Like we discussed yesterday, we had a whirlwind time at IMCAS 2014. In addition to presenting our studies, we also attended other seminars to see what some of the hot topics are in the aesthetics space. One topic that was discussed in multiple seminars was the issue of fake products (i.e. counterfeit products) and how widely used they are across the global markets. Counterfeit products are used most rampantly in Asia, often because these products are much cheaper in comparison to the legitimate products. In fact, one of the presenters indicated that 90% of products used in rural China are counterfeit! How awful is that?

There were also quite a few talks that focused on the different aesthetic ideals between Caucasian and Asian patients. These were very interesting talks to attend, as we had surveyed European and Asian physicians in our joint studies with IMCAS and had found that our results resonated well with the points that were discussed at these talks. For example, Asian patients tend to use botulinum toxin (BTX or BontA) on the masseter more so than Caucasian patients in efforts to soften the jawline to achieve a more heart-shaped face; our IMCAS-MRG studies supported this as we found a much higher usage of BTX in the masseter in Asia Study than in the European study. Additionally, because a heart-shaped face is seen as the ideal face shape and is desired most by Asians, dermal filler procedures are performed more so in the middle region of the face to create more volume in the cheeks, and also to raise the nasal profile (i.e. via dermal filler rhinoplasties); our IMCAS-MRG studies had similar findings, with higher dermal filler usage in the nasal and chin regions (fillers are use in the chin region to help contour the chin). One physician showed a chart detailing fifty areas of the face that physicians in Asia focus on in their patients, where focus on the lower chin region of the face is to remove fat, focus on the upper facial region (e.g. forehead, temple and ear) is more contouring, and more volumization in the middle facial region (e.g. nose, cheek).

In addition to these hot topics, another topic that seemed to garner much attention among physicians was a new treatment device called Silhouette Soft ® this device is essentially a reabsorbable suture thread made of polylactic acid (PLA) that is threated through the cheeks to provide lift. Basically this product allows physicians to perform a 30-minute, minimally invasive face-lift procedure that creates an immediate lifting effect for the patient. In the long term, the PLA works on the deeper layers of the dermis and stimulates collagen production, which in term helps restore facial volume to create a more youthful appearance. There was actually a live demonstration of this device in one of the sessions and the room was so packed that there were people out the door! As there are other threading products out in the market already, I believe it's the biodegradable nature of this product that attracted much attention. It will be very interesting to see how this product penetrates into the aesthetics market!

So those were just a few of the many exciting things that were discussed at IMCAS this year. As the quest for looking youthful never ends, I imagine next year's conference to be full of even more new and exciting treatment trends and products!

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