Social acceptance of Botox treatments has grown immensely over the last 2 decades. As the social stigma continues to decrease, Botox has seen a particular growth in popularity among men who are embracing the procedure in the pursuit to look their best.
According to a report by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, over 250,000 men received Botox treatments in 2020.
Men are usually interested in Botox to fight signs of aging and wrinkles but get concerned on costs, effectiveness, and side effects. We here at West 34th did the research to provide a 101 guide on Botox so men can see if Botox is a fit for them:
What is Botox?
Botox is a drug primarily made of a neurotoxin designed to block nerve signals and is injected into muscles as part of a cosmetic procedure. When applied in small quantities, it can be quite effective at treating fine lines and wrinkles on the face.
Additionally, Botox is applied to treat a wide range of disorders including eyelid twitching and teeth grinding. In fact, it has been approved by the FDA for cosmetic applications since 2002.
How Does Botox Work?
Botox procedures are typically done at a medical spa or a doctor’s office by an experienced professional. The procedure involves a series injections into targeted facial muscles.
Once injected the neurotoxins that make up Botox work to block the neurotransmitters behind certain muscle groups. This leads to the face muscles in the injected areas to stay relaxed, reducing the appearances of wrinkles and fine lines. In other words, Botox can get rid of wrinkles by stopping certain muscle contractions in your face from creating them.
Botox treatments usually take 15-30 minutes to administer although frequency and time depends on the desired result and the size of the targeted areas.
What is Botox Good For?
Botox is good for tackling signs of aging on the face particularly around the eyes, on the neck, around the mouth, and on the forehead. Frequent usage of muscles in those areas tend to cause loss of skin elasticity and the formation of wrinkles.
People tend to use Botox around the eyes to get rid of eye bags (wrinkles under the eyes) and crow’s feet (fine lines that form on the edge of the eyes). Botox can also lessen the appearance of lines and wrinkles that form across the forehead as well as sagging skin on the neck.
Using Botox to remove wrinkles around the mouth are commonly requested by people who smile frequently which is why they are nicknamed laugh lines or smile lines. Smiling uses a lot of muscles around the mouth and accelerates loss of skin elasticity, particularly on the corners of the mouth or the upper lip.
It is important to note that Botox may only reduce the appearance of aging, fine lines, and wrinkles and not completely get rid of them. Still, there is usually always a visual improvement.
How Much Does Botox Cost?
Most health insurance companies don’t cover Botox applications when used for cosmetic reasons. However, it is important to check your insurance policy in case there are any exceptions.
Without insurance, Botox is charged by the number of injected units required and each injected unit typically costs $11-13. You can likely expect your first treatment to cost between $300-600 but costs can go as high as a few thousand dollars depending on how extensive the treatment is and how many units are applied.
Fortunately, follow-up visits tend to need less Botox and thus tend to cost less, especially if the initial treatments have shown to work.
Does Botox Wear Off?
Botox generally takes 1-2 weeks after injection for full effect and typically show its best results 3-6 months after. However, the targeted facial muscles recover neurotransmitters over time and the Botox wear off unless follow-up treatments are done.
There are benefits to long-term usage of Botox since the severity of the wrinkles tend to decrease over time as the treatment is repeated. This is due to the targeted facial muscles weakening from lack of use as a result of being frozen by previous Botox treatments.
Is Botox Safe?
When administered by a licensed professional and in small quantities, Botox is safe for most people hence its FDA approval. Botox is not the other way to get rid of wrinkles but has proven to be quick, effective, and relatively non-invasive.
Precautions do need to be practiced to ensure the Botox is safely applied. It is recommended to avoid alcohol and aspirin up to 2 weeks before the procedure. On the day of the procedure, make sure you avoid rubbing the facial area applied and minimize exercise.
Certain people react poorly to Botox as well so it is important to first consult a medical professional to determine if Botox is right for you. For example, men allergic to milk protein from cows should not use Botox. Botox is not a fit to get rid of all wrinkle types.
Does Botox Have Side Effects?
Botox has extensive research behind its safety and effectiveness. It is considered generally safe with limited health risks when properly administered.
However, users have reported side effects that range from mild to severe with most on the mild side which go away within a few days. Mild side effects for Botox includes bruising, headaches, dry eye, numbness, feeling sick, and droopy eyelid.
What Age is Best to Get Botox?
Botox is approved to be used by patients who are 18 and older. While there is no right age to get the treatment, getting Botox in your 20s is generally not needed unless the goal is to prevent wrinkles from forming at all. It is never too late to start either as getting Botox in your 40s and 50s can be just as effective.
Each person’s skin profile and goals are uniquely different so it is difficult to generalize the best age for you to consider the procedure. However, experts tend to see people inquire about Botox in their 30s since that is the age range most start to see aging in their face.
Alternatives to Botox
For men who find Botox to be too costly or risky, there are several non-invasive and cheaper alternatives to getting rid of wrinkles without surgery.
1. Anti Aging Creams
There are over-the-counter moisturizers and creams that can effectively fill in fine lines and reduce wrinkles when applied on a regular basis.
Make sure to find creams that contain retinoids and hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid hydrates the skin while retinoids produce collagen which supports skin structure. The best features of anti aging creams are that they’re relatively cost effective and can be safely used at home.
You can refer to our blog post here to help find the right skincare routine.
2. Chemical Peels
Chemical peels can improve the appearance of wrinkles by removing older, outer layers of face skin. According to this study performed in 2010, the procedure allows the newer skin produced by the body to surface which tend to be smoother and less wrinkly.
During a chemical peel, a mixture of chemicals are applied to the skin to create a controlled wound that promotes new skin growth. However, the procedure can be painful and users often experience temporary burning sensations as a result.
3. Laser Treatments
For those who want anti aging treatments that are more intensive than topicals but not invasive, consider laser treatments. Laser treatment technology has improved considerably over the last few years and can treat a number of skin conditions including dark spots and wrinkles.
However, costs for these treatments are still quite high and according to a survey from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, skin laser treatments can cost up to a few thousand dollars.