Botox: Not Just for Girls

When it comes to Botox/Dysport injections, men have historically been ignored as potential candidates. But there is a growing trend that deserves attention: Men are seeking Botox & Dysport treatments and for things you might be surprised to hear about. Affectionately termed “Brotox”, I have seen an increasing number of men who regularly come in for their treatments.

Like many medical discoveries, the use of Botox/Dysport for the treatment of facial wrinkles was serendipitous. Originally developed as a purified toxin for use in the treatment of muscular disorders of the eye such as strabismus, BotoxⓇ now has 9 FDA approved indications ranging from axillary hyperhidrosis (excessive underarm sweat) to bladder dysfunction as well as the obvious use in forehead lines. Going forward, I will be using the term neurotoxin instead of using the famous brand name Botox/Dysport in this blog. In addition, please note that I will be discussing “off-label” use of neurotoxins (uses that are not FDA approved).

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So, why are men seeking neurotoxin treatments? One of my first male patients wanted to fix a twitch in his left brow that was causing jurors to question his credibility as a litigator. He quickly discovered that just a few units of neurotoxin were able to make the twitch disappear for 3 months. It has been about 5 years since I first started treating him, and he never misses an appointment. He is my most reliable toxin patient, and if you ask him, I would say he is extremely satisfied with the results. It doesn’t hurt that he looks great for his age given that he has had regular treatment for half a decade now.

View more before and after photos

Other men come in seeking relief from TMJ, or temporomandibular joint dysfunction, aka “lockjaw”. This condition is exceedingly common, but only some patients have pain. My patient was told by his dentist that he could benefit from neurotoxins to help prevent the grinding that was leading to him wearing down all of his molars, especially on the left side. With the use of neurotoxins injected into his masseter muscle, his TMJ flares has significantly improved, and he doesn’t grind his teeth as much either. This particular patient is on the heavy side, so he also reaped a side benefit of looking like he lost 10 pounds. (Treatments to the masseter muscle result in slimming of the facial contour.)

In a third example, I have a male patient who comes in for treatment of forehead lines, an FDA approved indication. With statistics showing that the rise in injectable cosmetic treatments over the years since product launch is leveling off, Allergan, the Dublin-based company that owns the rights to Botox, has launched an advertising campaign targeting a new demographic…men. It makes sense that this patient happens to be part of the millenial generation, which supports that the awareness and acceptance of men seeking cosmetic treatments is definitely changing with the younger generations. Now that millenials are achieving financial independence (and some wrinkles to go along with it), Allergan’s efforts to capture that market are obvious. On their website, https://www.botoxcosmetic.com/Men, Allergan addresses the common myths that men have about Botox treatments.

To summarize, if you are a male and still reading this, please know that you are not alone. I get questioned frequently from men who are interested in looking younger, better, less angry, or who have unique concerns such as excessive underarm sweating or TMJ. My advice: Seek a consultation with a board-certified dermatologist (or plastic surgeon) so that you can get the information you need. If you desire to move forward with treatment, this also ensures that you will minimize any chance for an adverse outcome. Just remember to keep an open mind and to ask questions until you feel comfortable. Neurotoxin injections are safe, but only when performed by a qualified healthcare professional.

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