22 Jun It’s A Guy Thing
BY Dr Terrence Scamp
Ladies, it is a well-kept secret but I am here to assure you that men actually DO care about how they look! Of course they are unlikely to admit that to you and much less likely to admit it to their mates. However, as a worldwide trend males are becoming an increasing percentage of the people making their way through the doors of plastic surgery offices.
Body: Now being men, they are mostly looking for a simple, quick fix which is convenient, painless and has no down time. Basically… a magic wand! Sometimes it is a major life event like a divorce that makes them take a good hard look at themselves in the mirror or simply being aware of an ageing appearance in a competitive workplace. But in any event, advances in plastic surgery have enabled tailoring of procedures and interventions to better suit the male psyche.
Skin care is a good example. The young tradesmen looking around among his senior work mates and seeing a litany of skin scars, ageing changes and unattractive growths may start to think long and hard about whether or not he wants his skin to go down that path.
The male is unlikely to accept the multi-stage skin care process that is a routine part of female existence. But with modern effective cosmeceuticals an effective combination can be the simple use of a moisturising shave cream followed by an effective sun block moisturiser with perhaps topical antioxidants at night and some Retin A cream. Not only will this protect the skin from further sun related ageing changes and deterioration, but it will also help to reverse some of the signs of ‘photo ageing’ – the skin ageing changes one sees as a result of sun exposure.
Where previous sun exposure has resulted in significant discolorations to the skin with brown or red patches, a series of no down time treatments with pulsed light sources can have a subtle but distinct rejuvenative effect on the skin.
It is probably in the field of non-surgical interventions that men have most embraced the recent advances. Injectables have been particularly accepted by men due to the speed and convenience of this treatment and the absence of downtime. It helps to soften those heavy frown lines and entrenched crow’s feet.
Use of injectables to treat excessive sweating of the armpits has also been welcomed by men who don’t like their shirt dripping wet by time they walk out the door.
When facial lines have been there a bit too long they may need more than just relaxing to ease them away. Here use of HA fillers can gently smooth the area with minimal disruption to daily routines. These injections are also effective for improving pencil thin lips and ageing, deflated cheeks and the newer products are particularly applicable to men due to their minimal swelling, making the treatment less obvious.
When it comes to surgical interventions, women still outnumber men but the ratio is not as high as it once was. Men have always sought intervention for prominent ears and the excessively large or poorly shaped nose. The ability to perform these surgeries as a day patient with a rapid recovery has particularly enhanced their appeal to the male.
Men especially dislike Gynaecomastia, the over-growth of breast tissue which can occur as a result of performance enhancing steroids or may occur spontaneously. This condition may be handled by means of liposuction in some cases but otherwise can require direct excision through well-disguised incisions.
Similarly liposuction is commonly sought by males to deal with those “love handles” that seem to be resistant to diet and exercise, or to better shape the abdomen. Again, day surgery with a rapid return to activity and work with minimal discomfort is possible.
Eyelid surgery or blepharoplasty is one of the most common facial rejuvenative procedures that males request. The procedure can be done through inconspicuous incisions as a day patient and dark glasses can be your best friend for the first ten days!
Brow lift surgery these days is most commonly performed via key-hole incisions but the gentle brow elevating effect of injectables in some people has made this procedure less requested. In any event a somewhat low brow on a male doesn’t quite convey the tired look that it does in the female face.
Rejuvenation of the ageing male face and neck can require some alteration to the standard face lift incisions. This can be to prevent excessive shift of beard skin or to preserve the less fulsome male head of hair. However, again hospitalisation for no more than a single night and minimisation of bruising helps the male to fit this procedure into his lifestyle. Women do have the advantage here with their more adept use of make up, concealing long hair and the occasional scarf. Men are more likely to want to ‘disappear’ for that first week.
The art of the plastic surgery consult is to match the procedure to the individual’s needs and lifestyle, and this is especially true for men.
So cosmetic surgery? Well yes, these days, it can be a guy thing.