The skin care segment has shown tremendous growth and emerged as a potential investment area for players in recent years. From treatment of common skin care diseases, the skin care industry has evolved to the age of cosmetic and anti-aging treatments. The overall skin care market is expected to grow with the rise in demand of various skin care services. Factors like global warming, anti-aging solutions, new product innovations, growing media influence, etc. are driving this market. Boosted by growing consumer demand, rise in disposable incomes, lifestyle related disorders, craze for cosmetic surgeries, obsession for young-looking skin, low cost of treatment, and booming medical tourism, the skin care market in India is likely to expand and emerge as a potential investment area for players.
The market for anti-aging solutions has also become vibrant in India with rising concerns about beauty and looks. Nowadays, more young people are visiting doctors and dermatologists to improve and maintain their youth. The craze for cosmetic surgeries has put India among the top five countries in the world to perform surgical procedures like Lipoplasty, Rhinoplasty, and Bhleroplasty, etc. The demand for non-surgical procedures like Botox, Hyaluronic acid treatment, and laser hair removal is also very high.
The prevalence of skin disease in India is 10 to 12 percent of the total population with Eczema and Psoriasis being the major contributors. Due to pollution, ultraviolet light, and global warming, photosensitive skin disorders like tanning, pigment darkening, sunburn, skin cancers, and infectious diseases are increasing at a faster pace. A one percent reduction in ozone leads to a two to four percent increase in the incidence of tumors.
The growth and future prospects in the skin care market have forced drug companies to tap the opportunity of selling over the counter (OTC) drugs by bringing novel compounds in and by selling the products of international players under a licensing agreement.
According to Ankit Goyal, Program Manager, Healthcare Practice, Frost & Sullivan, "The ecosystem for skin care treatment is witnessing a great change in demand patterns. Gone are the days, when skin care was limited to treatment of common skin diseases. The emergence of cosmetic and anti-aging treatments has changed the face of the skin care industry. The number of these cosmetic procedures is expected reach 18 to 20 lakh by 2015 in India. In 2013, with prevalence rate of 10 percent, the population affected across India from skin disease is estimated at nearly 15.1 crore. It is estimated that at a CAGR of 12 percent about 18.8 crore people is likely to suffer from skin disease by 2015".
During the past five years, there has been a considerable growth in the Indian cosmetic/aesthetic surgery industry. The demand is high in urban regions like Chandigarh, Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bangalore, and Pune.
Goyal further opines, "Skin disorders are among the most common diseases in school children in both developing and industrialized countries." He adds, "The severity of growing skin diseases in India is further emphasized by the fact that the World Health Organization (WHO) has included skin disease under the most common non-communicable diseases in India. In addition, there is a lack of facilities that provide comprehensive skin related treatments under one roof." The situation is further worsened by the low availability of dermatologists in India. At present, there are about 6,000 dermatologists catering to a population of over 121 crore. This means that for every 100,000 people, only 0.49 dermatologists are available in India as compared to 3.2 in many states of the US."
Various tertiary care private setups lack the capability to treat chronic, genetic and pediatric skin ailments. In addition, their ability to provide comprehensive derma pathology and immunopathology units is also limited. Non-surgical cosmetic services provided by standalone skin care centers cater to only a small segment of skin treatment and a particular segment of the society. Hence, there is a dire need of comprehensive skin care setups providing all skin care treatments under one roof.