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Developments and Predictions in Medical Aesthetics- Looking Back at 2017 and Ahead to the Future (2)


In 2017, HIFU (High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound) continued to dominate the non-invasive skin tightening market. Will this trend continue in 2018?

Non-invasive skin tightening treatments are mainly dominated by HIFU and monopolar radiofrequency. HIFU is one of the best non-surgical options for skin tightening and has been steadily gaining popularity in 2017. HIFU machines are mainly produced in the United States, Europe, Korea, and China. However, the quality of the machines can vary greatly depending on the manufacturing location. In 2018, unless there is a new technology that challenges HIFU’s effectiveness, it will remain one of the mainstream non-invasive skin tightening treatments. Another potential competitor to HIFU is monopolar radiofrequency, which launched a new machine at the end of 2017 that promises faster treatment and less pain. The new machine is expected to be more effective than the previous generation and compete with HIFU.

In 2018, consumers may also rekindle their interest in injectable treatments. Pure botulinum toxin, hyaluronic acid fillers, and various new transparent hyaluronic acid injections, as well as fat-dissolving injections, which were launched at the end of last year, are expected to shine in 2018. Although many of them are not new formulations, strong promotion by manufacturers and businesses will attract consumers who like injectable treatments.

One of the most sensational news stories in the medical beauty industry in 2017 was the DR Group case, which concluded after five years. The founder of the group and a laboratory technician were convicted of manslaughter. This case was related to the CIK treatment, which has no medical basis for improving health when injected into healthy people. The CIK treatment itself is not within the scope of medical aesthetics, but the group’s greed exceeded the medical bottom line. The DR incident is just the tip of the iceberg, and medical beauty accidents occur from time to time in the news. The reason is that the equipment and treatment methods used in medical beauty are more invasive than those in general beauty treatments. Sufficient risk assessment is required before treatment, and the clinical risks, knowledge, and techniques involved in treatment are different from those in general beauty treatments. Unfortunately, the current government has indefinitely postponed legislation to regulate medical equipment due to strong opposition from the beauty industry. This lack of regulation is a disadvantage for consumers. The regulation of medical beauty may still be stagnant in 2018.

In summary, 2018 is a year worth looking forward to. Although there are no breakthrough technologies or machines, the introduction of monopolar radiofrequency and injectable treatments will keep consumers interested.