Top Aesthetic Procedures in 2018: Why Selfies and Social Media Matter

/Top Aesthetic Procedures in 2018: Why Selfies and Social Media Matter

Top Aesthetic Procedures in 2018: Why Selfies and Social Media Matter

Aesthetic procedures are on the rise, and that’s great news for your practice! The average number of surgical and non-surgical procedures rose 25% since 2012, according to the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS).

Why the big jump?

Many are correlating the rise in social media use to the growth in aesthetic procedures. This makes sense, as many on social networks such as Facebook and Instagram compare themselves, including their looks, to others.

selfies leading to more cosmetic surgery

There have been many studies about the pitfalls of social media use. One such study, conducted by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, found that the more time young adults spent on social media the more likely they are to be depressed. Additionally, social media users are more likely to compare their “status” and their looks to others, leading them to be more self-aware and more self-critical.

For better or worse, we live in the “selfie” day in age. According to AAFPRS, “55 percent of facial plastic surgeons saw patients who want to look better in selfies in their practices (up 13 percent from 2016).”

To be fair, social media isn’t just selfies, self-absorption, narcissism, and depression! There are benefits to being active in social communities. Websites like Real Self help to better educate patients, allowing users to post questions about procedures they’re interested in to get feedback from other patients. These patients can even interact with board-certified doctors in real time! In short, patients have never had as much quality information at their fingertips to help them make informed buying decisions.

Social media, and selfies, have also lead to aesthetic procedures being less taboo, as users are more open about the “work” they’ve had done, which has played a role in increasing demand for these procedures.

So what exactly are the top surgical and non-surgical procedures?

top 5 surgical and non-surgical cosmetic procedures

Source: American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Click or tap to enlarge

According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), Americans spent more than 15 billion dollars on surgical and non-surgical aesthetic procedures in 2016. The top surgical procedures were:

  • liposuction: 414K procedures
  • breast augmentation: 310k procedures
  • tummy tuck: 181k procedures

The top non-surgical procedures were:

  • botuillinum toxin (Botox): 4.59 million procedures
  • hyaluaronic acid (dermal fillers): 2.49 million procedures
  • laser hair removal: 1.03 million procedures

Those top 3 for surgical and non-surgical are typical for the last few years, but there are some fast risers. The fastest growing surgical procedures were:

  • fat transfer to the breast (non-surgical breast augmentation): up 41%
  • labiaplasty: up 23%
  • buttock lift: up 21%

The fastest growing non-surgical procedures were:

  • photorejuvenation: up 36%
  • hyaluaronic acid (dermal fillers): up 16%
  • laser tattoo removal: up 12%

What can we expect for 2018?

I expect the core group of top procedures to remain the same. However, as more and more adults look to improve their appearance look for new patients to further growth in the non-surgical category as they get their collective “feet wet” with aesthetic procedures. Here are some procedures to keep an eye out for:

top non-surgical cosmetic procedures to grow in 2018

Click or tap to enlarge

  • laser vaginal rejuvenation: more and more options are available, and some of these lasers only require one treatment! Being virtually painless and addressing many unique concerns for women, expect vagina rejuvenation to continue to grow in 2018.
  • non-surgical rhinoplasty and eyelid lifts: selfie-takers may spot an “issue” with how their nose or eyes look in a photo, but might not quite be ready for surgery. Dermal fillers can help improve the shape and contour of one’s nose, as well as add volume around the eyes, masking fat and sagging skin.
  • facial (and neck) rejuvenation: like vaginal rejuvenation, the facial rejuvenation technology has evolved over the past five years to provide better results with minimal downtime. Patients can quickly address wrinkles, sun damage, age spots, and other complexion issues during their lunch break! On the neck, patients have more non-surgical wrinkle and fat reduction options than ever, with Kybella and CoolMini leading the way.
  • platelet-rich plasma (PRP): this technique, which involves extracting platelets from one’s own blood, has been around for years. PRP gained popularity as part of the “Vampire Facelift” and “Vampire Facial” procedures that celebrities such as Kim Kardashian have undergone. PRP is showing no signings of slowing down, so expect demand for this procedure to continue to rise.
  • body contouring procedures: CoolSculpting gets all the hype, but many other laser manufacturers are stepping up their game to produce technology that’s more efficient than ever to shrink fat, specifically belly fat, without surgery.

What else is growing?

growth in cosmetic procedures for men

In addition to specific procedures to keep an eye out for, your practice, whether focused on plastic surgery, med spa, or dermatology procedures, should also position itself for a growing segment of the aesthetic market: men. According to ASAPS, men accounted for 9% of both the surgical and non-surgical market, and that number is expected to grow. Additionally, male breast reduction (gynecomastia) surgery, the second most popular procedure for men after liposuction, rose 3% over the previous year and 181% over the past 20 years.

With demand for both surgical and non-surgical cosmetic procedures continuing to rise it’s important that your aesthetic practice is positioned well digitally. More patients are researching aesthetic procedures so you need a thorough strategy to gain visibiity, drive traffic, and generate leads. If you’d like to learn more about how Turbo Medical Marketing can help grow your practice in 2018 then drop us a line here or call us directly at 877-673-7096 x2.

About the Author:

Tom joined Matt in 2010, helping co-found Turbo Medical Marketing. As COO, Tom oversees all production and works directly with both the executive team and the Account Managers. Tom has helped to formulate systems and processes for sales, business development, internal marketing, service offerings, client intake, and employee hiring and training. You can get a sense of Tom's marketing knowledge, as well as pick up some marketing tips and insights, by checking out the Turbo blog that he contributes to weekly. Tom has also spoken at several aesthetic conferences in the past about topics ranging plastic surgery technology to mobile marketing. Tom received his B.A. in Business Management Economics from the University of California at Santa Cruz. He is a former collegiate rugby player and he enjoys golfing, snowboarding, hiking, and playing with his dog Yogi in his spare time. He's also a mentor with the Big Brothers, Big Sisters program in Charleston. Tom lives with his wife Lindsay in Mt. Pleasant, SC.

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