Board certified dermatologists demonstrate expertise as skin cancer and cosmetic procedures continue to rise

2019 ASDS Survey on Dermatologic Procedures
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2019 Procedures Infographic

ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill., January 19, 2021 — American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS) member dermatologists performed nearly 14 million medically necessary and cosmetic procedures in 2019 – 11% more than in 2018 and a 78% increase since 2012.

The 2019 ASDS Survey on Dermatologic Procedures revealed that procedures using laser / light / energy-based devices and injectables continue to grow, each totaling more than 4 million treatments. They have become the most performed procedure categories for ASDS members, passing skin cancer treatments, which led for seven consecutive years since the survey began.

“Our annual survey, now in its eighth year, reflects our membership’s expertise, expansive and innovative treatment options and quality of care that comes from seeing a board certified ASDS member dermatologist,” said ASDS President Mathew M. Avram, MD, JD. “This also highlights the longstanding impact that dermatologists have on aesthetic surgery, being the pioneers of many cosmetic and reconstructive procedures from tumescent liposuction, laser surgery, botulinum toxin, Mohs micrographic surgery and so much more.”

Skin Cancer Continues to Grow
More than 3.5 million skin cancer procedures were reported for 2019, emphasizing the progression of the disease as well as member expertise in its treatment. Notably, sun damage is a top condition treated within the laser / light / energy-based category — up 14% year over year and up 22% in just three years. Sunlight exposure can contribute to both skin cancer and skin aging and continues to influence the rising cancer incidence and aesthetic concerns.

More people are diagnosed with skin cancer in the U.S. than all other cancers combined, and it is estimated that the number of new melanoma skin cancer cancers diagnosed will increase by almost 2%, per the American Cancer Society. ASDS dermatologic surgeons are leading efforts for early detection, providing the gold standard treatment for best possible outcomes and supporting skin cancer awareness campaigns to improve consume education and survivor rates.

Procedures to treat melanoma – the deadliest type of skin cancer – increased 14% from the previous year and 77% since 2012. Increasing awareness and nurturing sun-safe behaviors, such as wearing sunscreen every day, are vital to decreasing these numbers. ASDSA, the advocacy arm of the Society, is a champion for this worthy cause launching SUNucate model legislation, which has passed in 25 states and allows children to use over-the-counter sunscreen at school and camps without a physician’s note or prescription.

“By providing skin cancer screenings, pushing for common sense legislation that allows sunscreen use in schools and offering leading skin cancer treatments, ASDS members are taking a proactive and comprehensive approach to continuing the fight against skin cancer,” said Dr. Avram.

Cosmetic Procedure Popularity Keeps Rising
ASDS member dermatologists also performed more than 10.3 million cosmetic treatments in 2019, a 14% increase over 2018 results. The body sculpting category saw the largest increase: up 62% percent from the previous year. With more than 1 million treatments, injectable soft-tissue fillers were up 76% and laser / light / energy-based treatments grew 106% in the last eight years. This highlights the growing popularity of these cosmetic procedures and how patients are seeking board certified dermatologists for skin health and beauty expertise.

The top cosmetic treatments in 2019 were:

  • 4 million procedures using laser, light and energy-based devices – Treats a variety of skin conditions including facial redness, excess hair, age spots, sun damage, scars and birthmarks.
  • 2.3 million neuromodulator treatments – Injectable wrinkle-relaxers to smooth fine lines on the face.
  • 1.6 million soft-tissue filler injections – Restores fullness to the face, plumps lips and raises depressed scars.
  • 1 million body sculpting treatments – Procedures ranging from “fat-freezing” to injectables that help remove stubborn fat and tighten skin.
  • 418,000 chemical peel procedures – A solution applied to the skin causing it to exfoliate and eventually peel off, revealing new, smoother skin.
  • 238,000 microneedling treatments – Collagen induction therapy where tiny needles repeatedly puncture the skin, improving skin texture.

Skin conditions treated with laser / light / energy-based devices were up 18% from 2018. For 2019, wrinkles, sun damage and facial redness continue to lead the types of conditions treated by these devices with over 2.4 million treatments performed.

The smoothing and filling of fine lines with injectable treatments are also top procedures performed by ASDS members. Filler treatments have increased 78% in the last eight years whereas wrinkle-relaxing injections have grown 60%.

The popularity of body treatments continues to rise with 62% increase over last year and growing five times since 2012. Cryolipolysis, also known as “fat-freezing,” and radio frequency treatments continue lead this category as most procedures performed increasing 214% and 133% respectively in the last eight years. For 2019:

  • Laser Lipolysis – uses energy to melt body fat – rose 641%.
  • Microfocused ultrasound – used to tighten skin – increased 202%.
  • Tumescent liposuction – a minimally invasive technique pioneered by an ASDS member that uses local anesthesia to permit fat removal – grew 109%.

Muscle toning devices, new to the survey this year, were used in more than 157,000 procedures. Treatments for hair rejuvenation such as platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is up 94% year over year with over 169,000 procedures. Thread lifts – wherein temporary sutures visibly lift the skin around the face – grew 106% with nearly 68,000 procedures performed.

“The pioneering spirit of ASDS members and science-based research are driving the innovation of new treatment options, giving patients more choices and better outcomes,” said Dr. Avram. “This data continues to reinforce that ASDS board certified dermatologists are trusted by the public as the true experts for the health and beauty of the skin.”

To see the survey’s full results, visit

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About the Survey
Data were collected for the 2019 experience and generalized to represent all ASDS members. The survey was conducted May 7, 2020, through July 31, 2020, for data reported in 2019. The survey link was sent to 3,853 practicing members. Survey results are reported based on 514 physicians, or a 13% response rate.

About the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS)
The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS) is the largest specialty organization exclusively representing dermatologic surgeons who have unique training and experience to treat the health, function and beauty of your skin. ASDS members are pioneers in the field. Many are involved in the clinical studies that bring popular treatments to revitalize skin and fill 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 also are experts in skin cancer prevention, detection and treatment. As the incidence of skin cancer rises, dermatologic surgeons are committed to taking steps to minimize the life-threatening effects of this disease. For more information, visit

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About the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery Association (ASDSA)
With a membership of 6,400+ physicians, ASDSA is a 501(c) (6) association, dedicated to education and advocacy on behalf of dermatologic surgeons and their patients. For more information, visit
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