As aesthetic medicine continues to become more mainstream, two significant mega trends have developed. Practices are reporting a steady increase in males actively seeking anti-aging and cosmetic procedures and a rise in requests for non-surgical feminine rejuvenation procedures.
While females still make up a large majority of the aesthetic patient demographic, anywhere from 10% to nearly 50% of a practice’s patient base are men.
“Definitely more men are seeking aesthetic solutions,” expressed Gregory P. Mueller, M.D., F.A.C.S., a plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills, Calif., who will co-moderate The Art of Male Aesthetics Symposium, along with Terrence Keaney, M.D., F.A.A.D., a dermatologist in Arlington, Va. This session will take place during The Aesthetic Show’s (TAS) pre-show educational program on Thursday, July 5, 2018.
At the practice level, most referrals of male patients are made by girlfriends and wives.
“Male-to-male peer referrals are the most effective, but the most challenging to build,” Dr. Keaney noted. “Men are often reluctant to reveal that they had a cosmetic procedure to their male friends or colleagues.”
While there is no real variance in how procedures are performed on women versus men, differences exist in the anti-aging or cosmetic goals, and the ways in which practitioners address these needs to satisfy both genders.
For example, “the use of injectables to restore youthful facial features is important to both men and women, but women care more about the cheeks and lips, and for men it’s more about the eyes and jawline,” said Dr. Keaney.
“In addition, men often seek body contouring, especially in the submentum and abdomen, as well as non-surgical hair restoration with platelet-rich plasma,” he continued.
Other popular procedures among the male patient base include gynecomastia and penile enhancement. Penile enhancement is a growing niche; however, currently most of the procedures being used are experimental.
While rejuvenation of the genital area has become considerably more popular with both men and women in recent years, most of the advances in techniques and technologies, including clinical studies and FDA approvals, have been made in energy-based vaginal rejuvenation.
The top trends in women’s intimate health include any non-invasive treatment option that improves both the function and appearance of the vagina.
“Women’s pelvic muscles go through a great amount of trauma throughout pregnancy, childbirth and even aging, causing the pelvic floor muscles to weaken and no longer function properly,” said Shelena C. Lalji, M.D., an OB/GYN and medical director of Dr. Shel Wellness & Medical Spa (Houston, Texas).
“When this happens, women experience laxity and incontinence, as well as a change in the appearance,” she continued. “This typically leads to sexual dysfunction and/or a decline in sexual desire. Oftentimes, this results in a loss of self-confidence, feelings of embarrassment and a tailoring of their lives according to this.”
Oscar A. Aguirre, M.D., a gynecologist in Edgewood, Colo., Has enthusiastically embraced non-surgical methods.
“I was roundly criticized by colleagues who asked how I could offer these treatments. What I found though, is that not every patient is a surgical candidate and a lot of prospective patients do not want the downtime associated with surgery.”
Dr. Aguirre saw a great demand for treating vulvovaginal aesthetics and other non-medical indications since OB/GYNs are not trained to look at the sexual or aesthetic aspects.
“While you would think the first step would be for a patient to ask their gynecologist or women’s health specialist if there is something that can be done regarding their concerns, for the cosmetic or plastic surgeon it is an easier discussion to have,” Dr. Aguirre said. “They do not see the patient as someone who is vain or has psychological issues. They understand her concerns and that her body has changed.”
Easy-to-use energy-based technologies (RF, laser, CO2, ultrasound) have put vaginal rejuvenation on the radar for a lot of practitioners. All systems claim to offer minimally or non-invasive procedures, little to no downtime and very little pain, if any.
Techniques using energy-based devices can be very effective, said Julene Samuels, M.D., F.A.C.S., a plastic surgeon in Louisville, Ky. “Many patients can benefit from less invasive choices. The chances of keeping them from considering surgery could be very high,” she said.
At the practice level, the problem is not a lack of technology, but rather how do you bring up vaginal rejuvenation during the consultation?
“For us, performing these types of treatments and getting great results is easy,” Dr. Mueller expressed. “The biggest challenge is in the conversation. You don’t want to make a person feel uncomfortable during the consult.”
Physicians interested in learning more about the best procedures and practices to grow their male patient base should explore The Art of Male Aesthetics full-day symposium. Leading experts will explore topics ranging from consultation approaches to clinical treatment options and approaches, such as non-surgical gynecomastia and hair restoration, to marketing approaches and revenue growth.
Those interested in the rapidly expanding subject of women’s intimate health can attend The Art of Feminine Rejuvenation Symposium full-day session taking place during TAS’s pre-show education session on Thursday, July 5, 2018. Where thought leaders will provide attendees attendees with valuable insight on non-invasive and minimally invasive women’s intimate health and vaginal rejuvenation procedures.