26 November 2008

Cosmetic surgery is not just for women, and now Botox producer Allergan has started increased marketing directly to men.

On their website, Allergan states that Botox "is certainly not just for women," and a pamphlet proudly displays American Olympic gold-medal swimmer Mark Spitz, who started using Botox this year.

Cody Lee, a small business owner in San Francisco, Calif., who had been worrying about his furrowed forehead, is one man who has embraced the idea of Botox cosmetic surgery.

"I think it's fine having some lines or wrinkles on your face, but I wanted to avoid those deep impressions," he told the Mercury News of his "wrinkle genes."

Doctors say the most common reasons for the increase in male cosmetic surgery patients include looking better for social and romantic reasons, giving in to encouragement from wives and a desire to remain competitive in the workplace.

"When we see a blip in the economy and how many people are going to be laid off, you now have a 40- or 50-year-old advertising or bank or media person looking for work," said Dr. Alan Matarasso, a plastic surgeon in New York City.

"People have a tendency to look for vibrancy and youth. At time of economic downturn you will often see greater interest. It really ranks up there with an expensive haircut."

And for men seeking more wrinkle-relief, there could be more options to come in the future. New face fillers are expected to be released into the market in 2009, breaking Allergan's Botox monopoly on the market.