New data from an ASDS survey reveals that dermatologists and online platforms have an increasing impact on consumers’ decisions towards cosmetic treatments, choice of provider and skin care purchases.


2021 Consumer Survey InfographicROLLING MEADOWS, Ill., JUNE 20, 2022 – Consumers turned to dermatologists to guide cosmetic procedures and skin care choices, as revealed in the 2021 American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS) Consumer Survey on Cosmetic Dermatologic Procedures.

Dermatologists rank as the number one influencer among 16 factors that impact consumers’ decisions to have a cosmetic procedure. In selecting a practitioner, the specialty in which the physician is board certified and the level of the physician’s licensure ranked as primary influencing factors. Of patients that saw dermatologists, more than 66% were ASDS members.

Consumers also rated dermatologists as the top resource for skin care product purchases and the physician of choice in seven of 10 treatment categories including injectable wrinkle-relaxers; laser / light therapy for skin redness, tone and scars; laser / light therapy for skin tightening; chemical peels; vein treatments; microdermabrasion; and tattoo removal.

“Cosmetic treatments are medical procedures, and board certified dermatologists are uniquely qualified to deliver safe, leading care with customized treatment plans for their patients,” said ASDS President Sue Ellen Cox, MD. “Patients continue to trust ASDS member dermatologists’ medical expertise, drive for innovation and aesthetic acumen to help them look and feel their best.”

Consumer Motivations
Almost 70% of consumers are considering a cosmetic treatment. The desires to “feel more confident,” “appear more attractive,” “do something for themselves” and “look as young as they feel” were the leading motivations. They were most bothered by excess fat on any part of the body (77%), excessive fat under the chin or neck (70%), skin texture and/or discoloration (66%) and lines and wrinkles around or under the eyes (62%), hair loss (60%) and excessive sweating (58%). Notably, concern for hair loss increased by 7% from the 2019 survey.  

The top five treatments and percentage of consumers considering them include:

  • Ultrasound, laser, light and radiofrequency treatments for smoothing wrinkles or tightening skin, 52%
  • Laser / light therapy to reduce facial redness, improve skin tone and improve scars, 48%
  • Injectable wrinkle relaxer, 48%
  • Body sculpting, 47%
  • Microdermabrasion, 44%

For the first time, “too radical of a change” landed in the top five reasons why consumers would wait to schedule a cosmetic procedure. This reflects the trending desire to achieve a natural look with aesthetic treatments.

Digital Impact
Online community platforms are a growing resource for consumers to obtain health and beauty information, and digital conversations are impacting consumers’ selection of their provider, cosmetic procedure(s) and skin care purchases. Social media ranked as the second leading factor in buying decisions for skin care products and ranked third among factors influencing the decision to have a cosmetic treatment. Additionally, 52% of consumers shared that a provider’s social media presence impacts their decisions to schedule an appointment, up 9% from the 2019 survey, and 78% of patients follow their current or potential provider on social media, a 38% increase since 2019.

Potential patients are also seeking information about other patients’ experiences by referencing rate and review websites. Up 16% from the last survey, 83% of consumers indicated that rate and review sites impact their decision for a cosmetic procedure provider.

“As expected, this survey shows an increase in the use of social media and digital communication platforms for skin health and beauty information,” Dr. Cox shared. “ASDS members continue to be a strong voice in these digital conversations, sharing medically sound skin health and beauty expertise to ensure patient safety and quality care. This consumer survey reflects patients’ ongoing trust in board certified dermatologists when it comes to caring for their skin.”

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About the survey
Data was obtained through a blind online survey conducted from Oct. 20, 2021, to Nov. 9, 2021, through the web-based PureSpectrum market research service. The survey received 3,527 responses. To view the full results, visit

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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