Treating Male Skin—Why It’s Different from Women’s

Treating Male Skin—Why It’s Different from Women’s

According to a recent survey conducted by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS), about 31% of men report that they are extremely likely to consider an aesthetic treatment. That translates to roughly 60 million prospective patients ready and willing to commit to the right medical aesthetics treatment plan. Strangely, though, men only account for 8% of all cosmetic procedures performed in 2017, albeit the number of  minimally-invasive procedures for men has grown over the last year, as the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) reports, and is expected to continue rising. In other words, this small but growing market segment could offer your clinic a potentially lucrative opportunity.

Before you can offer optimal treatment results to prospective male patients, it’s best to know the basic differences in treating males as compared to females, particularly the differences in skin, as this will directly impact your treatment outcomes and will earn the long-term trust of your male patients. To help your clinic better attract and serve male prospective patients, consider the following tips for treating male patients, particularly when it comes to their skin.

Male vs. Female Skin: What’s the Difference?

Male skin is fundamentally different than female skin. Male skin is naturally thicker due to hormones. Androgens and testosterone that are naturally present in higher levels in men can contribute to an increase in skin thickness of 25% on average compared to females. In turn, collagen density remains thicker. As well, with lower levels of estrogen, the decline in collagen tends to be less dramatic as a male ages. In comparison, a woman’s collagen production levels make a sharp decline during perimenopause and menopause, when estrogen levels shift. While thicker skin and higher collagen density may prevent the onset of fine lines or cellulite in most males, these factors also tend to contribute to a greater average wrinkle depth among males. It should also be noted that typical facial anatomy differences, such as skull shape and a higher muscle mass in the forehead (glabellar) region, can impact the outcomes of procedures, suggesting treatments should be altered to accommodate for these differences for optimal results.

Outside of these cellular differences, habits regarding skin care can play a role in men’s skin health and the treatments that may be best recommended to meet these prospective patients’ needs. While these factors will differ between individuals, they are certainly a consideration when treating male patients and some certainly cross over to female patients as well. To begin, facial shaving may help to exfoliate parts of the face, but regular shaving can also lead to skin irritation, a loss of skin hydration due to damage to the skin’s epidermal layer, increased sensitivity to sun exposure, and an increase in collagen degradation. Alternatively, facial hair growth can provide a slight increase in protection from sun exposure while the hair follicles offer additional firmness and structure to the skin. Thus, for males, the upper half of the face, particularly around the eyes, tends to be a greater focus for male aesthetic treatments.

How to Adapt Your Aesthetics Services to Male Patients

As MedEsthetics magazine notes, historically, men have most often sought out cosmetic treatments for enlarged breast tissue (gynecomastia), facial aging, and hair loss. However, in more recent years, the list has expanded to include hair removal and body contouring. While the same technology and applications may be used for all patients for most procedures, certain device features may assist in achieving optimal results for your male patients.

To start, due to greater skin thickness, when delivering wrinkle reduction and skin resurfacing treatments, providers can benefit from a machine like the Venus Viva that allows for more customizable treatment settings, enabling greater control over ablation and coagulation. With these features, energy is able to reach deeper below the skin’s surface (stratum corneum) for improved efficacy while balancing patient comfort. As an added bonus, the compact, table-top device can be beneficial for those clinics looking to declutter their aesthetic treatment rooms.

Likewise, body contouring treatment devices that deliver radio frequency (RF) energy to multiple depths can better reach targeted fat cells beneath a thicker stratum corneum while effectively boosting collagen synthesis. In particular, the Venus Legacy body contouring device features proprietary (MP)2 technology—a combination of Multi-Polar RF and Pulsed Electro Magnetic Fields (PEMF)—and cutting-edge VariPulse™ technology. The machine’s proprietary technology utilizes a complex algorithm to homogeneously deliver thermal RF energy to multiple tissue depths, allowing the provider the ability to quickly and safely build up and maintain heat at the appropriate therapeutic temperature for optimal results. In addition, the addition of VariPulse™ technology provides adjustable pulsed suction for more effective targeting of fat cells and deeper energy penetration below the thicker stratum corneum. 

Alternatively, men generally make for ideal candidates for aesthetic hair removal treatments. Due to higher levels of testosterone, vellus hairs—the thinner, almost invisible hairs—are transformed into terminal hairs—the coarser, darker type—at a higher rate than in women. Most often, hair removal treatments work most effectively on terminal hairs, as the technology is better able to target and destroy the coarser hair follicles for permanent hair reduction. While patients with lighter skin tones and darker hair will benefit from Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) hair removal treatments, darker and tanned skin tones can benefit more from diode laser hair removal technology. The option for smaller or larger applicator tips can also be beneficial for treating male patients, as they often seek hair removal treatments for larger areas like the back and chest, or minute areas like the neck or sideburns.

Interested in upgrading your medical aesthetics devices to better serve a growing male patient base? Reach out to a Venus Concept expert today to learn about all of your options using the link below.

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