With the rise and rise of social media, millennial culture and the Influencer phenomenon – beauty, aesthetics and physical perfection are more sought after than ever.
This is a massive business opportunity for the medical professionals, suppliers and facilitators of these sought-after results.
The industries meeting this growing demand are booming. In particular, the market for non-surgical and non-invasive procedures such as peels, injectable fillers, and lasers has increased dramatically in recent years.
According to an article by the International Medical Travel Journal, the UK market for non-surgical aesthetic procedures in the UK is estimated to be worth close to £3 billion, increasing at a much faster rate than traditional cosmetic surgery.
These trends look set to continue, providing lucrative opportunities for practitioners that can provide popular treatments such as Botox and Dermal Fillers.
In response to this thriving market, there has also been a rise in the provision and quality of Aesthetics Training for medical professionals.
These allow qualified doctors, nurses and dentists to build on their medical qualifications and get the specialist training they need to take advantage of the growing trends in the aesthetics market.
Whether this is to branch out into a completely new career, to make the move into private practice, or to add a complementary revenue stream to an existing medical practice, these training providers are opening up the aesthetics market to many medical professionals.
Although some may see private practice, and the cosmetic industry in particular, as superficial or far from the original calling that often instigates a medical career, many within the industry report the meaningful rewards of serving patients in terms of improved self-esteem, confidence and psychological wellbeing.
However, alongside the booming business statistics and the subsequent opportunities are some changes in the legal landscape and regulatory standards in the aesthetic treatments industry.
April 2013 saw the publication of the Keogh Report, a review of cosmetic treatment procedures commissioned by the then Prime Minister David Cameron and led by Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, the National Medical Director of NHS England.
The report was designed to improve the standards of care and accountability within the cosmetic treatment industry, in response to increasing concerns over unqualified practitioners, poor procedure record-keeping, and patient wellbeing.
The publication of the report signalled a call for improvements and more regulated best practices within previously unregulated areas of the cosmetic treatment industry, including non-surgical aesthetic procedures.
This call for higher standards is good news for both patients and respectable practitioners.
The raising of industry standards and increased regulation are also good news for any medical professionals looking to expand their practice and venture into the lucrative aesthetics field, as they have an advantage over unqualified practitioners in an increasingly cautious market.
Sir Keogh is reported to have commented before the release of the Keogh Report that “Aesthetic injectables should only ever be provided by medical professionals.”
Rajiv Grover, the former President of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, who compiles their annual audit, also commented that ‘the public must remain vigilant as ‘non-surgical’ does not mean the same as ‘non-medical.’”
These changes within the industry mean that customers are now seeking more confidence that they are dealing with properly qualified professionals and the reassurance that a proven medical background can provide.
The call for more awareness of quality and standards within the industry means that those with existing medical qualifications, when coupled with the relevant aesthetics training, have a competitive edge in establishing their services as reputable providers within the industry.
This combination of a flourishing market, social trends, increased consumer caution and quality training providers create an excellent opportunity for medical professionals to not only enter this booming industry but to begin with a profitable advantage over many existing providers.
Combined with the right training, a medical background that includes years of experience, quality care, and reputable qualifications can be a highly valuable asset in the lucrative aesthetics market.