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For Straight Males, Body Contouring Is the Gateway to Botox

Men are visiting cosmetic dermatologists to rid themselves of love handles — and discovering Botox along the way.


Twenty-seven percent of cosmetic patients at Dr. Amy Wechsler’s Upper East Side office are men — that’s up from just 8 percent in 2014. The sharp rise in male patients is driven largely by Coolsculpting, the fat reduction procedure said to freeze and kill fat cells. Coolsculpting is not new — it first received FDA approval in 2010 — but began gaining traction with men after the publicly traded stock of parent company Zeltiq Aesthetics began gaining attention from Wall Street in 2015, said Laura Dyer, the physician’s assistant who oversees cosmetic procedures at Wechsler’s office. Zeltiq was ultimately acquired by Allergan last year. “Many of these male patients are men in the finance industry who became aware of Zeltiq and Coolsculpting on the stock market,” said Dyer, who noted that the Coolsculpt Mini — a smaller version of the Coolsculpting applicator that can be used on the double chin area and just recently received FDA clearance — is another fast-growing procedure for men. Most notably, Coolsculpting has acted as a gateway for men to discover other noninvasive cosmetic procedures on the market, said Dyer. “They end up coming in for body contouring or to get rid of their double chin and more than 31 percent of them end up converting to ancillary treatments.”


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It’s all about the neck at GoodSkin Los Angeles, a boutique Brentwood medical clinic that specializes in noninvasive cosmetic treatments. Men comprise 35 percent of GoodSkin’s patient base, said the clinic’s founder Lisa Goodman, a physician’s assistant. Goodman pointed out that GoodSkin has always attracted male clientele but in the past year she’s noted a 10 percent rise in straight male patients specifically, almost all of them coming in after girlfriends and wives visit the clinic. Of the male patient base, said Goodman, almost 100 percent of them opt for some kind of neck treatment — the most popular being a combination of skin tightening lasers like the Infini or Ulthera and targeted Kybella injections, which melt fat. “It’s the highest area of concern for all my male clients,” Goodman said of the neck. Kybella can be used off-label for many areas with fat pockets on the body — including the stomach, back and underarms. Kybella injections are especially popular with men, said Goodman, because there’s no downtime.”My straight male clients are more particular than my female clients about avoiding procedures with downtime,” said Goodman. “You can use [Kybella] anywhere there is fat. It can get pricey because you need a lot of vials — that’s the case with back fat [for instance] —  but I still have some clients doing it because it’s completely noninvasive.”

Lauren Abramowitz, physicians assistant and founder of Park Avenue Skin Solutions concurred that the uptick of men in her own practice — a 10 percent growth from 2016 to 2017 — is due to the increase in procedures with less downtime, especially when it comes to body contouring. “Back in the day, liposuction was the only option for fat removal and body contouring — now these machines can spot reduce and [men] are back to work the next day. They don’t feel intimidated because they don’t have [to go under].” Abramowitz targets her male clients’ biggest concern — the abs — with combinations of Kybella and BodyFX, a radio frequency technology that destroys fat cells, or Ulthera. Said Abramowitz: “It’s about the combination — it’s never just one modality or therapy.”

Coolsculpting, Kybella: Noninvasive Body Contouring for
A treatment room at GoodSkin Los Angeles. GoodSkin


At Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank’s Upper East Side cosmetic dermatology practice in Manhattan, male patients — about 40 percent of the practice — seeking body contouring procedures are “Type A, frustrated and intolerable of being able to get rid of certain genetic pockets of fat they can’t lose by dieting or exercise,” according to Frank, who noted the most popular area on the body for men to treat is the “love handle” region, along with the chin and chest. The most common noninvasive procedures Frank performs are Laser Liposuction and Sculpsure, a laser that melts fat — he prefers using heat over freezing technologies because of the skin-tightening benefits of lasers like Sculpsure that rely on heat. Laser Liposuction requires local anesthesia and about 36 hours of downtime — a “weekend” procedure, as Frank refers to it — but can garner significantly more results — about 80 to 90 percent fat removal — than a treatment with less downtime, like Sculpsure. “The noninvasive person is willing to accept whatever difference it makes because they don’t want to deal with downtime,” said Frank, who noted that more awareness and acceptance in popular culture of noninvasive procedures is driving men to his practice. “A lot of men are concerned about the jawline or double chin — if they’re told they can do something about it non-invasively it’s an easy sell,” said Frank. “Men are just as concerned with being the best versions of themselves as women, they’re just focused on different things — they want to be in the best shape or the most competitive.”