Cosmetic and restorative procedures are just as much for men as women

September 1, 2007

More and more men are opting for cosmetic and restorative procedures to enhance their features as they age

Key Points

Men have finally come into their own and are availing themselves of the same great skincare products and procedures that their female counterparts seek, regardless of age. New product lines with ingredients and formulas specifically designed for use by men have sprung up to accommodate these needs. In doctors' offices, these changes are becoming especially noticeable.

"More and more patients these days seem to be men," says Helen Torok, M.D., medical director of Trillium Creek Dermatology and Surgery Center in Medina, Ohio. "They seek out the restorative procedures that women have actively sought out for years now. It seems that often these men have been prompted by the women in their lives to take these steps, and they're very happy with the results. Because men have less resources to turn to, i.e., makeup, they have less opportunity to enhance their appearance. Cosmetic procedures can really help in this regard."

"Microdermabrasion, Botox injections and fillers, along with chemical peels, can do wonders in literally stripping away the effects of photodamage and aging. In this respect men and women are no different. For a lot of men, Botox injections in the forehead area and around 'crow's feet' by the eyes can make a huge, but subtle difference in their appearance."

Cosmetic peels come in many forms, ranging from the superficial to deep chemical peels, Dr. Torok says.

"The mildest ones are like having a wonderful, intense facial, leaving your skin looking radiant and glowing. The deeper chemical peels literally remove layers of skin, the layers that feature damage from severe acne scarring and pitting, scarring from injuries, photodamage and hyperpigmentation. Once your skin has recovered, it looks healthier and fresher.

"If a man has had a bad bout of acne in his earlier life, lasers can also be very beneficial in helping to remove unwanted acne scars, not only on the face, but the back as well, a common site for acne in men," Dr. Torok says.

"It is commonly thought that because many men shave their faces on a regular basis it helps exfoliate the skin, but for acne scarring and other uneven skin tone issues, shaving literally only touches the surface and doesn't do much to help. There are so many different types of lasers available now, that virtually any resurfacing can be accomplished in anywhere from two to six visits," she adds.

And, there are implants. Yes, those wonderful washboard abs that your man is sporting may not have emerged from a series of crunches at the gym. Men can now have "six pack" implants, giving their abdomens a tight, sexy look. They're not for everyone, however, and your cosmetic surgeon may recommend a diet and exercise before the procedure. There is also a rise in the number of men who wish to have breast reductions for gynecomastia, a problem that seems to pop up more often among teen boys and older men.

Bottom line? The world of cosmetic changes and enhancements is wide open for men. But, as always, seek a board-certified physician to speak with about what's appropriate for you and your lifestyle.