January 3, 2009

Maybe you finally have the experience and confidence to be at the top of your career game.  But if you’re like many men over 40, you might feel like you’re starting to lose some ground.   A man’s fear of being edged out because he doesn’t look as young as his colleagues is very real.  More than ever, there is competition with the younger guys, and a lot of men are feeling it.  And the focus is not on changing one’s appearance, rather it is on looking well-rested, like you have the energy to go the distance.

Most procedures work for both men and women, but there are specific characteristics that should be considered in treatment of men’s skin concerns. Typical male concerns include forehead wrinkles, crow’s feet, broken blood vessels on the face, lentigines (freckles and brown spots), acne scars, perioral lines, as well as jowls and laxity of the neck and brow.  In addition, men usually consult for permanent hair removal.

Common Rejuvenation Treatment Options for Men include:

1.Multi-dimensional (3-D) Rejuvenation for Men- This combines multiple technologies to address the most frequent concerns including skin laxity, fine lines, acne scars and pigment.  These treatment options can be tailored depending on specific findings and concerns of the individual.  For example, one can begin with a treatment known as Titan – which uses infrared light to tighten jowls, sagging eyelids, facial laxity, neck laxity, and even abdominal laxity, this treatment not only tightens loose skin but stimulates the production of your own collagen even months after the treatment has been completed.  A second popular treatment that can be done at the same treatment session as the Titan is Laser Genesis- which utilizes a laser to soften fine lines and wrinkles, shrink pores and acne scars.  Laser Genesis has also been proven to stimulate the creation of new collagen, giving your face a more youthful appearance.  Finally, pigment lasers or Limelight using Cutera’s Intelligent Pulse light can be used to address problems right at the skin surface- mottled complexion, freckles and sun damage.   Together, these treatments address all of the most common conditions of aging- age spots, sun damage, fine lines, wrinkles and lax skin.  Alternatively, a person may only seek facial tightening or even an eyelid lift using non-surgical procedures.  As shown in the picture below, the Titan can be used to naturally lift one’s eyelids to give an alert and well-rested look.

2.The Pearl Laser- Using a novel YSGG wavelength, this laser by Cutera is FDA approved for addressing fine lines, sun damage and pigments, enlarged pores, and superficial acne scars in only one treatment session.  The Pearl ablates the top damaged layer of the skin, while providing deeper heating and coagulation so that the treated skin is easy to manage after the treatment, and while ensuring that new collagen is created under the skin.  Unlike other fractional devices that require up to 5 treatments to cover the entire surface of the face, the Pearl can provide results in only one to two treatments.  The example below shows the results after a Pearl treatment where lines around the eyes and sun damage have been significantly improved.

3.Permanent Hair Removal- Men and women alike are making unwanted facial and body hair a thing of the past. Permanent hair removal systems come either as an IPL or Laser, with the laser systems allowing for a safe and effective treatment of even the darkest skin types without complications.

4.Vein Removal-  Newer lasers can now treat a broad range of vessels without the need for surgery or injections.   The laser delivers pulses of light energy which cause the blood within the vein to coagulate, eventually destroying the vessels, which is later reabsorbed by your body.  These lasers can treat a broad range of vessels from tiny spider veins on the face to deep reticular veins (blue veins) on the legs.

5.Botox-  Botox treatment has a high level of patient satisfaction and is among the easiest and safest minimally invasive procedures.  In men, it is most commonly used to treat frown lines, horizontal forehead lines and crow’s feet.  In 3-5 days, you can achieve a fresher, more relaxed look.  Botox is also frequently used to contour the face giving a sharper, more angular look.  In terms of technique, men can be treated similarly to women with Botox.  Men, however, need higher doses of botulinum toxin in almost all treatment areas, because of the greater muscle mass of men compared to women.

6.HairMax Laser Comb Premium- We all know that men (and women) consider their hair as a symbol of style.  Having a full head of hair is also a source of self-esteem for both men and women, and having thick , luscious hair is another marker for youth and vigor.  Instead of taking expensive tablets, or applying equally expensive topical lotions such as minoxidil, consider this US FDA approved home device for hair growth.  Clinical Studies in both men and women of the HairMax Laser Comb Premium demonstrate an average increase of 78.9% in hair tensile strength and an average increase of 93.5% increase in hair counts.  Results were based on a 12 week study, with the use of the comb for 10 minutes every other day.  HairMax works by doing three things- 1) directly stimulating the hair follicles to form new hair shafts, 2) increase in ATP production, which is the energy source for new hair formation and 3) increase in blood flow to the hair root allowing the delivery of nutrients that are important for hair formation.

In summary, while diet and exercise can help, you can also help level the playing field with skin treatments- non-surgical medical procedures designed to give you a rested, relaxed look.  Unlike women who want treatments that help them look as young as possible, men typically want a look that is “rested, relaxed, and comfortable”.  In the US, more than 1 million men sought skin treatments in 2005.   Men who have had such treatments often report feeling more confident, more energetic, more optimistic, and less stressed in their daily interactions.  Talk to your doctor about these and other treatment options appropriate for you.