Bro-tox: Kiwi men are loving this facial wrinkle remover

By Michael Botur

There’s rather a lot of value in Botox these days –  US drug company AbbVie bought Allergan for USD63 billion in 2019.

There’s certainly demand for it in New Zealand.

The New Zealand College of Appearance Medicine estimated in 2012 that clients spent over $22 million on Botox and dermal filler injections.

 In the United Kingdom in early May, legislation was passed banning anyone under 18 from having Botox or dermal fillers for cosmetic reasons.

Anyway, here’s a quick rundown on how Kiwi blokes have ended up using Botox® and similar product Dysport®

·         In the early 1970s, US ophthalmologist Alan Scott discovered that when he injected the spores of Clostridium botulinum into the eye muscles of laboratory test monkeys, they responded well.

·         Scott established that botulinum toxin (Bo-tox) caused paralysis of only a targeted muscle, could last a decent amount of time and had no side effects.

·         Next, there was the 1987 discovery by Vancouver doctors Jean and Alastair Carruthers. According to legend Jean, an eye doctor, was treating one patient’s blepharospasm (an uncontrollable blinking and spasming of the eye and surrounding muscles) with diluted botulinum toxin (which was formerly used to treat crossed eyes). Injected into the skin, it temporarily paralysed patients’ spasming muscles. One day, one of Jean’s blepharospasm patients became irate that her forehead was not being injected.

“Your forehead isn’t spasming,” Jean said. “Why do you care?”

“Because when you inject my forehead my wrinkles go away,” the patient supposedly responded.

In 1991 Allergan acquired Oculinum and renamed its botulism toxin Botox® and its purpose became smoothing out facial wrinkles for cosmetic purposes.

Kiwi men cottoning on to beauty trend

The stuff that’s made such a difference for women for 35 years has now got the attention of blokes worldwide, including New Zealand.

Brotox is described by Auckland’s The Face Place Med Spa as “a growing trend and on the rise by around 10% every year globally.”

“An increasing number of male clients are discreetly coming to The Face Place to receive subtle treatments to soften the frown line, or ‘grumpy lines’, the horizontal ‘worry or stress’ lines on the forehead, and the ‘crow’s feet’ around the eyes,” says the clinic.

“Men have begun to adopt a more open attitude toward cosmetic procedures and have become more aware of the treatments available to them, and the age range of men being treated has widened.

“We are seeing younger men keen to start early and manage the ageing process, through to older gentlemen looking to soften existing lines and wrinkles and all ages in between. The number one thing we hear from male clients is they want to look ‘less stressed and grumpy’ – this is often key for men in professional careers.”

Botox for boys: How and why

Apparently, most guys are concerned about having resting bitch face. Seriously – most NZ Botox treatment clinics says what’s bringing men in is the desire to relax the liney, wrinkly muscles in the face and preventing further deepening of lines.

It’s about stopping the lines we create when we smile, laugh, squint or grimace from etching themselves in our skin forever.

How a man’s prick works

· Botox is injected just below the skin at strategic points on your face using a fine needle. One treatment involves several patterned injections throughout the face. Your specific injection pattern will be based on the areas of focus you have discussed with your doctor during a consultation prior to treatment.

· Healing is nearly instantaneous. The results of Botox begin to appear 3-4 days following injection. Men typically see “peak” results within 14 days.

· Each session of ‘Brotox’ is a simple 10-30 minute procedure. It involves a few tiny injections directly into the muscles your expert wants to treat.

· Results typically last 3 to 6 months.

· Your face will be closely examined for the best place to inject; Botox must be placed in the right muscle, in the correct place, at the right dose.

· The Face Place says the most common area treated is the glabella – the clinical name for the frowny area. “As well as stopping people asking you why you are angry treating this area with Botox® freshens the face and lifts the eyebrows by a millimeter or two.”

· The second most common area bros stick their Brotox is the crow’s feet lines around the eyes.

Not so much side-effects, just stuff to check before you inject

The Face Place advises ‘It is important men still retain some ‘ruggedness’ to the face, while reducing the impact of features that make them look tired, angry or stressed.’

Botox treatments are known to have minimal risks, with occasional side-effects that go away within 24-48 hours.

Some patients may develop droopy eyelids, headaches, neck pain, nausea. These are rare, though.

Consider your muscles may get too dependent on Brotox, too.

“If you do too much Botox on your forehead for many, many years, the muscles will get weaker and flatter,” Patricia Wexler told Vogue, adding that the skin can also appear thinner and looser. Moreover, as your muscles become weaker, they can start to recruit surrounding muscles when you make facial expressions.

So, Botox can potentially age you, though the immediate effects are impressive.

Come on, Dogbox: what’s the cost?

Ponsonby Cosmetic Medical Clinic can do both the glabella and the crow’s feet for 20 units of Botox® each.

At $17.50 a unit the cost for these areas is usually $350 each.

Laser Clinics can do 27 injections with Botox in a session for $351, or 41 injections for $492.

Some clinics will sign you up for weekly subscription at as little as $20 per week.

It’s an extremely common drug and there are many providers – even in tiny Stratford.

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