There is a reason for the huge increase in men wanting to improve how they look.
Research shows that three-fifths of people form their opinion of someone within five seconds of meeting them and more than a third said that appearance was everything when forming a first impression.
Improving one's appearance can help with clinching a business deal, passing an interview, that first date and looking your best on your wedding day.
Acne/acne scarring: Acne in men starts from the teens and normally stops by the early 30s.
Men usually suffer the most from a severe form of cystic acne which leaves bad scars. Cystic acne is best treated with oral isotretinoin.
Acne can be cleared completely but scars take a long time to clear and never fully. See a dermatologist quickly to lessen scarring. Acne scars are treated using a combination of fractional lasers and chemical peels.
Uneven complexion/pigmentation: With age, skin loses its radiance. Some men develop darkening on the sides of the cheeks and forehead due to sun exposure.
Chemical peels are an ideal treatment because they are both effective and safe. Combining them with medical-grade creams brings out radiance and rids hyperpigmentation.
Skin tags: Mostly appearing on the neck, face, armpits and groin, these can be unsightly on the face and can be removed using a carbon dioxide laser.
Unwanted hair: Common areas are the back, chest, chin, earlobes and nostrils. There are some who ask to reduce thickness of the beard so that it is easier to shave and does not grow back by evening.
Nostril hairs can be unsightly and laser is a permanent solution. Laser treatment, unlike waxing, does not result in ingrown hair, leading to acne. It should be done before hair turns grey.
Hair loss: This is a common complaint and the cause is genetic and hormonal. Treatment is two-fold - preventing further hair loss and regrowth.
Prevention is by using minoxidil lotion and propecia if necessary. Regrowth is achieved by using a special micro infusion technique and growth is maintained by continued use of minoxidil and home therapy using iGrow, a helmet with an in-built laser that stimulates hair growth.
Sagging lower face: A sagging lower face and double chin ages you. The ideal skin tightening treatment for the busy man is Thermage as it is one-off with no downtime.
The face looks fresher due to increased blood circulation and looks slimmer and youthful due to the gradual tightening over 3-6 months. Double chins can be reduced by fat-reducing machines.
Belly and love handle fat reduction: For those unable to reduce the belly or love handles, there are machines that can destroy fat cells through either heat or cold energy.
Trusculpt is a machine that uses heat energy to get rid of fat cells while tightening loose skin. It is painless and has no downtime.
Dr Komathy Rajaratnam is the founder of The Lifestyle Clinic at 16-03 Camden Medical Centre, Tel: 6733-0788. Her articles deal with beauty and aesthetic issues relevant to the Indian body type.
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