Drs. Gold, Biesman Team up to Lead International Industry Event
More than 900 medical professionals attended the Music City Symposium for Cosmetic Advances & Laser Education conference May 9-11. Now in its 14th year, SCALE has morphed into an international event attracting practitioners and vendors eager to investigate the industry's latest treatments and protocols.
"This year's faculty was superb, and we increased attendance and had a larger faculty who covered a wider breadth of topics," said oculofacial plastic surgeon and SCALE co-founder Brian Biesman, MD, FACS.
A highlight of the conference was the cadaver workshop, which served as a full-face surgical anatomy and injection course designed to improve the safety of neurotoxin and dermal filler injections. It was the second year for the workshop, which was in high demand following 2018's debut.
Brian Biesman, MD, FACS
"As cosmetic surgeons, we focus on safety and how to get the best effects since you have to be particularly careful with injections from the safety standpoint," Biesman said. "Cadaver dissection is a rare opportunity outside of the university setting, and we want to continue to grow that area for future conferences."
Michael Gold, MD, FAAD
The event also included more than 130 vendors and a variety of sponsored sessions designed to showcase products and educate providers. "This has become one of the largest aesthetics and medical dermatology meetings in the U.S., and vendors realize the benefit of coming since attendees are here from throughout the world," said SCALE co-founder and dermatologist Michael Gold, MD, FAAD. He noted attendance included registrants from Mexico, Taiwan, Canada and India. "Although the meeting has grown, it still feels very intimate, and vendors have the opportunity to spend time one-on-one with meeting attendees and faculty. Some conferences are too big and busy to allow for that," he continued. Gold also credited Nashville's reputation as an "it" city for drawing SCALE attendees.
Innovation in Med-Derm
Gold said medical dermatology continues to rank among the most popular sessions for many attendees. "When it comes to medications for acne and psoriasis, we've gone from one or two to 10 or 12 in a fairly short amount of time, so we spend a lot of time educating providers on how to use those," he said.
Media coverage also seems to have piqued the national interest in med-derm. "Every other commercial now is about med-derm, so the industry has exploded. We're getting practitioners who only do med-derm who might not have attended SCALE in the past."
As an industry, progress also is being made in the treatment of acne scarring, which was of particular interest to 2019 attendees. Practitioners are now combining drugs and devices to accomplish better results. "This is an area where we are continually seeing new products and approaches, and that draws a lot of interest," Gold said.
Biesman also introduced attendees to a popular South American procedure still new to the U.S. but already available at his Nashville practice. Radiesse® is a dermal filler that is FDA approved for treatment of facial lines and folds and facial revolumization in patients with HIV-related lipodystrophy, but it is also beneficial for structural improvements of the face including the midface and jaw line. He has seen success using Radiesse in diluted doses as it spreads throughout the skin and improves quality and collagen production. He said the product has demonstrated especially promising results on the buttocks, neck, thighs and chest - areas traditionally tough to improve otherwise.
"One of challenges we always have is for people who want to improve their overall skin quality, which we can do on the face fairly well but struggle with in other areas," Biesman explained.
Meeting faculty also discussed not-yet-announced technology that is still in the pipeline but expected to make a sizeable impact on the industry. One non-invasive, technology-based treatment for cellulite holds an exceptional amount of promise, while a skin tightening device expected to hit the market by early 2020 has potential to be a game changer for patients with loose skin. Another product composed of silver nanoparticles will allow for better laser-assisted hair removal of light or white hair. Attendees also learned about the latest offering in the neuromodulator product line, a Botox-like product known as Jeuveau, which hit the market May 15.
Looking to 2020, Biesman and Gold expect to grow SCALE's scope, with continued focus on energy-based devices, injectables and medical dermatology, and enhanced emphasis on plastic surgery, while adding sessions that are both unique and educational for attendees. "We're doing a lot of upstream work and are always looking at what's coming down the road," Biesman said.
Gold added he wants to encourage local providers to make plans to attend next year's event, which is expected to be even bigger than 2019. "If you're in dermatology or aesthetic medicine, you can't afford to miss this anymore," he said. "It's become one of the premiere meetings in the U.S., and it's right here in our own backyard."