Shakespeare said clothing “oft proclaims the man.” But for face and body, more men are using cosmetic dermatology.
Terrence Keaney, the founder of W for Men, the world’s first clinical practice dedicated to male dermatology, said he saw a 20 percent increase in male patients from 2013 to 2014 alone.
“Men are becoming what I call ‘cosmetically conscious’ because of social media and knowing women who’ve done similar procedures,” said Keaney, who is based in Washington, D.C.
Although the men still lack the fervor of their female counterparts, Robert Anolik has noticed a similar jump in male patients at Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York.
“Every year I have more men coming into my office for cosmetic treatments,” he said. “These dermatologic procedures are becoming viewed by men as a method of self-enhancement, like eating well, wearing nice clothes or going to the gym.”
The key difference between the genders, Keaney said, is that “men are more gun-shy.” They prefer procedures that aren’t invasive or time-consuming and have minimal side effects.
Here are problem areas that can be addressed relatively easily:
Love handles and front belly fat
The fix: CoolSculpting is based on the fact that fat has a slightly lower freezing point than water. The applicator uses vacuum pressure to freeze fat cells, which are eliminated naturally by the body. You’ll feel a cold sensation for the first five minutes, then go numb.
“It’s not a weight-loss treatment, but something great for guys who are in shape and exercise but have a trouble spot,” Keaney said. The procedure doesn’t work miracles, but he predicts “a 20 to 30 percent improvement in your bulge after one treatment.”
Time: 60 minutes per cycle
Broken capillaries, redness or rosacea
The fix: With a laser, “I’m able to target multiple forms of redness, which typically includes pink discoloration and dilated capillaries,” Anolik said. The laser “targets hemoglobin in a blood vessel, and creates heat to close the vessel off so it eventually goes away.”
There are no health risks because the vessels are “superficial and not medically necessary.” The best results come after three to five treatments, four to six weeks apart.
Time: 10 minutes
Facial wrinkles, sun spots
The fix: Cosmetic dermatologist Paul Jarrod Frank, founder of 5th Avenue Dermatology Surgery and Laser Center in New York, uses a laser to deliver heat within the skin, which triggers damage and then “subsequent replacement of the damaged skin by microscopic exfoliation” via tiny scabs that eventually slough off. The skin looks red for a couple of hours and feels like sandpaper for a few days. Some results can be seen after one treatment, but most dermatologists recommend four to five monthly treatments.
Time: 10 minutes, in addition to 15 minutes of topical anesthesia/numbing cream
Veiny or mottled hands
The fix: Hands lose volume and elasticity over time, making underlying veins more prominent. New York City dermatologist Neil Sadick injects multiple amounts of Radiesse, a volumizing filler, under the skin on the hands, and gently massages it in. A treatment can last nine to 18 months.
For age spots and sun damage, Keaney uses a laser that targets pigment and injures it while leaving the surrounding skin intact. The dark spots will turn darker and rougher as the skin turns over, but it eventually will come off like scabs. Sometimes it works with a single treatment; others require more.
Time: 10 minutes
The fix: Your face isn’t the only place for the injectable Botox, which blocks nerve signals that lead your glands to sweat.
“This procedure is one of the safest and most effective standards of care for excessive perspiration and for those who are sensitive to deodorants and antiperspirants,” Frank said. A single treatment can reduce sweat for six to eight months and has no negative side effects.
Time: 15 minutes, in addition to 20 minutes of topical anesthesia/numbing cream
Under-eye bags or hollows
The fix: The injectable filler Juvéderm is made up mostly of hyaluronic acid, which your body produces naturally (it’s what keeps your skin smooth and plump). Results are immediately noticeable. Anolik “injects it fairly deep, underneath where the bag is, to help lift it in a broad way so there’s no visible lumps or bumps.”
Clients must return every six to 12 months to maintain results.
Time: 10 minutes
(Note: Juvéderm does not endorse this procedure because it’s not FDA-approved, but it’s a common practice among dermatologists.)
Sagging jaw line, turkey neck
The fix: EndyMed is a radio frequency technology that helps tighten slack, loose skin. According to Sadick, “EndyMed heats deep layers of the skin, 1) to tighten the collagen you already have, and 2) to stimulate new collagen production.” One to three treatments might be needed, with a maintenance session every year or two.
Time: 15 to 20 minutes