Cosmetic Dermatology Trends of 2016

Last year, we looked at what the most popular treatments in 2015 were, and now that 2016 is coming to a close, we thought it would be interesting to compare, update and also look at some of the dermatological treatment trends that we expect to see in 2017.

Top 10 Cosmetic Dermatology Treatment Options

Based on the visits and inquiries via our site in 2016, the top ten treatments that people were interested in were as follows:

Acne Treatment (up from 3rd)
CoolSculpting® (down from 1st)
Thermage® (down from 2nd)
PRP Hair Restoration (new entry)
Stretch Marks & Scars (up from 8th)
Fraxel® (down from 4th)
Asian Skin Treatments (stays at 7th)
Botox® (up from 8th)
Chemical Peels (up from 10th)
Laser Tattoo Removal (new entry)

2016 saw a big but expected increase in PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) treatments such as hair treatment and restoration, particularly as the information about how it works became more popular in the news.

The other expected increase was CoolSculpting, which while it has moved down to 2nd on our list – did have an overall increase in interest when comparing year on year (122% more searches overall – based on Google data), thanks in part to the increased advertising that CoolSculpting is doing across a range of mediums, from TV to billboard ads.

However, what is interesting is that in 2016, January was when the most people were looking for it, followed by May. This aligns with key times for when people want to get in shape, ahead of the summer months and of course in January, to start the year off right.


Chart shows comparison of the last 12 months versus the 12 months prior in US based searches for “CoolSculpting” (source: Google).

Of course, not all overall market trends match what we see here in NYC. For example, we have seen an increase in the popularity of “laser tattoo removal,” but according to Google data – this particular keyword has become less popular over the last few years. What we are seeing at our practice in New York though is that more patients seeking tattoo removals are looking for board certified dermatologists, which is important in a sector where regulation and guidelines can be sometimes quite lenient.

Trends Going Into 2017

Looking at the keyword trend and website data over the last year to give an idea of what is going to be popular in 2017 there are a few key take-aways that we have noticed.

• “Laser Treatment” terms continue to do well as the procedure becomes even more popular. These keywords have increased by 21% over the last year.

• “Skin Treatments” as a keyword group have also shown a surge in popularity in the last year with a increase of 19%. Fraxel has also been popular online and these keywords have also increased by 17% in 2016.

• One of the biggest increases overall though is for “Kybella” which had a 234% increase of searches when compared to the same period in 2015. Advertising for this (such as via prime time TV commercials) seems to have helped propel it – though conversion/lead wise, it still trails the more popular options such as CoolSculpting.


Chart compares “Kybella” (red) to “CoolSculpting” (blue) and while it shows that more people are searching for it in late 2016, people are likely in research phase because conversions are still lower (source: Google).

Treatments losing popularity in 2016

As for what has declined in popularity during 2016, the main theme here was “fillers.” General “filler” keywords such as “lip fillers” and “facial fillers,” for example have dropped by 14% as a group. “Lip fillers” as a keyword has dropped by 33% and “lip enhancement” as a keyword has dropped 47% in popularity versus 2015.

Alternatively, it’s worth noting that “lip injections” has increased by 49% so it seems that the trend for plumper lips popularized by various celebrities will likely continue into 2017.

General keywords relating to “Thermage” have also seen a slight decrease in overall interest, with a decrease of 11% in 2016 when compared to 2015. Generally, the data here shows that this particular procedure has plateaued a bit. It’s worth understanding that when a new procedure becomes popular, there will be more searches for it as people are looking into the treatment and are in a “research” phase. As a treatment becomes established, it’s common for searches to fall a little bit. Botox is another good example of a keyword that remains steady in its high popularity, but doesn’t experience a major increase or decrease year on year.

What do we see happening in 2017?

Moving forward into the next year – based on our experience and the data we have seen here, CoolSculpting is going to remain strong, as are treatments for double chins, such as Kybella injections. Additionally, as people get more accustomed to using laser treatments to tackle skin and acne issues – we expect this sector to remain strong as the laser treatment options for dermatology overall become mainstream. Of course, celebrity endorsement helps, as was the case with the recent surge in “Vampire Facials,” and we expect that to continue into 2017 as a driving force behind cosmetic dermatology trends.

We’re also looking out for the newest updates and innovations, for example – Juvederm VOLIFT® is scheduled for availability in the US in January 2017 and will be a lidocaine based solution for smoothing out nasolabial folds (smile lines) that can last up to 15 months. As a result, combined with the late 2016 US launch of Juvederm Volbella, we expect Juvederm overall to increase in popularity during 2017.

Find out more about dermatology treatments and book an appointment with Dr. Michele Green via our contact form, or call 212-535-3088