Healthy Living: More men are embracing cosmetic surgery

When it comes to looking better and younger, it’s not just women embracing cosmetic procedures. 

Studies show a growing number of men are getting nipped, tucked and plumped as well. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, Botox is the most popular, minimally-invasive procedure among guys, with nearly 420,000 men receiving the treatment in 2015.

And that’s not all they’re getting.

48-year-old David Butler has been coming to see dermatologist Dr. Melanie Palm for the past three years. He’s a husband and a father of three very active young boys.

David, who works in real estate in San Diego, says he may be getting older, but he doesn’t want to look it.

"I’m interacting with people all the time and when I look good, I feel good. I’ve had treatments for sun damage, sunspots. I’ve had filler to fill in the gaps and I’ve had Botox around the eyes just to kind of keep it fresh, so the smile lines don’t show as much," he said.

Now, David is getting some more freshening up with Botox — or "Brotox" — as Dr. Palm calls it when treating the guys.

There’s a similar product called Dysport, or "Dudesport," that does the same thing.

It’s a protein derived from a bacterial toxin that’s injected into the skin and paralyzes the muscles, creating a softening of facial expression, making wrinkles disappear.

"This generational gap we’ve had with women doing cosmetic procedures and it’s becoming more acceptable. It’s starting to happen that way with men," said Dr. Palm.

The plastic surgery and dermatology societies say between 9 and 12 percent of their patients are men, something Dr. Palm has seen in her own practice.

"I’m seeing a lot of significant others come in because we’ve made women beautiful and it’s a dirty little secret and sometimes the husband or significant other gets the word out," Dr. Palm said.

"Absolutely it was my wife who suggested it. I don’t know that I would have had it in me to do it on my own," David said.

So what are the guys coming in to fix?

"The top 5 are eyelid, nose surgery, face surgery and doing something on the body," Dr. Palm said.

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons’ reports for the first time even men account for more than 40 percent of aesthetic breast reduction surgeries.

"No moobs! We like our men to look good on San Diego beaches and we can do that with little to no downtime," Dr. Palm said.

These days, there’s an easier and less painful way to remove back hair with the laser. A strong jawline is a desired trait in men. One common request is getting rid of a double chin. That can be achieved over time with an injection called Kybella, that dissolves fat away.

Dr. Palm said when it comes to cosmetic procedures in men, it’s important to use restraint.

"I tell my men I want to keep my men manly. They should have a few lines and creases. That’s what makes them masculine. We want men to look great for their age, fresh for their jobs, good for their partner and that should be the aim of these prosthetic procedures," Dr. Palm said.

It’s working for David, who receives compliments regularly about his youthful appearance. 

"You walk out of the office and within a day or two, you see the results and it’s dramatic," David said.

Here are some tips to consider before taking the cosmetic surgery plunge:

  • Be sure your doctor is board certified in plastic surgery or dermatology
  • Ask how many procedures they’ve done
  • Look at before and after photos so you can see their artistic style
  • Cosmetic procedures are not covered by insurance and they’re not cheap

Related Articles