The term “gold standard” is often used to define something that has been recognized and tested not only as effective, but premier in what that something claims to do. Often, the “gold standard” is a way to measure something new against another that's tried and true.
In our area of practice, Laser Dermatology, this term is used more often than it should be. It can be overwhelming for consumers to try to figure out which laser is best at treating their particular skin condition. A laser that is FDA-approved for a particular treatment does not necessarily mean that it’s the gold standard. Unfortunately, there is a very low hurdle required for FDA approval when it comes to efficacy versus the higher hurdle for safety.
At Celibre, we believe in offering only treatments that have been proven to be safe and effective as evidenced by research, consumer and practitioner feedback and more importantly, by our own experience. We are firm believers that safety and efficacy can go hand in hand. Unfortunately, we see many practitioners that trade one for the other by using devices that are very safe (read "FDA Approved" but not very effective).
It’s not unusual for the media to promote the “newest” latest and greatest laser or to profile a media savvy doctor that offers these treatments. While it’s tempting to be lured by the excitement associated with new equipment, consumers should beware of unproven technology. Many practitioners within the aesthetic practice industry will promote their technology as being effective for numerous conditions. We liken this claim to a printer, fax, copier concept. A printer, fax copier is a jack of all trades bu master of none. In contrast, at Celibre, we use over 20 different lasers so that we may be very specific about choosing a laser for a particular skin type and condition. Because of the breadth of the technology we use, we can reach for the "gold standard" laser for the conditions we treat, rather than relying on the "printer fax copier" type machines. It is for this reason that our lasers are powerful, precise, safe, and effective.
The term “gold standard” may be used by those facilities that have no better option – thus, it’s their own gold standard. We promote the gold standard should only refer to a higher standard set forth by best practices and outcomes and generally recognized as such by experts in that particular field and based on unbiased research.
Lori Haney, RN, MEP-C
Certified Medical Laser Safety Officer