Wrinkles, forehead creases, crow's feet, bunny lines... these are worrying lines, and not just for the women. An increasing number of men are going in for anti-ageing treatments like Botox in order to look good at the workplace or even to match their partners in physical appearance.
And the age for treatment for men starts as early as 35. The reasons include the increasing pressure to look good and premature wrinkles due to high stress levels, say health experts.
"An increasing number of men between 35 years and 60 years are opting for Botox procedure to fight the signs of ageing. Over the past five years, I would say, the demand has increased almost 200 percent," Navin Taneja, director of the National Skin Institute in New Delhi, told IANS.
"The majority of men are executives between 40 and 45 years," he added.
Botox is a natural, purified protein that relaxes wrinkle-causing muscles, giving the face a rejuvenated and youthful appearance. It is injected by a simple non-surgical procedure.
"The protein called Botulinum type A (Bot-A) is injected in the facial muscles, which stretches them and reduces wrinkles and sagging skin. The effects last for about 6-8 months," said Mumbai-based dermatologist Satish Bhatia, of Cooperage Clinic.
"Botox can be used to relax the forehead lines, frown lines, crow's feet, bunny lines, gummy smiles, and for reshaping eyebrows and jaws. The whole procedure takes between 15 and 30 minutes and is not painful at all," he added.
"For men at the top management level, their job profile is such that they always have to look fresh and good, and with so much stress and hard work often frown lines appear on the face. A lot of such men are coming to us and asking for removing the frowns," Taneja said.
Women too are one of the reasons why men are paying attention to their appearance, doctors say.
"With women becoming conscious about their appearance with growing age, many men are going for the treatment to complement their partners," Taneja said.
Even men in the showbiz industry do not hesitate to accept that they have had a Botox jab. Music mogul Simon Cowell and actor David Hasselhoff have confessed to using the treatment in the past.
"Yes, I've had Botox, but not in an obsessive way. Every guy I know who works has had it. It's no more unusual than toothpaste," Cowell said.
For Ankit Tondon, 40, who works as a senior relationship executive at a private bank, it is important to be presentable.
"I had started developing wrinkles due to high stress levels, which bothered me a lot. I work in an area where I have to regularly deal with clients, and I know it is important to project a happy and cheerful look. So I decided to undergo the treatment," he said.
However, the treatment also has some side-effects like allergy, though cases are rare.
So what precautions should be taken after a Botox treatment?
Not bending forward or lifting objects from the floor, regular facial exercises prescribed by the doctor, and facial massages for at least a week after the procedure are essential, doctors say.
Also, men above 60 who take aspirin, and want to go for the procedure, should stop taking the drug four to five days prior to the treatment.
"Botox will continue to be popular as people look to fight signs of ageing," said Meenakshi Agarwal, a Mumbai-based cosmetic surgeon.
Asked if there is any difference in the procedure for men and women, she said except for more units of Botox required for men, the procedure is similar.
The cost for the treatment starts from Rs 6,000, and varies according to the number of units used.