COVID's surprising impact on clinics and cosmetic enhancements

As Australia eases COVID-19 restrictions, cosmetic physicians and patients alike have welcomed the reopening of clinic doors. Yet the impact of COVID continues.

According to the Cosmetic Physicians College of Australasia (CPCA), despite there being an initial frantic period, the number of patients seen are well below average, with signs of demand now slowing down.

“The number of new patients is definitely down in most districts,” CPCA president, Dr Michael Molton, said. “Established patients appear to be opting for the bare minimum to get them through, although at-home treatments have risen sharply, so many clinics are reporting a rise in product sales, but not enough to compensate for inhouse procedures. We will know more as time goes by, but we are certainly not seeing any boom right now.”

The lockdown also appears to have created attitudinal changes towards cosmetic enhancements, involving a shift in demand towards a more natural appearance, especially where procedures involve injectables and fillers, which the CPCA say is “certainly not a bad thing.”

Late last year, the CPCA first flagged its concerns about the trivialisation of cosmetic procedures and the growing number of patients with unrealistic expectations in terms of procedural results. In response, the College launched its Get Real campaign, which is designed to provide education and accurate information to the Australian public about non-surgical cosmetic enhancements.

"We launched the Get Real campaign to stress the importance of helping patients focus on looking better, not different, and most importantly maintain realistic outcomes, and this seems to be one of the positive outcomes of COVID in terms of what patients are now seeking in terms of procedural results," Dr Molton said.