Study: Dermatologists the ‘pioneers’ for facial injectables

October 3, 2014 by
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Who doesn’t want treatment from the specialists who have led the way? From hip replacement to brain surgery, most patients undoubtedly would prefer the practitioners who have been at the forefront of research and the latest procedures.

And for anti-aging injectable treatments for the face, dermatologists are those practitioners, the groundbreaking innovators in five of five categories.

“Who are the Pioneers? A Critical Analysis of Innovation and Expertise in Cutaneous Non-Invasive Procedures” is examining all published research to determine which medical specialties have made the most advances in cosmetic treatments. The first segment of the just-released, first-of-its-kind study, focuses on botulinum toxins and four types of soft-tissue fillers.

Studied were botulinum toxins to ease facial lines (i.e., Botox, Dysport and Xeomin) as well as four types of soft-tissue fillers to smooth wrinkles and add facial volume. These include hyaluronic acid fillers (i.e., Juvederm, Restylane, Belotero and Voluma), calcium hydroxyapatite filler (i.e., Radiesse), poly-l lactic acid filler (i.e., Sculptra) and collagen fillers (i.e., Zyderm and Zyplast).

This unbiased analysis of all existing scientific research will help consumers decide which specialist might be best for facial injectable treatments, said study author Omar A. Ibrahimi, MD, PhD, a member of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery.

“Consumers can be significantly confused because some cosmetic procedures are administered by physicians who are not board-certified dermatologists, and some are even offered by non-physicians,” said Dr. Ibrahimi. “This study is important because expertise and innovation often are judged by who has made the largest contributions to scientific research.”

He said the thorough analysis of all peer-reviewed medical research on facial injectables finally answers the question of who are the innovators and the pioneers.

The answer for facial injectables is clearly dermatologists,” said Dr. Ibrahimi. “These data show the overwhelming majority of pioneering research in wrinkle-relaxers and fillers has been done by dermatologists. They are the leading innovators. Patients will know they are in the best hands with a dermatologist.”

He and his co-authors identified the most important research studies on injectable procedures, then analyzed the findings to determine the specialties whose members published the most significant research.

Two scoring systems then were applied. Under both, the analysis showed dermatologists are considered the pioneers for facial injectables in 10 of 10 measures. Moreover, the “innovation gap” between dermatologists and the next closest provider is more than 50 percent in most measures.

“Dermatologists are the best specialists for facial injectables,” said Dr. Ibrahimi.

He continues to analyze the data on who is considered the pioneers for other non-invasive cosmetic procedures. The full study is expected to be released in 2015.


ASDS is the largest specialty organization exclusively representing dermatologic surgeons who have unique training and experience to treat the health, function and beauty of the skin. ASDS members are pioneers in the field. Many are involved in the clinical studies that bring popular treatments to revitalize skin and diminish wrinkles to the forefront. Their work has helped create and enhance many of the devices that remove blemishes, hair and fat, and tighten skin. Dermatologic surgeons are also experts in skin cancer prevention, detection and treatment. Visit ASDS at:

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