I'll Have What My Friend Had
Just like one pair of jeans may fit someone perfectly, the chances of that same pair being right for the next person that walks through the door are, well, pretty much zero
One of the most important factors in considering an aesthetic treatment is what it will do for your skin. The same treatment that helped a friend may or may not be the best treatment for you. I can't tell you how often people ask for something familiar to them or something they know about through a friend's positive experience.
On the contrary, treatments should be tailored around what is best for a patient- not necessarily what "their friend had" or what is trending at the moment. Now of course, there are important exceptions. I emphasize that while a treatment someone's friend did (and loved) may actually be a great choice for them, it is our job to determine that and go over the best options for each individual patient.
As physician assistants and nurse practitioners, I believe we have the unique job to go the extra mile to make sure we are really educating patients. I find that by taking the time beforehand you avoid miscommunication and provide the most realistic expectations for patients.
I ask patients what they would like to improve and listen to their concerns. While it seems like such a simple concept, it is easy for a provider to make recommendations based on what our eyes see without also satisfying the patient's desires and not our own. Many patients come wanting to know what we would recommend. While they want a professional opinion on what they could do to look better, I still think it is important to establish their desires to make sure at the end of the day they are fully satisfied. For example, if a patient is asking about fillers to improve their nasolabial folds (like their friend just had and loved) but they state that what really bothers them are the fine lines around their eyes. Be sure to then educate them on how Botox and great skin care could actually be a better option for them. Use a mirror and show the patient. Have them look on as you describe what the different products do and where they are used. Many people (even those who have had treatments done before) do not know how things like Botox or fillers work. All it takes is a few moments of your time and I guarantee it goes a long way with patients.
Moral of the story, as a provider be open to treatments that bring patients in. However, always keep in mind that no two patients are exactly the same and it is our job to educate a patient if there is a better option for them to address their specific needs.