Infographic Friday: It’s the Economy, Doctor!

Perhaps you heard the little news item earlier this week that the Dow topped the high it set in 2007 when it closed at 14,253 on Tuesday. Needless to say, the new record was welcome news from Wall Street to Main Street.

Whether you’re invested in the market or not, it should be considered good news for aesthetic professionals, as well. Why? Because as this infographic from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) shows, the economy plays a major role in people’s decisions to pursue plastic surgery.

Infographic economic factors asaps

Of course, it’s hardly surprising that people delayed or postponed procedures while dealing with the aftershocks of the Great Recession. Job insecurity, limited discretionary income and the likelihood that their procedure wouldn’t be covered by insurance all conspired to make aesthetic consumers think even longer and harder than usual about their options.

Nor is it surprising that cost represents the third most-cited consideration among patients. Among the thousands of questions we receive at RealSelf, inquiries about prices are near the top of the list and there’s no escaping the fact that patients consider overall cost a major factor in their aesthetic decisions.

What may come as a surprise — fortunately, a pleasant one — is that people are starting to feel more confident about their financial well-being, which, in turn, is contributing to an uptick in cosmetic procedures. As we reported here last month, the increase is showing up more in minimally invasive procedures than in surgical ones but, as long as the economy remains healthy, the latter will likely follow suit in the years to come.

In fact, considering that 59% of the respondents in the ASAPS survey said they’d delayed or postponed a procedure and 70% of those said they would delay it between seven months and two years, we wouldn’t be surprised to see that increase start showing up any day now.

About Rob Lovitt

Rob Lovitt is a longtime writer and editor who believes every good business has a great story to tell. He has written for dozens of magazines and websites, including NBCnews.com, Expedia.com and the inflight magazines of Alaska, Horizon and Frontier airlines.

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