Top 5 Myths About Men and Botox

Botox is big. Major. Huge. At least for women. In 2011, 2.5 million women got injected with the magic wrinkle juice. By comparison, a tenth of that number, or about 225,000 men opted for Botox in 2011. But unlike the women, they're pretty quiet about it.

The secrecy surrounding men and Botox leads to a lot of misinformation and miscommunication. As a plastic surgeon in San Francisco's financial district, I see high-powered men in my office all the time who are interested in Botox but who are worried about the pain or strange results. Here are the most common myths about men and Botox.

#5 - Botox Will Make You Look Frozen or Feminine

Despite the brand name of Botox Cosmetic, Botox is not makeup. Nor is it a substance that will give you soft, shiny or supple skin. Women wish for all those things, but Botox doesn't make it happen. If you're rugged, you'll still be rugged after Botox. You'll just look rugged and younger.

Botox works by weakening your muscles with a neurotoxin. It gets injected directly into the muscles that cause wrinkles, like those vertical lines between your eyebrows or the train tracks running across your forehead, in tiny amounts called units. Just a few days later, your muscles can no longer make those wrinkles.

A skilled plastic surgeon will inject just the right muscles with just the right amount of Botox, leaving you with fewer wrinkles but plenty of movement to look natural. So don't worry. All those years of manly living won't disappear.

#4 - Botox is Expensive

Well, sorta. But compared to what? A nice watch? Tailored suit? Steak dinner for four business men? Botox costs less than any of these things.

As job competition increases, you've probably gone to some lengths to make sure you're wearing nice shoes and driving the right car. Yet who can be sure that anybody is looking at your shoes? But they're all certainly looking at your face. A few hundred dollars will assure you months and months of looking like yourself - just a slightly better version of yourself.

#3 - Botox is Not for Straight Men

Nope. This one is just wrong. Botox is BY FAR the most common cosmetic procedure for men, followed by laser hair removal and liposuction.

250,000 men got Botox. That's a LOT. Why? Simple. Because it works.

I have male patients from all walks of life. From athletes and artists to high-powered brokers and attorneys and everything in between, Botox is used by all kinds of men. Most of them have seen how it works for their wives and girlfriends before coming to see me.

#2 - Botox Requires Too Much Time

Wrong again. For my patients in the financial district of San Francisco, they can be in and out of my office in 15 minutes. Nobody knows they got Botox (no red bumps, no bruises, nothing), and they still have plenty of time to eat lunch. Full results will be evident in 4-7 days.

#1 - Botox is Too Painful

Now you men are pretty tough, right? Well, except when it comes to needles. That's okay. That's why women are the ones to have the babies.

But truth be told, Botox is not painful. When people think about needles and injections, they usually think of a flu shot or a tetanus shot. Those hurt! And to think about getting one of those in the face, yeah, that's unnerving.

But Botox is not like that at all. Those type of shots use big needles with a fairly large volume of medication. Botox uses the tiniest needle you've ever seen and a very small amount of liquid.

To further reduce any pain, I numb my patients' skin before we begin. I work quickly. And I use an ice compress as soon as I'm done injecting. Voila. Easy peezey lemon squeezey. In short, most men describe it as nothing more painful than a mosquito bite.

If you're a man who would like to discuss Botox with a man (who also happens to be a board certified plastic surgeon), please give my patient care coordinator Caroline a call at 415-354-8148.

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