Self-improvement without the gender bias.
In our hypercritical society, it seems unheard of to meet a woman – or a man – who doesn’t dislike some aspect of their appearance. If dieting, exercise, shapewear, masks, creams, and potions have let you down, solutions may lie in professional procedures.
Botox is a drug used to treat a spectrum of medical problems. The drug is often used to help treat issues that range from migraines and hyperhidrosis (excessive underarm sweating) to muscle spasticity in stroke survivors, and of course, to combat cosmetic issues like wrinkles.
Helen Tergin, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist at Central Missouri Dermatology and Mohs Skin Cancer Surgery, is a Jefferson City native and University of Missouri School of Medicine grad who routinely uses Botox to help patients achieve a more youthful appearance.
“Botox is an FDA-approved treatment to soften frown lines, crow’s feet and forehead lines, and is a quick and minimally invasive technique that can be done in the office,” Tergin says.
She also points to the fact that treatment takes about 10 minutes, and results are seen in 24-48 hours but can take up to two weeks for full effect and last 3-4 months with minimal downtime and side effects.
The majority of Tergin’s Botox patients are women, who seek treatment for wrinkles as early as their 20s, but she also treats men who are after rejuvenation by injecting Botox to their frown lines and forehead lines.
“Botox benefits anyone regardless of gender,” Tergin says.
She encourages people of all ages to set up a consultation for Botox to learn how they may benefit.
Do your legs ache, swell or feel heavy or restless? Or do you have unsightly spider veins or thick, ropey veins in your legs? Dr. Chandra Prasad of Genesis Laser and Vein Center says that while these unsightly veins may seem like a cosmetic issue, it’s actually a sign of vein disease.
“Vein disease is not about what you see, but rather, about the circulation in your legs, it’s about having too much blood pooling in your legs.” Men and women alike can suffer from vein disease, and Prasad says that aging, genetics and lifestyle all play a role.
For women, pregnancy hormones also contribute to vein disease. Prasad treats lots of women with vein disease, and finds that men often dismiss the symptoms. This can include hair loss on the lower leg, tiredness and cramping that they may attribute to long days on their feet in work boots, for example. But because vein diseases can increase your risk for blood clots, leg infections, and sores, he works to educate people about vein health.
“It’s about staying well. It’s far better to prevent illness than to treat it,” Prasad says.
He notes that exercising regularly improves blood circulation (especially for people whose jobs entail long hours of sitting), while smoking and obesity worsen it.
Prasad has a variety of tools in his arsenal to treat vein disease from lasers to injections to vein sealants that cause diseased veins to shrink and collapse. Patients undergo a thorough medical exam and an ultrasound to look at the veins to determine the best method of treatment.
“It’s not a cosmetic procedure, it’s a medical procedure and needs to be handled as such,” Prasad says, adding that insurance often covers treatment, which usually requires more than one session of treatment to resolve.
Compared to the more invasive surgical procedure of vein stripping that was typical 20 years ago, today’s modern treatments are painless, cause no scarring, take 60 to 90 minutes, and require no downtime.
Whether you’re a man or a woman, chances are you have unwanted hair somewhere. And if shaving and waxing leaves you with knicks, ingrown hairs or razor burn, you might want to consider permanent hair removal. This can be achieved with a laser at New Skinsations by a licensed esthetician like Shelby Thoenen.
New Skinsations uses the Venus Versa laser hair removal technology, which uses intense pulsed light (IPL) that selectively and precisely targets the pigment in the hair follicle beneath the skin’s surface without damaging any of the surrounding tissue. The pigmented hair within the follicle absorbs this light energy and builds up heat, which damages the hair follicle beyond repair, rendering it no longer capable of growing hair. It is painless and requires no downtime.
Women often seek laser hair removal for unwanted facial hair above the lip and on the chin, as well as the underarms and bikini line, but many men also seek hair removal options.
“We get quite a few inquiries from men,” Thoenen says, “with men wanting to remove hair from their back, chest, and face for easier beard maintenance.”
Treatment times vary depending on the size of the area, with the back or chest taking around 30 minutes, versus 10 minutes for underarms or the bikini line. During a single treatment, only follicles that are in the active growth stage can be destroyed. Since hair grows in stages, multiple treatments are necessary to permanently reduce all or most of the hair from an entire area. Very light blonde or gray hair, especially if it is fine, can be more difficult to treat with the laser because it has less of the pigment that the laser is looking for, but unlike waxing, you don’t have to wait for the hair to grow out before laser treatment.
Treatment usually requires six to 10 sessions, spaced four to six weeks apart, with treatments ranging from $75-100 each. And because hormonal changes that occur naturally may cause a resurgence of hair in treated areas, New Skinsations offers an adjusted rate for touch up sessions if needed.
While cosmetic or plastic surgery may seem like a service reserved for the wealthy or reality TV stars, Dr. Caleb Steffen, a board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon at JCMG Aesthetics, sees men and women who can benefit from plastic surgery for both reconstructive and cosmetic purposes.
A common procedure is breast augmentation in women who wish to enlarge their breasts, but Steffen also regularly treats men who have excess breast tissue due to a condition called gynecomastia.
“I see a lot of men who tell me they are embarrassed to take off their shirt at the pool or go to the gym because of gynecomastia,” Steffen says.
For this, Steffen uses a liposuction technique called Vaser 4D Hi-Definition Liposculpture, which he says is like sculpting tissue the way you would sculpt wood or stone.
“The Vaser device melts the unwanted fat, separating it from the nerves and blood vessels so a liposuction cannula can remove it with as little trauma as possible,” Steffen explains. “With this technology, [I] can recreate the natural contours of the masculine chest, including the pectoralis muscles in a minimally invasive fashion. This is the same technology used to improve abdominal definition for women and reveal the ‘six pack’ muscles for men.”
Surgical facial procedures are also commonly seen for anyone. They can include nose jobs (rhinoplasty) for reconstruction following trauma or for people who think their nose is unsightly. Otoplasty, or ear pinning, is a procedure to treat prominent ears and is most commonly sought by men. Eyelid lifts (blepharoplasty) are one of Steffen’s most popular restorative facial surgeries and says facelifts are more common in women, but they are gaining in popularity among men as well.
Steffen stresses the importance of doing your homework when choosing a plastic surgeon.
“A plastic surgeon’s job is to optimize the body’s form and function from head to toe. It is important to choose a surgeon who is board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery because you can be assured that your surgeon has the highest level of training and qualifications,” Steffen says.