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The Practitioners’ Guide to Aesthetics in January

Harley Academy’s practitioners’ guide to aesthetics in January is here to help you make the most out of your time!

It’s easy to understand why the start of the New Year has built up such a bad reputation. January traditionally doesn’t have much going for it, from rotten weather and dark skies, to colds and a long wait until payday!

However, the start of the year is a good time to hit the refresh button and reflect on your goals.

We spoke to our Director of Education, and qualified mindset coach, Dr Kalpna Pindolia for her top tips for injectors looking to beat the January Blues.

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January can be a busy month for aesthetics practitioners

The New Year is an opportune time to make resolutions and set goals for the next 12 months. Frequently resolutions centre around physical aspirations. These can be anything from losing weight to toning up, with the focus on looking and feeling “better”. For some people, this means seeking out injectable treatments whether for facial rejuvenation or beautification reasons.

Whilst many consider January to be a slow month, as an aesthetics practitioner, you may even find you’re fully booked! This can happen for a few reasons:

  • The popular but potentially troubling, “New Year, New Me” marketing phenomenon
  • Appointments for Valentine’s Day treatments need to be scheduled at least 4 weeks before the 14th February
  • People trying to organise themselves and fit in appointments they’ve postponed during the festive season.

Ensure your mental health and BDD screening is rigorous

While this flow of patients is great for your aesthetics business, be mindful of the societal pressure New Year’s messaging can bring.

For some patients it can be triggering, especially for those who struggle with body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). Their reasoning for wanting treatment may be skewed as a result, stemming from shame or negative self-perceptions. This can be in addition to, or part of any existing psychological concerns.

As a medical aesthetics practitioner, there are a few ways you can assess a patient’s mental health.

Common symptoms of BDD

Most of the patients seeking aesthetic treatments are seeking a psychological boost in terms of day-to-day self-confidence and self-esteem. It becomes concerning when these worries are severe and fulfil the criteria for BDD. This includes:

  • Marked preoccupation with an imagined flaw in appearance
  • Worry about these flaws causes deficits in day-to-day function, like at work or socially
  • Repetitive behaviours like mirror checking or avoiding their reflection, picking skin
  • The preoccupation is not better accounted for by another mental disorder.

3 Tips from Dr Kal on how to screen for BDD during aesthetics consultations

These tips help with screening for BDD during the consultation:

  • Use your instinct as a medical professional! If in doubt, don’t treat
  • Utilise validated questionnaires or screening tools
  • Allocate enough time to explore psychological drivers.

Please note, that medical aesthetics practitioners are advised against treating patients with BDD. It is an absolute contraindication for treatment. Additionally, patients with BDD have a higher dissatisfaction rate. This comes from extreme psychological distress caused by treatments.

It’s also a good idea to familiarise yourself with how to gently refuse treatment. Turning a patient away at their appointment can feel daunting, however, it’s important to trust your instincts as a medical aesthetics professional.

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Cosmetic dermatology in January

Dr Kal recommends that “If you provide skin packages, these can be delivered during January as part of treatment plans.”

January, with short days and limited sunlight, is a great time to encourage any patients to start or continue skin treatments. This is especially relevant to more invasive treatments like medium-depth peels and microneedling. As there’s less exposure to UV light, aesthetics patients will have a smoother recovery.

“Pre-January, and throughout the year, it’s useful to encourage your patients to book in their next appointment, so it’s in the diary”, suggests Dr Kal. This is an excellent way to ensure patients are keeping on top of their botox, filler and skin treatments, especially as you can skew patients into using unbooked January slots

Revisit your aesthetics business goals

Not everyone will have a busy January. It’s probably not the best time to launch a business.

If you do find yourself with some downtime, this offers the perfect opportunity to revisit your business plan for the year ahead. The aesthetic medicine industry is constantly changing so it’s good to review your goals regularly.

Dr Kal notes, “More time is a great opportunity for you to catch up with administrative tasks or continue professional development. It also gives you the chance to come up with a marketing plan for the rest of the year.”

Perhaps you want to upskill and learn to administer a new treatment, such as Profhilo®. Or maybe you want to explore ways to increase your patient list with business marketing education.

Here are some questions to explore for your aesthetics career growth:

  • What are your goals for the year ahead?
  • Is there any training you want to revisit? For example, brushing up with a refresher on your Level 7 Diploma eLearning
  • What learnings from the previous year are you taking into this year?
  • How can you improve the outcomes of the treatments you currently offer? Do you need to progress to further training like masterclasses?
  • Which other treatments would you like to offer?
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Don’t be afraid to take some time off!

Dr Kal rightly stresses the importance of taking time off. “If you can, enjoy some time off,” she says. “Work-life balance is also crucial to managing your business!”

Especially if you’ve had a busy December, January may serve as an opportunity for a well-deserved break.

As January appointments can be unpredictable, Dr Kal's advice for injectors is as follows…

“Limit your costs at this time of year if you can, for example, staffing, room rental or big stock orders.” This enables you to save in some areas, in case appointments are infrequent.

Whatever you’re planning to do this January, use the time wisely! If you’re looking to develop your career potential through hands-on medical aesthetics training, book a free 15-minute session with our advisors. They’ll listen to your goals and concerns, then recommend tailored education solutions that meet your needs.

From honing your skills through our Injectables Masterclasses, to formalising your experience with a Fast Track Level 7 Diploma, or introducing Cosmetic Dermatology to your clinic, they’re here to help you feel proud of your January achievements!

All information correct at the time of publication