The difference between standard dosing and personalised medicine in aesthetic medicine

Published: 16-May-2023

Personalised approaches to medicines have been gaining traction and awareness in recent years, transforming healthcare as we currently know it (1)

Too often, though, reports Nobuki Victor Okunola, Operations and Quality Assurance Pharmacist at Specialist Pharmacy,  we hear accounts of dissatisfaction and regret from patients following cosmetic procedures or treatments, and studies have shown that the most common reasons for discontent — irrespective of assessed treatments — are ineffectiveness and complications.2–5

Our aesthetic ambitions and what we consider to be an ideal experience is personal, therefore treatments that aim to help individuals achieve those goals should also be personalised.4,6

In essence, personalisation aims to improve the outcomes of treatments whilst concomitantly reducing the occurrence and severity of adverse events by considering the individual … and adjusting treatment regimens to meet their specific needs.7,8

For this to be effective, an individual must be thoroughly considered; gaining an understanding of the unique factors that may influence a therapy, such as medical and family history, lifestyle and socioeconomic background, is paramount to getting a full picture of who is being treated and what they need.9

Unfortunately, the most common medical practices and treatments contrast this and generally adopt a one-size-fits-all philosophy for the majority of patients.7,8

Standardised treatments have plenty of advantages, but licensing and guidelines for the dosing of medicines can often be restrictive in nature; and, although it’s not the sole driver, the widespread use of a standardised treatment regimen is largely based on low treatment costs.

More cost-effective treatment plans can be more easily recommended as guidelines for large-scale use in healthcare services such as the NHS.9–12

The difference between standard dosing and personalised medicine in aesthetic medicine

Such factors that result in the endorsement of a therapy are critical when a practitioner or a patient is considering treatment options, and therefore must be challenged if further advances toward a patient-centred approach to care are to be observed.

Personalising the approach towards medication, particularly for aesthetic treatments, is a modernised advancement in therapy that aims to optimise patient outcomes whilst minimising complications.

Both standardised and individualised approaches have their place in patient management; but, considering that the motivation for aesthetic medication is usually cosmetic, ensuring that adverse events are kept to a minimum must be a priority.

Provided that both patient and practitioner are happy to pursue the personalised route, it can lead to excellent results that cannot be replicated by other therapy options.

Although routine and very basic cases may not require in-depth personalisation, practitioners must remind themselves that even for standard therapies, they must consider the individual seeking treatment and work to optimise their management.


  1. M.B. Buntin, et al., “Consumer-Directed Health Care: Early Evidence About Effects on Cost and Quality,” Health Aff. 25(Suppl. 1), W516-W530 (2006).
  2. Y. Yazdandoost, et al., “The Body Image Dissatisfaction and Psychological Symptoms Among Invasive and Minimally Invasive Aesthetic Surgery Patients,” World J. Plast. Surg. 5(2), 148–153 (2016).
  3. D.B. Sarwer, et al., “The Psychology of Cosmetic Surgery: A Review and Reconceptualization,” Clin. Psychol. Rev.18(1), 1–22 (1998).
  4. H. Yang, et al., “The relation of Physical Appearance Perfectionism with Body Dissatisfaction Among School Students 9–18 Years of Age,” Pers. Individ. Dif. 116, 399–404 (2017).
  5. L.E. Watchmaker, et al., “The Unhappy Cosmetic Patient: Lessons from Unfavorable Online Reviews of Minimally and Non-Invasive Cosmetic Procedures,” Dermatologic Surgery 46(9), 1191–1194 (2020).
  6. J. Stoeber and H. Yang, “Physical Appearance Perfectionism Explains Variance in Eating Disorder Symptoms Above General Perfectionism,” Pers. Individ. Dif. 86, 303–307 (2015).
  7. G.R. Cutter and Y. Liu, “Personalized Medicine: The Return of the House Call?” Statistics in Clinical Practice 2(4), 343-351 (2012).
  8. H. Katschnig, “Modern Medicine and the One-Size-Fits-All Approach: A Clinician’s Comment to Alexandra Pârvan’s “Mind Electric” Article,” J. Eval. Clin. Pract. 24(5), 1079–1083 (2018).
  9. A.M. Mosadeghrad,” Factors Affecting Medical Service Quality,” Iran J. Public Health 43(2), 210–220 (2014).
  10. D.P. Goldman, et al., “Drug Licenses: A New Model for Pharmaceutical Pricing,” Health Aff. 27(1), 122–129 (2008).
  11. J. Appleby, et al., “Searching for Cost Effectiveness Thresholds in the NHS,” Health Policy (New York) 91(3), 239–245 (2009).
  12. F. Macioce, “Freedom of Treatment” in Encyclopedia of Global Bioethics (Springer International Publishing, Heidelberg, Germany, 2015): 1–10.

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