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A Review of 2015 in Medical Aesthetics


At the end of each year, it’s common to review the events of the past year and prepare for the future. In the field of medical aesthetics, what is worth reviewing from the past year?

Two names that stand out are “Introfill injection” and “HIFU”. Simply looking at the names doesn’t reveal what they are.

The water light injection is a drug delivery system, initially introduced by Korea, that sends hyaluronic acid and other substances to the skin’s bottom layer. Before, hydrating injections were administered by injecting hyaluronic acid needle by needle into the skin’s bottom layer, but with water light injection, the depth and output can be adjusted, making the injection more even and efficient. Injections may also include botulinum toxin, vitamin C, antioxidants, and other substances, which the companies claim can help tighten pores, whiten, and lift skin! Whether these claims have medical evidence to support them is unknown, but with overwhelming advertising, no one questions their effectiveness or potential side effects.

Another name that nearly all women have heard of is HIFU. Though many are familiar with the name, they don’t know its principles or effects. HIFU stands for High Intensity Focused Ultrasound, which is the use of ultrasound energy to penetrate the skin and focus on one point to destroy and rebuild tissue. Its energy is strong and concentrated, and can effectively enhance and increase collagen production. Like the water light injection, it has become a popular medical aesthetic treatment after being heavily promoted by the media and beauty companies. Its price, number of treatments, machine models, and techniques vary greatly and can be very creative. Many different HIFU machines from various origins have entered the Hong Kong market, with varying quality. Many beauty centers offer HIFU treatments, but the operators may not have proper training. Consequently, there have been more and more complications from HIFU treatments, some of which can be serious.

The technology of water light injection and HIFU itself is not problematic, but there is definitely room for improvement in regulation and sales practices. According to the guidelines of the Department of Health, treatments that penetrate the epidermis are medical procedures that require regulation. As consumers are generally unaware of the risks of treatments, businesses often exaggerate their effectiveness or even create non-existent benefits. Therefore, regulation is necessary.

Looking back on 2015, although there were no new technologies in medical aesthetics, the popularity of water light injection and HIFU seems to have been pushed by the invisible hand of the market, but government regulation is far behind. Medical aesthetics is not an advanced version of beauty, but rather one area of medicine. Regulation is essential!

Starting in 2016, I will periodically upload old articles for review and new knowledge. I hope everyone will support this effort.