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Taking a closer look: Men and cosmetic surgery

Women have long dominated statistics on who’s seeking facial procedures to ward off signs of aging — but that’s begun to change.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that though American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery statistics show that about 90 percent of cosmetic-surgery patients are women, middle-aged and older men are catching up at a rate that’s nearly three times what it was 15 years ago. The article quotes plastic surgeon Michael C. Edwards, M.D., president of ASAPS, as saying that changing times account for the changing stats.

“There’s a need to work longer,” he told the Post-Gazette. “It’s not as though people can retire at 55 and fish and travel the world. They need to watch their pennies and they need to stay competitive in the workforce.”

Dr. Edwards’ Las Vegas practice caters to clients whose jobs range from bartender to high-profile performer — jobs that depend more than a little on looks.

Staying competitive in one’s career, however, isn’t the only reason more men are seeking cosmetic procedures. Pittsburgh plastic surgeon Leo McCafferty, M.D., told the Post-Gazette some of his male clients say they just want to look better. He attributes some of this to, of all things, the new technology that’s given us the ability to take the ubiquitous “selfie” any time we want.

Social media and 'selfies' influence cosmetic surgery

“There are all of these pictures and you say to yourself, ‘I look older than I feel,’ ” Dr. McCafferty told the Post-Gazette. “I think certainly there’s an element of vanity, but a certain amount of vanity is good. We need to kind of take care of ourselves.”

That goes for psychologically as well as physically, Dr. Edwards noted.

“I think the more profound effect is what comes internally,” he said. “[Patients] feel better. They’re more self-confident. They start taking better care of themselves.”

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