Crow's feet, dilated blood vessels, brown spots -- men don't like the signs of aging any more than women do. In the past few years, more men have opted for cosmetic procedures than ever before.
"The mindset among men today is that a guy does this to put his best foot forward. It's more of a due diligence thing than a vanity thing," says Birmingham, Ala.-based dermatologist Christopher Harmon, MD.
It may seem a peculiar American vanity that men have in-boxes full of hair loss treatment offers and spend billions of dollars on hair loss treatments each year. Not so. As Gersh Kuntzman illustrates in his book Hair! Mankind's Historic Quest to End Baldness, chrome-dome anxiety has tormented us for ages. Caesar's laurel wreaths? Classic red herring, Kuntzman says.
Baldness is biblical, too -- from the Maccabees to Samson and Delilah (a story Kuntzman calls "practically a commercial for Propecia")...
In 2012, more than a million men opted for cosmetic treatments such as injections that relax facial wrinkles as well as other nonsurgical procedures, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Here's what they're doing to turn back the clock:
Anti-wrinkle treatments. Injections of botulinum toxin type A, such as Botox, Dysport, and Xeomin, can banish crow's feet, frown lines between the eyebrows, and horizontal forehead lines for several months. They target and weaken wrinkle-producing facial muscles.
Lasers and intense pulsed light procedures. Many types of lasers can treat an aging face. Pulsed dye lasers, for example, zap dilated blood vessels (spider veins) that redden the nose, cheeks, and chin.
Soft tissue fillers. Injections of collagen, hyaluronic acid, and other substances that the body makes naturally temporarily smooth out wrinkles, plump lips, and give the face a more youthful look. These treatments last from several months up to 2 years.
Rhinoplasty. The typical man who undergoes this procedure wants a smaller, less bumpy nose, says David Cangello, MD. He's a plastic surgeon at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. His rhinoplasty patients are usually in their 20s or 30s.
Eyelid surgery. "It's a rejuvenating procedure for men who want to look younger," Cangello says. He sees a lot of men with sagging upper eyelid skin, which makes them look tired. Cangello also tends to bags under the eyes.
Liposuction. This procedure removes excess fat from specific parts of the body, most commonly around a guy's middle. "A lot of men want a leaner physique, a tighter abdomen," Cangello says.
"Have realistic expectations -- men must understand that good cosmetic treatments will make them look well-rested and refreshed but not 20 years younger or like Brad Pitt." -- David Cangello, MD
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