Irish men are keeping up appearances
Increasing numbers of men are opting for minimally invasive procedures such as Botox, fillers and fat-reducing treatments in order to stay looking fresh
Another popular treatment, particularly among young male professionals, is miraDry. Photograph: iStock
While LA may forever be the spiritual home of Botox, its popularity is no longer exclusive to the US west coast. Closer to its more literal home, its manufacturing plant in Westport, Irish men are increasingly turning to Botox and other products in an attempt to keep up appearances.
“Cosmetic procedures have certainly grown in popularity with men,” says Dr Peter Prendergast, medical director of Venus Medical, who now performs male facial and body aesthetic procedures on a daily basis.
Operating in south Dublin, Prendergast suggests that up to 20 per cent of the clinic’s patients are men, who tend to be in the 25-55 age bracket. “We have even changed the look and feel of our clinic from pink branding colours to a modern white and grey to enhance the experience and be welcoming to both men and women,” he says.
Men are seeking cosmetic enhancements in a range of areas, with facial procedures staying in high demand. UK data, from the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, shows rhinoplasty (nose correction), along with otoplasty (ear correction), and blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery) remain the most popular surgical procedures for men. The latest figures show a slight drop in men going for these procedures, and a rise in men going for non-surgical options, such as fillers and skin-tightening.
“Botox and fillers are the most popular procedures men are having for their faces,” says Prendergast. “There are important differences in the way we administer these treatments for men and women, though, in order not to feminise a male face or vice versa, and keep it looking natural. A strong chin and jawline is a particularly attractive trait for men, so I perform this regularly for men using safe, non-permanent fillers, providing an instant result that lasts about a year.”
Newer procedures, such as CoolSculpting, a non-surgical ‘fat-freezing’ method which breaks down fat cells and is often used to reduce fat in the neck, arms, and lower back, have also become popular with men. Excess fat on the chest is also a common problem that Irish men are seeking treatment for. “I see men from all over the country who are bothered and embarrassed by prominent male breasts, sometimes for years,” says Prendergast. “This is called gynaecomastia. Up to one third of men have some degree of gynaecomastia, a condition that usually represents residual breast tissue since puberty, often exacerbated by the accumulation of fat in the area that frequently extends around the chest towards the armpits.
“These men are often surprised to learn during the consultation that it can be treated in about one hour under local anaesthesia, giving fantastic results and allowing the patient to go home straightaway afterwards with a quick recovery,” says Prendergast. The treatment uses VASER ultrasound-assisted liposuction to remove the tissue and contour the chest, a technology which is also routinely used to shape up the abs and waists of men at the clinic.
“Although it is normal and nothing to be ashamed about, many men are anxious and embarrassed about the appearance of their chest and will not take their top off or wear tee-shirts,” says Prendergast. “It’s very satisfying to be able to reassure these men and tell them with confidence that we can treat this very effectively if they really want to.”
Another popular treatment, particularly among young male professionals, is miraDry. This one-hour treatment is delivered under local anaesthetic and reduces sweat production in the armpits by destroying the sweat glands with waves of thermal energy.
“This treats excessive underarm sweating, or axillary hyperhidrosis,” says Prendergast. “It’s an extremely effective procedure that gives a significant and permanent result after one or two procedures. MiraDry has largely superseded treatments such as botulinum toxin injections or surgery due to its efficacy and track record as a safe, minimally invasive FDA-approved technology.”
It would seem men are certainly becoming more open to having cosmetic procedures, particularly since an increasing number of minimally invasive options come to the market. “Men are more aware of the options available to them and are less reserved when it comes to staying and looking fresh,” says Prendergast. “Some men are encouraged by their partners to have a treatment. Most continue treatments once they see for themselves how these procedures can be quick, effective and look natural when performed properly by an experienced medical professional.”