Practice helps men put best face forward

Botox injections have been parodied in everything from films to comedy sketches — but a local plastic-surgery practice is looking to counter that stigma, and reports that the procedure, and other non-surgical cosmetic procedures, are growing in popularity among men.

Dr. Steven Davis, based in Cherry Hill, has been in practice for more than 25 years, focusing largely on cosmetic procedures.

He said Botox injections are the most-popular non-surgical procedure he performs. Davis explained that Botox started being used to treat muscle spasms in the 1950s and about two decades ago emerged as a wrinkle-reducer.

“It really has to do with knowing what muscles to inject and what not to inject so that the non-injected muscles take over and pull the skin in a direction that’s pleasing,” Davis explained.

Davis said he most frequently performs the procedure for the brow and eye areas, as well as along the jaw line and in the neck. The injections last for up to six months.

While such procedures have largely been associated with women, Davis said Botox has been increasingly utilized by men, including many gay patients.

“More guys are tending to realize this is acceptable, time-tested, reproducible,” he said. “You can do this during your lunch hour so you don’t have to lose time from work. We have more guys in our practice right now than we’ve ever seen before.”

One such patient is Stuart May, who lives in Moorestown.

May, 48, is a former performer in Las Vegas who moved to this area about two years ago.

A make-up artist who also appears on QVC, May said he pursued the procedure not to eliminate years but rather the signs of tiredness or stress.

“I’m not trying to look younger because I’m just not going to look younger at a certain age. But I didn’t want to look tired or cross. For me, it was about looking more alert,” he said. “For a lot of people, our face in the business world and the social world is our business card, our greeting. I call it curb appeal, and I think it is. And in the gay world especially, we are judged on the way we look; to say that is not a fallacy, it’s just a reality. So I want to look the best I can.”

May said the procedure is painless. Davis numbs the area and lets the numbing medication sit for 10 minutes before beginning.

“It’s just a ‘tap, tap, tap’ and like a bee sting. There’s no bruising, no swelling. No one would even know you had it done,” he said. “It takes about six days to see the results start to happen.”

May returns for the procedure about every four months.

He said Davis works with patients to learn their areas of concern and goals for the procedure, and has a specific understanding of the male facial structure.

“He really understands male facial features and can work to keep a masculine look to your face, which I think is very rare.”

Other popular non-surgical procedures, Davis said, are facial fillers to plump up the face, which he said is especially common after patients experience weight loss, as well as CoolSculpting, a fat-reduction tool, often utilized for the lovehandle areas.

The medical advancements that have allowed such procedures to be quick, Davis added, have helped enhance their appeal to men.

“Everything can be done at lunchtime. You can go back to work and no one knows you did anything. You don’t have to take time off. That was a big thing that gave these procedures a stigma, especially with guys, when people thought it was a big process to get this kind of thing done,” Davis said. “Nowadays, the procedures are so user-friendly, which is why I think we’re seeing more and more guys take advantage of these procedures than women.”

And, Davis said, while the procedures themselves are cosmetic, his patients are often motivated by less-physical reasons.

“People want to stay active and vital in whatever they’re doing, in their community, in work. And when you’re feeling good, but look in the mirror and don’t like what you see, that can hurt your confidence. That’s what these office procedures are about; they create a feeling that you have an edge about you, you can go out and do what you need to do and accomplish what you need. They promote a better self-image for what you’re trying to achieve. You want to look the way that you want to come across.”

May echoed those sentiments.

“I’m not trying to look 30; I like my salt-and-pepper hair. I don’t want to look tired and, when I don’t, it gives me the confidence to go out and feel good about myself.”

For more information about Davis Cosmetic Plastic Surgery, visit www.daviscps.com.