Spring is the season of change, for more than just nature, it would seem.
According to the latest data from The Aesthetic Society, in a year full of noninvasive and surgical aesthetic procedures, spring was noted as the most popular time for aesthetic treatments. Whether it’s prepping for the summer, recovering from the holidays or just remembering to take some time for you during your spring cleaning, April–June appears to be the time to treat yourself.
As you might imagine, that means that spring can be a very busy time of year for practitioners. We spoke with our expert network of dermatologists and plastic surgeons to learn more about the best time for treatment, the new normal for hot summer states and what they wish we would consider.
This year’s spring surge in aesthetic treatments may be an indication of a larger return to summer travel in a post-COVID world, according to Campbell, CA plastic surgeon Kamakshi R. Zeidler, MD. “Spring is always a popular time of year. I would say early fall is also a really popular time of year,” Dr. Zeidler explains. “And I would say just in general, we go through these cycles of preparing for big events, and then, you know, focusing on the events themselves. This year, particularly coming out of COVID, a lot of people travel this summer, like more than even the previous year.”
The return of summer travel may have prompted a return to more regular spring rejuvenation as people get ready for bikini-season.
On the other hand, though, there are areas of the country that are simply too sweltering in the spring to enjoy being outside. And according to Pasadena, CA plastic surgeon Lily Lee, MD, those parts of the country tend to see more preparation for their beach season, which is in winter.
“Normally the high season for plastic surgeons is in the winter,” Dr. Lee explains. “Most people like to do body work in the wintertime because it’s easier to hide. But here in my Palm Desert office, it’s the exact opposite.”
Summer, in these areas, is all about staying inside and avoiding the oppressive heat. “Wintertime here is peak swimsuit season,” Dr. Lee says. “And then summer is when everyone is hunkering down.”
The Right Season for Treatment
According to Pittsburgh plastic surgeon Jeffery Antimarino, MD, patients have a fairly big window prior to important events to seek many treatments. “There are things we can do if you’re a procrastinator and you want to want to see improvement in your skin quality with very little downtime,” Dr. Antimarino says. “But for even for very small surgical procedures you need at least two months’ time to heal before your event.”
Getting the timing right for a surgical procedure can be difficult, especially when you’re juggling things like a career and childcare. One season may be the first time you even remember to take time for yourself.
“I think we’ve seen a lot of procedures be delayed until after the start of the school year or after summer travel has ended,” Dr. Zeidler explains. “Surgical procedures are very busy between the spring and the holiday season as people start to come down from summer and refocus on the upcoming holidays.”
Ultimately, though, patients should be trying to think as far in advance as they can, particularly when it comes to larger body procedures. Early spring may not be enough time to fully heal.
“Summer always comes very quickly, and I don’t think patients think far enough ahead,” Dr. Lee says. “If they really want to be in a bathing suit by Memorial Day, they really need to be thinking about it around the first of the year.”
Other surgeons may encourage an even longer timeline.
“I recommend patients have a six-month-to-a-year timeline,” Dr. Zeidler says. “I tend to see patients really well in advance of these procedures, but six months is the shortest timeframe that people should be considering. That’s because there’s so much involved in recovery and looking and feeling your best.”
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