Conference Coverage

Patient counseling about what to expect with noninvasive skin tightening is key



– It’s important to counsel patients about the degree of improvement to expect with noninvasive skin tightening procedures, Nazanin Saedi, MD, said at the Hawaii Dermatology Seminar provided by Global Academy for Medical Education/Skin Disease Education Foundation.

Many devices are available that can be used for facial skin tightening, “but there are definitely limitations to what we can do noninvasively, and we really need to educate our patients about what we can do so that they have realistic expectations,” said Dr. Saedi, director of laser surgery and cosmetic dermatology at Sidney Kimmel Medical College, Philadelphia.

Treatment with these devices improve skin laxity, and some improve skin texture as well, she said. These devices are not an option for patients who want to have several inches of excess skin removed.

“You have to tell patients that this isn’t a replacement for a face-lift or a mini face-lift,” but patients can expect to see mild and modest improvement, and they’ll continue to see improvement for 3-6 months.

Patient selection is also important. Patients with mild to moderate laxity who do not want to undergo surgery and anesthesia are good candidates, as opposed to those who are older and have thin, sagging skin, Dr. Saedi said, noting that there still is no standard method of defining laxity.

She referred to a recent study illustrating the importance of counseling patients about what to expect. Of the 83 patients in a practice who had undergone microfocused ultrasound treatments and responded to an anonymous survey about the results of treatment, almost 80% reported at least mild improvement (14.5% said the improvement was significant, almost 28% said it was moderate, 37.3% said it was mild, and 20.5% said there was no improvement).

However, although about half (53.1%) reported being satisfied with their results, almost 45% said that the results did not meet their expectations (Lasers Surg Med. 2019;51[6]:495-9).

In an interview at the meeting, Dr. Saedi commented on these results and the importance of counseling.

Listen to the interview by clicking the play button at the end of this story.

During the presentation, Dr. Saedi, who is also codirector of cutaneous surgery in the department of dermatology and cutaneous biology at Sidney Kimmel Medical College, reviewed different technologies used for noninvasive skin tightening, including ablative and fractional laser resurfacing, radiofrequency, and microfocused ultrasound with visualization.

She disclosed serving on the advisory board and/or as a consultant for Aerolase, Alastin, Alma, Cartessa Aesthetics, Cynosure, and Vivo Capital, and that she has equipment from these companies, except for Vivo Capital and Alastin.

SDEF/Global Academy for Medical Education and this news organization are owned by the same parent company.

To listen to the interview, click the play button below.

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