3. Solta Medical advanced its Liposonix® technology for fat reduction, as well as Thermage® and Fraxel®. Myoscience had a workshop devoted to its Iovera® device as an alternative to neurotoxins. Storz Medical featured its Acoustic Wave Therapy (AWT) to target cellulite. Ulthera® hosted a symposium on Ultherapy for skin lifting.

The growing use of home devices for hair removal, acne, and skin rejuvenation was also a main focus this year with two excellent programs covering trends, new launches, and future technologies. Godfrey Town, PhD, of the UK and The Home Use Device Working Group chaired an all-day session that focused on the safety, efficacy, and regulatory issues affecting this category.

The European Society for Laser Dermatology President Moshe Lapidoth, MD, MPH, from Israel chaired the Industry Forum that featured some of the key sponsors of the conference who presented their newest technologies, clinical data, and outcomes.


On Saturday, the program featured several well-attended marketing panels that engaged the delegates with lively discussions about effective approaches for web marketing, social media, open house seminars, managing patient expectations, branding, and best practices for attracting new patients.

Goldberg lectured on why patients sue as well as how to distill unhappy patients and avoid getting sued. “The reason patients sue are poor communication, retribution, economics, and negligence, which is the most commonly cited reason in the US,” he says.

Michael Gold, MD, a dermatologist from Nashville, Tenn, shared his secrets for branding and marketing a successful dermatology clinic. “You have to spend money on marketing. It’s a must. The value is in internal marketing and social media.” Gold also said that mobile devices have added to the numbers of users on social media platforms that clinics want to reach.

According to Jason Pozner, MD, a plastic surgeon from Boca Raton, Fla. “This was a very comprehensive meeting with a world-renowned faculty in a fantastic location. I especially liked the sessions that dealt with avoiding complications and strategies for managing patients. There were some great practice-management and marketing sessions on the program as well. The layout of the sessions also facilitated tremendous interaction between the faculty and attendees.”

Perhaps the greatest challenge for delegates was to stay focused on the sessions instead of playing in the sunshine, so they could bring some pearls back to their practices. Many attendees took advantage of the weather and the occasion to tack on a few days of holiday before and/or after the Congress.

Mark Your Calendars: The next five Continents Congress shall be held in 2015 in Cannes. Look for more information on upcoming programs at