6 Looks into the Future of Skin and Body Treatments from the IMCAS Paris Conference

What the future holds for us, our bodies, and our skin, according to IMCAS conference.

The IMCAS Paris conference held yearly is always interesting. It centers on the latest technologies, research, treatments and advancements in skin, dermatology and plastic surgery. About 10% of the attendees are from the US, 40% from Europe, and the other half from Asia, Russia, the Middle East, Africa and South America. The “faculty” are mostly from Europe and there’s a mix of perspectives. It’s different than most American meetings, both in the presenters (faculty) and the exhibitors (industry) who have booths in a large, adjacent hall. After hearing all the presentations I came away with 6 takeaways on the topics I get asked most about from readers:

1. Cellulite continues to be a big question mark as far as long term solutions. This problem has not been solved yet and even our understanding of it scientifically is limited.  So far, all cellulite treatments on the market, offer only temporary benefit. Cellulite is complicated. It’s an intricate interaction of:

  • little attachment strings in the fat (fibrous septae)
  • the fat cells themselves
  • and the lymph flow through the area and  inflammation that occurs.

A new technology using powerful acoustic sound waves may change that. To early to tell, so we will see.

2. The new buzz word in fillers is “dynamism” so the treatment looks more natural. We will begin to see a slightly larger range of fillers (in the U.S.). We will also see more emphasis (finally) on a more natural looking face that moves normally. The newer fillers are more distensible and flex better while still holding up over time. Many of these fillers are available in Europe and elsewhere now, but the problem is locating good doctors who are really able to have a conversation with you about what YOU want. You may need to try several doctors/nurses before you find the one who can do the look you like.

3. Vaginal/Sexual function treatments continue to advance. We’ll see a lot more about vaginal health and function. I have no problem with this when it addresses definite problems for women around sexual enjoyment (vaginal tightening), urine leakage (incontinence) when coughing as we get older, and sexual dysfunction. There are preliminary studies showing that some radiofrequency devices may help women who have difficulty with orgasm. The problem I have is the “beauty” part.  Do we really need another area of our body to feel self-conscious about?

4. We are embracing a more inclusive and varied criteria for beauty. Beauty has been a concept that has been with us for thousands of years and it changes constantly with cultures and centuries, etc. I’d like to see a very inclusive approach that recognizes that there isn’t just ONE type of beauty. That has changed over the last 50 years. Remember how everyone was trying to be the blonde surfer girl types back in the 1960s? Culture is adapting to embrace varied “beauty”, which is great. At IMCAS this year we had an entire day long seminar held on the Middle East and another one on Eastern Europe.

5. Coolsculpting still king of body contouring. There will continue to be advances in this area. While Coolsculpting is still king right now, several newer technogies are evolving rapidly. One to watch …..high intensity focused ultrasound.

6. Facials and cosmeceuticals are evolving toward better delivery systems of potent antioxidants. The problem is, what is just the right amount? You don’t want too little or too much. More is not necessarily better, so look for new research on this in the coming year. Avoid microneedling (read why here) and pin devices for now. Lots of new data on problems, including some permanent scars.

Hope this helps,   Dr. I

Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

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Hi, I’m Dr. Irwin. I believe that consumers deserve a medically trained and unbiased skin care advocate.

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