Top Trends in Dermatology for 2019

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The demand for dermatology keeps growing in the United States and around the world. Dermatology is a multi-billion dollar market, and all projections point to continued growth. With good management and effective marketing, most practices can stay as busy as they want to be. 

The foundation of dermatology is still helping people with medical skin problems, from psoriasis to skin cancer. With an aging population who is more health-conscious than ever, this expertise will be called into action more and more in the coming years. And with an increased focus on physical appearance - in person and in the digital world - the cosmetic sector of the market is absolutely exploding. 

The latest industry statistics offer a lot of great insight you can use to inform your marketing strategy for the coming year and beyond. 

Acne is still the number one skin condition people see a dermatologist for. Around 50 million people each year are affected by some form of acne, and over 80% of people will experience at least some acne during their lifetime. Just look at the wild popularity of “Dr. Pimple Popper.” Acne is a hot topic, and it’s never a bad idea to make sure people know your practice is experienced with treating it.

42% of dermatology patients are above the age of 60. 68% are over 40. By 2050, experts project there will be as many as 80 million people over 65 years old in the United States. Make sure you’re targeting these demographics when creating ad campaigns.

Only 30% of skin issues end up being evaluated by a dermatologist! Turns out that most people are still going to their primary care provider (or even an urgent care facility) when they notice problems with their skin. This surprising statistic, from the American Academy of Dermatology, could actually be good news for dermatologists trying to grow their practice. Use your digital presence to encourage people to see the right expert when they spot something unusual. 

Atopic dermatitis is one of the most common skin issues in the US. In fact, 28 million people are affected every year. Reach out to them! Consider concentrating some of your marketing efforts on giving people more information about atopic dermatitis, particularly those who aren’t sure whether they have it. Urge them to seek diagnosis and treatment from a qualified dermatologist. 

Psoriasis is still a major problem for millions of Americans. Dermatologists are on the frontline of helping people understand and get relief from this frustrating condition. Ads that are targeted toward psoriasis sufferers are usually a smart investment for any dermatology practice. 

Skin cancer treatments are still the most commonly performed dermatologic procedures. An average of 9,500 people are diagnosed with skin cancer every day in the United States. The good news is that the 5-year survival rate for melanoma is 99%. If it’s spotted before it spreads, of course. Once it begins to metastasize, that number plummets to only 20%. You can never raise enough awareness about this. Create ad content that stresses the importance of early detection. 

Private equity firms are buying dermatology practices. This is further evidence of what a solid - and lucrative - industry dermatology is. 

Which leads us to the next point.  

The United States is experiencing a serious shortage of dermatologists. Those patients who are seeking care from their primary doctors might be doing so because there are no openings at their local dermatology practices. From a business standpoint, the odds are in your favor. The demand is out there! Make sure people in your local area know you’re there. Target your ad content to people that live within a certain radius of your practice. Ideally, with carefully targeted ads, your audience will think of you next time something is going on with their skin - instead of heading to the general practitioner’s office. 

The global market for skin care products is set to reach more than $120 billion by 2021. And that’s one of the more modest projections. Other analysts are putting that number closer to $140 billion, some even higher. People are looking for good skin care products, and they’re willing to pay for it. Of course, competition is stiff. There are spas, stores, and websites - not to mention other dermatology practices - all selling creams, serums, and other high end complexion care items. 

It’s important to help people understand that not all skincare products are created equal, and not all companies are honest in their marketing. This is somewhere you can set yourself apart, ensuring people they’ll be getting products that align with what they value most. Carry products that appeal to your target demographic. This could mean offering a line of products using natural ingredients, or assuring potential patients that your skin care line is cruelty-free. 

Remember to be inclusive. Particularly with cosmetic dermatology, some people may still hold the idea that skincare products and treatments are only for women. This has always been untrue. Now more than ever, men are seeking out dermatology and cosmetic dermatology, a trend that is expected to continue into the foreseeable future. Keep this in mind when crafting your marketing strategy, and your website. Dedicate some content to addressing men’s skin care issues in particular. Create a site that is welcoming and inclusive to anyone who might be curious about seeking treatment for skin concerns.

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Follow the trends in cosmetic dermatology. Cosmetic dermatology is a high demand sector of the industry. Keep your finger on the pulse of market trends throughout the year. It’s important that you’re offering and advertising the treatments and procedures that people want most. 

  • Injectables: Dysport® and Botox® injections top the list of popular procedures. A lot of people are getting injections, and a lot more people are thinking about it. It’s usually a good idea to focus at least some of your marketing efforts on promoting injectables at your practice. Some dermatologists offer deals or membership clubs to incentivize people to try them, and to keep coming back for more.

  • Fillers: Restylane®, Juvéderm®, and other fillers aren’t going away anytime soon. Artfully applied fillers can create such beautiful, natural-looking results; it’s not surprising people love them. Of course, there are plenty of horror stories about botched filler jobs. Make sure you get the word out that only qualified professionals should be administering dermal fillers. This can help bring in patients who might otherwise have gone somewhere else.

  • Non-surgical fat removal: Fat blasting procedures such as CoolSculpting® and UltraShape® have been an absolute game-changer. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, over 350,000 people had non-invasive fat reduction procedures in 2017 alone. The idea of an effective slimming procedure that doesn’t require surgery or the associated downtime is unsurprisingly attractive to a lot of people. If you offer any such treatments, shout it from the rooftops. Run ads, publish articles, and think about doing some promotions or special offers. 

  • Hair removal: Electrolysis and laser hair removal are growing, too. Refined technology and techniques have made an already popular treatment even more in-demand. Search data reveals that a lot of people are curious about professional hair removal, but aren’t sure if it’s right for them. Work to create ad content that can help answer their questions, and steer them toward your practice. 

  • Microdermabrasion: Blame selfie culture or HD cameras, but treatments to improve skin texture are huge right now. Microdermabrasion is still a great way for people to rejuvenate and refine their skin without undergoing more invasive and uncomfortable procedures. 

  • Chemical peels: People love chemical peels. They can be customized to address the unique skin concerns of each individual patient. Plus, they’re non-invasive and usually not painful. Peels also relatively inexpensive compared to many other cosmetic treatments. If you do chemical peels, let people know.

  • Photorejuvenation: Intense light treatments are among the most requested cosmetic dermatology treatments in recent years. Sun-seekers who were once unaware of the effects from too much exposure are now looking for ways to address the damage.  Photorejuvenation offers a non-invasive option for helping to minimize the visible signs of aging and sun damage, something a lot of people in your target demographic are very likely to be concerned about.

Because these procedures don’t involve surgery, they can be administered by people who are not medical professionals. When patients understand that they risk compromising their results (and possibly their health) by having work done at salons or home parties, they are much more likely to seek out a dermatology practice for their beauty treatments. 

People are excited about advances in dermatology. More advanced methods of detection, diagnosis, and treatment for skin cancer are on the horizon. Publishing content about these fascinating innovations can help bring in curious potential patients. It’s also a great way to showcase that you stay on top of industry breakthroughs. Most people want to know their dermatologist is using all the latest and greatest procedures and products.

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