With a whopping 335% growth in the number of injections performed between 2000 and 2015, has Botox become the stepping stone cosmetic procedure for men?
Over the years cosmetic surgery has generally been regarded as the sole preserve of older women and Hollywood starlets, but those stereotypes are more and more a thing of the past. Although the vast majority of patients are still female, the number of guys seeking cosmetic procedures has risen considerably, and there’s no indication this trend will be slowing down anytime soon.
Tough times for the facially challenged
Does it have anything to do with social media and the ubiquity of cell phone cameras documenting every aspect of our lives? Let’s be honest here, folks, fair or not, the age of the selfie is one miserable period of history for those who were born, um, how do you say… facially challenged.
Or is it that we’re living in a fiercely competitive age, where jobs are increasingly scare and hard to hold onto for many older guys? Yeah, for sure it’s brutal, but that doesn’t change the reality of the situation: research has proven that good-looking people do better in business and are more likely to be in positions of power than their less attractive peers.
And for single guys, losing a bit of chin fat or slimming down those nasty, ever-persistent love handles certainly ain’t going to hurt in the competition for companionship on dating sites. In fact, some sites don’t even allow ugly people, and cater exclusively to the young and beautiful.
Enter Brotox: quick and affordable, with virtually no down time
Many cosmetic procedures are more viable options now than in days past. Not only have the costs gone down, but medical science and technical improvements have significantly diminished the recovery time and risks involved.
This makes a huge difference, of course. Knowing you can visit your doctor for a minimally invasive procedure without having to take time off from work is obviously going to be a determining factor for a lot of guys.
A perfect example of this is Botox. Rarely costing more than a few hundred dollars a crack and totally do-able over one’s lunch hour, it’s not hard to see where “Brotox” appeals to a lot of guys. Yes, you read that right – the procedure has become so common among men in recent years that it’s even acquired it’s own vernacular.
There’s no shortage of arguments in favor of men going for regular Botox injections. And as guys adopt a more open attitude towards cosmetic procedures in general and become increasingly aware of the treatments available to them, it has emerged as the most popular procedure men are choosing as their introduction to cosmetic surgery.
What is Botox?
Botox is a brand name for a drug made from a toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, which as it happens is actually the same toxin that causes botulism. Not to worry though, outside of the fact that nobody’s out there actively pushing injections of a toxin that will kill you (a pretty difficult sell, by the way), the toxin at play here is inactive, which is really all you need to know so far as that’s concerned.
Botox is just the name pharma giant Allergan uses to market their particular brand of Botulinum toxin A. It’s also marketed as Dysport by Ipsen, Xeomin by Merz Pharma, and Myobloc by Solstice Neurosciences.
For cosmetic purposes the drug is injected into small concentrated areas where wrinkles appear. That’s generally the face, of course, but apparently guys are increasingly getting “Scrotox” injections, because God forbid anyone ever be burdened by a wrinkled bag.
When used on the face, Botox works its magic by preventing the release of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that triggers muscle contraction. Nerve signals are blocked from reaching the facial muscles, essentially paralyzing them for the next several months.
You see, all those facial wrinkles so cheerfully broadcasting your advanced age to the world are the result of muscles that have gotten a lot of use. Every time you smile, grimace, squint, frown, or show any expression on your face whatsoever, you are encouraging wrinkles to deepen and expand around your eyes, mouth, nose, and across your forehead. Botox changes all that by stopping lines and wrinkles from forming in the first place, and “relaxing” any existing lines.
As it turns out, the most commonly treated area for guys are the frown lines between the eyes, also known as the glabellar lines. This is because in addition to aging you, they can make it look like you’re always miserable or angry about something – not an ideal look to sport under any circumstances.
The cost of a youthful appearance
One thing that’s definitely played a role in Botox injections becoming so popular is the price. While not exactly cheap, you still get a lot of bang for your buck with Botox, even allowing for the results being temporary.
The cost will vary by the practitioner and by which areas of your face you intend to address. Don’t be surprised if the procedure costs you a little more than any of your female acquaintances. This is only because men have greater muscle mass than women, requiring larger doses of Botox to achieve the same effect. Similarly, bigger guys often need more units of Botox per treatment area than smaller-framed men.
Still, Botox injections provided by a medical professional are priced fairly consistently across North America. For the most part you can look to pay anywhere from $250 – $500 per treatment area. A vial of Botox costs approximately $15, and the number of vials you’ll need to obtain optimal results will vary depending on a number of factors.
This is not to say there’s no need to shop around, mind you, as there are other factors to consider in addition to price. In particular, you absolutely don’t want to take a chance on anyone who is not a medical professional. As enticing as they may sound, avoid Botox parties – social gatherings during which Botox injections are performed on multiple people, often by unlicensed practitioners in basement clinics or private residences. And when uncertain as to the number of vials needed, opt for the “less is more” approach.
And while some states approve the practice of allowing dentists and nurses to administer Botox, don’t forget, just because some establishments like to call themselves medical spas certainly doesn’t mean their personnel is qualified to perform the treatment. So be especially careful of where you go for your injections. Perhaps more so than with other cosmetic procedure, there’s a lot of hacks out there selling Botox treatments.
Yes, Botox is safe, but it’s also easy to get it wrong or overdo it, and even if the results are temporary, you most definitely do not want to wind up with celebrity face – that plastic, totally fake look any reader of People magazine knows all too well. Think Sylvester Stallone.
Should you decide to give Brotox a try – after all, none of us are getting any younger – make sure you discuss the look you’re hoping to achieve with an experienced injector, preferably a doctor who has experience treating male patients. You’re bound to be amazed with the results and feel a boost in self-confidence. And don’t forget to update your profile pics!