Throughout history, women have eclipsed men in the quest for eternal youth. But though they may be less likely to seek it out, men aren’t exempt from the signs of early aging–or the toll it takes on their confidence.
Fortunately, Botox–a treatment so popular it’s been used by an estimated 11 million people worldwide–is starting to get the male sector’s attention. In fact, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons found that the number of men getting injections has increased by 337 percent since 2000!
In celebration of the fact that more men are embracing this non-invasive form of cosmetic rejuvenation, we at Barrett Plastic Surgery wanted to give you the scoop on “Brotox.” If you’re ready to join the ranks of the fresh-faced guys who don’t look a day over 29, here’s everything you need to know.
What Exactly Is Botox?
Botox is the medicinal brand name for botulinum toxin type A–the bacterial toxin that causes food poisoning. Small doses, injected by a board-certified plastic surgeon, can safely relax muscles by blocking the chemical signals that cause them to contract. As a result, frown lines and forehead grooves are temporarily reduced to the smooth, flat planes of yesteryear.
If it sounds a bit crazy to inject bacteria into your face, know that Botox has a long history of safely treating a variety of medical conditions. Migraines, hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) and urinary incontinence have all been improved by administering botulinum toxin type A. It is also used to treat medical conditions that cause muscle spasms and tremors, including multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, eye twitching and cervical dystonia, a painful condition where the neck contracts involuntarily.
Botox that targets signs of aging is explicitly known as Botox Cosmetic, to distinguish from its medical uses.
What Kinds of Wrinkles Does Botox Treat?
The type of wrinkle you want to target–and whether it is dynamic or static–will determine the best procedure for you. Botox effectively reduces the signs of dynamic wrinkles, but what exactly does that mean?
Dynamic wrinkles are the lines that form by using your face to express emotion, like when you smile, squint or frown. These wrinkles usually form on the upper portion of the face. They include horizontal creases across the forehead, vertical indentations between the eyebrows (frown lines), and subtle wrinkles in the corners of the eyes (crow’s feet). Botox can also be used to soften lip lines, lift the corners of the mouth, and diminish skin bands around the neck.
What Botox can’t address are static wrinkles. This type of wrinkle is typically the result of collagen depletion in the underlying skin structure. As collagen decreases over the years, skin loses its elasticity and begins to sag. As it does this, lines form around the nose, mouth and chin. Botox doesn’t work on these creases, but Dr. Barrett offers a full line of dermal fillers that do. If you have multiple areas in need of treatment, you can opt to have both types of injections performed in the same appointment.
Does Botox Hurt?
The needle utilized for Botox injections is tiny, and the quick nature of the procedure is designed to maximize your comfort. Most patients–even those who hate needles–find Botox injections quite tolerable, eliminating the need for anesthesia beforehand. However, if you are concerned about pain, Dr. Barrett and his team can apply a topical numbing cream to the treatment area beforehand. Just plan to spend an extra 20 to 30 minutes in the office if you choose this option.
What’s the Recovery Like?
Because the procedure is minimally invasive, there is no real recovery to speak of. Dr. Barrett will encourage minimal exertion for the first few hours after your treatment and may advise you to avoid alcohol for a night or two. Otherwise, you can return to your normal activities immediately following treatment. There will be few telltale signs you had a procedure done, although mild bruising can occur in some cases. If you do experience soreness afterward, cold compresses can relieve the discomfort.
While you’ll likely see immediate improvement, the injection’s full effects will appear in approximately two weeks. Most patients enjoy a renewed complexion for three to four months, so be sure to ask Dr. Barrett about a treatment program during your visit.
Now that you know how convenient and effective Botox can be, we think you’ll agree that women shouldn’t be the only ones having all the fun. Barrett Plastic Surgery is here to give you the little boost you need to get your swagger back, so call 310-598-2648 today to schedule your consultation and find out if Botox is right for you.