Cosmetic Medicine: who is and who isn’t

Cosmetic Medicine is dedicated to prevent, treat and rehabilitate patients in biological and pathological processes that interfere with proper development of aesthetics in human being. Asociación Científica Colombiana de Medicina Estética - ACICME (Colombian Scientific Association of Cosmetic Medicine) was created with the purpose of grouping doctors specialized in this area
Author:
Dr. Juan Diego Rivera MD

Cosmetic Medicine

In order to make a medical discipline recognized and accepted as a speciality, three elements are required:

It must have its own conceptual base
Scientific contribution
Social acceptance

Cosmetic (Aesthetic) Medicine has fulfilled these requirements, so it has been accepted as a medical speciality in many countries.

In Colombia, cosmetic medicine has been a polemical subject, since there was not an academic program endorsed by a recognized medicine faculty, which in part has propitiated that some doctors and auxilliary professionals without an adequate knowledge have started to practice this branch of medicine that, as any speciality, requires study, training and experience. Because of this, many patients, without knowing it, have become victims of some pseudo-specialists, and have ended with terrible complications. Besides, many people don’t understand that there are big differences between this speciality and others such as Plastic Surgery. Aesthetic Medicine is mostly oriented towards clinical treatments, while Plastic Surgery focuses on surgical procedures. Nevertheless, experience in other countries has demonstrated that coordinated work between these two specialities can yield enormous benefits for patients looking for improvements in their physical aspect and quality of life.

Doctors who specialize in Cosmetic Medicine are dedicated to prevent, treat and rehabilitate patients in biological and pathological processes that interfere with proper development of aesthetics in human being, focusing on treating aging process on skin and face, cellulite, skin flabbiness, stretch marks and localized fat deposits. Overweight and obesity are other pathologies treated by cosmetic physicians. Laser is a valuable tool used for cosmetic purposes. It can be used in removing hair, removing tattoos, stimulating skin renewal, improving scars, and to eradicate superficial blood vessels. Other fields of action of Cosmetic Medicine are: preparation and recovery of soft tissues before and after plastic surgeries, and skin recovery from acne, old injuries or mistreatment.

More than ten years ago Asociación Científica Colombiana de Medicina Estética – ACICME (Colombian Scientific Association of Cosmetic Medicine) was created with the purpose of grouping doctors specialized in this area, in order to improve positioning of this discipline among all medical specialities in Colombia, while opening academic space for a Cosmetic Medicine post-graduate program. ACICME is supported by Union Internationale de Medecine Esthetique (UIME), which is the highest level, oldest world organization for this specialization, which only supports one scientific association per country.

ACICME members in Colombia are increasing every day, and they have gotten important achievements in scientific and academic fields. Some of its members have been invited to important conventions around the world. Their researches have received important acknowledgement by international scientific community and have been published in important magazines. Some other ACICME members are authors of books or documents that are used as guide book in several other countries post-graduate programs and have been nvited to teach in such programs. Additionally, since 1998, developes a continuated medicla education program to help its members to keep updated and in a permanent academic activity. In 2000, a score acreditation program was implemented, which demands ACICME members to participate in scientific events, make research, and publish information about their work, in order to accumulate points which will allow each member to get a yearly certification, issued by association’s scientific/academic committee.

ACICME has made several high scientific leve national conventions and symposiums , where colombian and many different countries doctors have converged as attendants and speakers. It has presented many treatment and procedure protocols, which are the guidelines for doctors belonging to the association. Such protocols are developed based on scientific knowledge approved by international medical community.

As it can be perceived, Asociación Científica Colombiana de Medicina Estética – ACICME, has taken very seriously all the work involved in positioning a new medical speciality in our country.

It is important to clear that in Colombia, AESTHETICISTS ARE NOT DOCTORS. Their training and law 711 / 2001 only allows them to perform NON INVASIVE PROCEDURES such as massages, lymphatic drainage, facial cleaning and use of equipment that doesn’t penetrate patient’s skin. They can not perform invasive procedures such as meso-therapy, implants, etc.

Always remember that any treatment must be made by a physician who has been trained in Cosmetic Medicine.