WHAT DOES AESTHETIC MEDICINE MEAN?
Dr. Michel Delune, Dermatologist
President of the American Academy of Aesthetic medicine
is not that new.
In the early seventies,
a French doctor, endocrinologist, understood several of his colleagues
were more interested by the aesthetic side of their practice, without to
neglect their basic medicine…… An aesthetic part can be found
in most of medical specialties including general medicine. We can find
plenty of examples of Aesthetic Medicine in any daily medical practice:
some patients will consult their family practitioner to help them to manage
their weight problems; a dermatologist will exam daily teenagers and young
adults for acne problems. The female patients and even male patients are
very concerned by their skin aspect. They want to treat the damage generated
by years of sun overexposure, sometimes worsened by heavy smoking habits
or just due to intrinsic aging. Aesthetic Medicine can concern more specific
problems as well such as congenital malformations, portwine stains, strabism,
etc… It is quite impossible to write down a full list of Aesthetic
Medicine indications. It should be endless. I just wanted to show the multiple
applications of Aesthetic Medicine.
is a branch of the medical field which becomes more and more important
in each of its specialties.
On the same way,
a few medical and paramedical professions such as registered nurses, physician’s
assistants, beauticians, provide an efficacious help to the doctors practicing
Aesthetic Medicine. Thanks to these professions, a true complementary value
is offered to the therapeutic possibilities for our patients.
is therefore a medical discipline because of its multidisciplinary aspect:
every problem in Aesthetic Medicine is resolved by comparing notes and
collaborating with the various medical and paramedical specialists. For
example, therapeutic problems of the lower limbs can be solved, according
to the case, by calling in for consultation various specialists who are
interested in the same problem: vascular diseases specialists and surgeons
– angiologists, phlebologists, plastic surgeons, dermatologists,
dieticians, endocrinologists, physiotherapists, gynecologists, bioclimatologists,
orthopedists, physical education instructors, and rehabilitation therapists.
The therapeutic solution to acne problem can also be found through the
collaboration of the dermatologist, the dietician, the endocrinologist,
the gynecologist, the psychologist, the cosmetologist and the beautician;
aesthetics, therefore, represents only a small part of the problems for
the single specialist, whether he is a dermatologist or a plastic surgeon,
whereas the multidisciplinary collaboration of specialists within the sphere
of Aesthetic Medicine is the answer to the totality of aesthetic problems.
exalts the association between health and beauty because beauty means to
feel good under one’s own skin and to have a perfect psychophysical
We all know the
importance of the psychosomatic disturbances that occur in an individual
due to aesthetic disorders that are badly accepted by the patient, and
we cannot ignore the importance of aesthetics, from a psycho-sociological
point of view, when today’s civilization no longer allows one to
ignore the ever in-creasing interest accorded to the physical aspect of
More and more patients
are in search of aesthetic doctors because they wish to improve their appearances,
either to regain their self-confidence or even because of professional
Due to the above
mentioned reasons, one by one, the National Society of Aesthetic Medicine
in France, Belgium, Italy and Spain and, last but not least, the “Union
Internationale de Médecine Esthétique” were created.
It is therefore possible to bring together in a community program all physicians
and paramedical experts from all over the world, of different specialties
involved in the problems of Aesthetic Medicine, a new medical discipline,
answering the needs of the community.
as AAAM (American Academy of Aesthetic Medicine) help providing practitioners
with adequate teaching and training. However, such teaching and training,
even if it is necessary for the proper practice of aesthetic medicine,
does not belong to any individual specialty. Rather, it is multidisciplinary.
For example, whereas a plastic surgeon will treat skin laxity, a dermatologist
will treat skin texture, complementing each other. The patient needs both
treatments for a successful result and faster healing process, both of
which fall within the scope of Aesthetic Medicine. Membership to the AAAM
is also open to GPs and other specialties because many of these treatments
are narrow in scope, and the experience of the practitioner is the main
driver in treatment quality. Accordingly, I know many GPs who are better
at Botox injections than some specialists, only because of their experience
with such non-invasive techniques. Also, in several European countries
including France, Italy and Spain, the basic medical school teaching program
includes some Aesthetic Medicine practices such as Mesotherapy. Historically,
Aesthetic Medicine has been practiced across all disciplines since Dr.
J.J. Legrand, a French endocrinologist, coined the term ‘Aesthetic
Medicine’ in the early seventies and a consortium of doctors founded
the UIME in 1975, which now counts over 4000 members from all across 25
national societies. Other scientific fields and organizations are multidisciplinary
as well, such as ASLMS (American Society for Laser in Medicine and Surgery)
and other societies focused on specific investigations and treatments (allergology,
that teaching and training are essential today. As chairman of the continuous
medical educational program of UIME, I see too many doctors today who are
proclaiming themselves as Aesthetic Doctors without having followed any
specific formation. They are in fact self made specialists in Aesthetic
medicine with no background or specific credentials. Some of them are even
setting up societies of Aesthetic Medicine with, as unique goal, to generate
money for themselves without any consideration for the health and benefit
for the patient.
- We have very high
profile faculty members. Each of them being very well known in their own
- We have dermatologists to teach
dermatology, aesthetic surgeons to teach aesthetic surgery and aesthetic
doctors recognized by their national society of aesthetic medicine to
teach aesthetic medicine. We do not have, as speaker, doctors from other
specialties proclaiming themselves “specialist in aesthetic medicine”
although they have no background nor credentials in that field.
- We have a worldwide faculty giving
a wide information on aesthetic medicine, with speakers from all over
the world. That means we are giving international courses in aesthetic
medicine with international concepts in that field.
- Our courses are the only ones
recognized in Northern, Central and Southern America, and in Asia-Pacific
by UIME (International Association of Aesthetic Medicine). UIME is made
today of 27 national societies of aesthetic medicine around the world.
Other US and Asian courses are not recognized by any society of aesthetic
- Dr. Delune, President of AAAM,
is a dermatologist practicing aesthetic medicine for more than 25 years.
He is one of the four co-founders of UIME with more than 5000 members
AAAM has been invited
by the EADV (European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology) to have a
one-day pre-congress sister society satellite symposium in London, during
the last EADV annual congress held in London, October 12-16, 2005. AAAM
is the only society of Aesthetic Medicine in the world to have been invited
to set up such a prestigious event.
The general population
is becoming more and more concerned by their physical aspect and want to
postpone the most they can skin and body aging symptoms and damages. Half
a century ago, most of the female patients were thinking their aesthetic
life will be over after the menopause. This conception is totally obsolete
today. Women stay active longer with very busy social life. That’s
why they are taking better care of themselves and they all want to look
and stay young for a much longer time. So many ladies in the fifties and
sixties are still looking very attractive. For some of these, it can be
genetic but usually it is thanks to the development of the modern technology
with so many devices and products available today on the market. Many more
are under development. I am convinced the demand from the patient for a
better looking and for prevention and treatment of aging will be increasing
during the following decades thanks to a better information received from
the qualified practitioners and to the endless development of the technology.
Finally, we can
see an increasing amount of aesthetic doctors having their own medical
spa linked with their practice in Aesthetic Medicine. That will allow the
patient to receive complementary treatments delivered by doctors’
assistants such as registered nurses, physician's assistants and beauticians.
went throughout 35 years of evolution to reach today a full success and
to be considered as unavoidable if we want to try to stay young forever!
Since I am one of
the founders of the concept and of UIME, I have been through all the steps
to bring Aesthetic medicine at its today level.
I am convinced of
the necessity and benefits of Aesthetic Medicine for my colleagues and
first of all for our patients health and wellbeing.