'Brotox': why more men are going for touch-ups and makeovers in Dubai's cosmetic clinics

Modern demands to keep looking young are driving more men to choose procedures and surgery

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More men are embracing cosmetic surgery and turning to facial injections to keep looking young.

Clinics that specialise in botulinum toxin — known as Botox — have said demand from men is now almost as high as from women.

The neurotoxic protein works by preventing the release of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine from nerve endings, causing flaccid paralysis.

Some clinics in Dubai even advertise the service as 'brotox', a term coined by lifestyle magazines.

When I started out in 1990 men accounted for 5-10 per cent of my clients. Now men make up 30 per cent of our client base
Dr Maurizio Viel, London Centre for Aesthetic Surgery Gulf

Dr Maurizio Viel, a cosmetic surgeon at the London Centre for Aesthetic Surgery Gulf in Dubai Healthcare City, said demand for Botox from men had more than trebled.

“When I first started in 1990 in London, men accounted for around 5-10 per cent of my clients,” Dr Viel said.

“I moved to Dubai in 2008 and the numbers were already rising and now men make up at 30 per cent of our client base."

He runs the centre with his twin, Dr Robert Viel.

“It is a trend. Men look at how great their wives or girlfriends look and know it is safe," Dr Viel said.

“Women generally take better care of themselves here, and have a different lifestyle that is less gruelling so they have time for themselves in many cases.

“Now, more men are admitting among their Botox brothers that they are doing it, and that encourages other men to give it a go.”

Six years ago the twins Dr Maurizio and Roberto Viel opened the London Centre for Aesthetic Surgery and they have seen a rise in Plastic surgery in Dubai the recent years. The twins are pioneers in certain fields of plastic surgery and they are now seeing higher numbers of men coming through the clinic. Saturday 04.04.15. Anna Nielsen for The National *** Local Caption ***  AnnaNielsen_04.04.15_the London for Aesthetic Surgery_03.JPG

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the neurotoxins used in the procedure typically take effect after about five days, but in some cases final results may not be apparent for up to 10 days after an injection.

To prepare for the treatment surgeons cleanse the area to be injected, then mark it with an eyeliner.

A numbing cream or ice pack can be used on the face before the desired muscles are injected.

Small bumps often appear at the injection site but these, along with mild bruising, usually disappear quickly ― after about 24-48 hours.

The effects usually last for between three and four months and typically cost from Dh1,500 per injection site.

Dr Viel said attitudes towards male cosmetic surgery had changed, with more pressure on men to look good.

“Twenty years ago if your dad had said he was going to moisturise his face you would have laughed at him, now everyone does it," he said.

“Men dyeing their hair was also stigmatised until quite recently, now it is normal.

“Men don’t want to transform, they just don’t want to age — we all want to look young for as long as possible.”

Most popular procedures

It is not only the desire to look good that motivates some men to choose Botox injections.

Some are turning to the toxin to relieve stress related issues like migraines or bruxism, a condition in which a person grinds, gnashes or clenches their teeth.

If severe enough, bruxism can lead to jaw disorders, headaches, damaged teeth and other problems.

As a treatment for bruxism, Botox works by freezing the masseter muscle responsible for jaw tension.

It relieves tension in facial muscles responsible for the paid and damage caused by the condition.

DUBAI , UNITED ARAB EMIRATES : Nov 11 , 2013 :- Dr Sanjay Parashar , Plastic Surgeon at his office in the Cocoona Clinic on Al Wasl road in Dubai. ( Pawan Singh / The National ) . For News. Story by Ramola
 *** Local Caption ***  PS1111- SURGEON07.jpg

Dr Sanjay Parashar, a plastic surgeon at the Cocoona Centre of Aesthetic Transformation in Dubai, said the treatment was in demand.

“Men are under a lot of stress in this age, trying to balance work and families so these factors can develop into these kind of health problems,” he said.

“The most interesting trend in Botox is for migraine and tension headaches, particularly in men.

“We inject into the neck and shoulder muscles. It is also effective for those with bruxism.

"There are various stress factors or psychological pressures that cause these issues, so botulism can relax the muscles — it is a different use of Botox that we are finding more common for use in men.”

Other popular treatments requested by men include stem cell hair treatments for baldness, liposuction to remove fat from around the waist and flanks and male breast reductions.

“Men are a lot more open to explore the possibility of cosmetic surgery and discuss it with their friends,” said Dr Parashar.

“It is a trend we have seen steadily increase with demand for these kind of procedures.”

Updated: September 24, 2022, 12:52 PM