In the continuous search to find new treatments that defy all the rules, clients regularly ask me if there are any new dermal therapy treatments available. Perhaps a laser treatment or a peel treatment that will magically take 10 years of their appearance - with no downtime! Or, perhaps a skin tightening treatment that will make facelifts obsolete? Of course, we are all looking for the holy grail of aesthetic procedures.
Over the past decade or so, there has been a great deal of new technology released, often claiming to better previous technologies. Therapists can often get caught up in the excitement only to find at a later date that this new technology is no better than before. Marketing often drives these new releases due to a period of stagnation in the market. It’s an effective way to keep the consumer interested.
Looking back, there’s no doubt that my industry has come a long way but there have been very few revolutionary changes in both clinical aesthetics and medical aesthetics. Instead, we have gradually evolved into what we do today. For me, the biggest change has been in the formal education now available for professionals working in this field. We have access to the best and most up to date evidence-based treatments and modalities together with topical nutritional information.
However, I believe it is far more important a therapist focuses on what is important, i.e. the patient experience and the outcome, rather than the available technology. We need to use our technology as a tool and not be a slave to it. After all, a good photographer should focus on taking good pictures, not just buy the latest technology for the sake of it.
Using evidence-based dermal therapies in combination with formal clinical-based training (specific to the industry) while keeping skills and knowledge up to-date will bring the required results - not the technology alone. Treatments also need to be based on clinical evidence backed by science, published in reputable medical journals.
If you are currently considering contacting a dermal therapist, here are five traits that I would consider essential:-
1. Genuineness and honesty – Establishing a rapport with your therapist is imperative. It’s also important to feel that the therapist has your interests at heart at all times.
2. Sensitivity to the patient’s needs – A therapist should be aware of the vulnerability of certain clients when discussing skin health and appearance-related issues.
3. An eye for detail - An experienced dermal therapist should be able to determine what is healthy and functioning well and what isn’t.
4. Formal training – A therapist should possess the proper skills, formal training and knowledge to perform the treatment safely and effectively.
5. Good communication skills – A therapist should be able to correctly explain a particular procedure or treatment as well as its after-effects and outcomes. They should also be aware of and explain the risks inherent with any treatment.