Billy Kidd isn’t ready for age spots.
"I’m an avid deep sea fisherman and got severely sunburned," the 44-year-old Scottsdale resident said. "These brown spots appeared on my head, and I decided that I’m a little young to have spots already."
So Kidd decided to have a PhotoFacial. The cosmetic procedure uses repetitive flashes of light from a laserlike medical device to erase brown spots, fine lines and wrinkles, dark circles under the eyes and broken blood vessels. Kidd will need between four and 10 treatments — at around $150 each — to get the maximum effect.
"I haven’t told anyone except my mother and father that I’m having this done," Kidd said. "But we’re all firm believers in any cosmetic surgery."
An increasing number of men are joining Kidd in the belief that a laser here and a needle there can make their faces look younger and give them a leg up in their professional lives. In a recent survey by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 72 percent of men approved of cosmetic surgery for themselves or other men. And in the East Valley, the number of men seeking PhotoFacials, Botox and collagen injections is skyrocketing.
"We’re seeing an increase in male patients, especially in their late 30s and 40s who have perfected their workout and nutrition routines and want to take the next step in enhancing their appearance," said Dr. Kris Morshedian of the Arizona Vein and Skin Rejuvenation Institute in Phoenix. "Normally, when people hear the terms Botox and collagen, they associate it with women, but why not men? Especially in Arizona, where sun damage to the face is so prevalent."
Morshedian estimated that men make up half of his Botox clients. Nationally, 14 percent of Botox procedures performed in 2002 were on males — a 433 percent increase since 1997.
Botox is derived from botulinum toxin type A, the bacteria that causes botulism. When injected, it paralyzes the facial muscle, smoothing it out and eliminating the wrinkle effect, Morshedian said.
Which is why the procedure appealed to 41-year-old Pete Kelly, a radio DJ known as Pistol Pete at KNRJ’s Energy (92.7/101.1 FM) in Scottsdale.
"I look at myself as a 1960-something Corvette," Kelly said. "Through the roads of life, you get get some knocks and pings and dents. So if you can pull yourself into a body shop and get a little help, why not?"
The effect of Botox — which costs $280 to $350 — is visible within four to seven days and lasts three or four months. Procedures such as PhotoFacials, Botox and collagen, which can be done in the doctor’s office, appeal to men who want results immediately and quietly.
"It’s a competitive atmosphere in the business world, and men are looking for every advantage they can get," said Scottsdale cosmetic surgeon Dr. Marc Malek. "Our society tends to be attracted to attractive people. Attractive people get better jobs and they promote more easily, so it’s important for a man to stay attractive as he ages because it influences his professional life."
But it’s not just older men who want to spruce up their looks. Jason Carlton, 24, of Chandler recently had collagen injections to puff up his lips. The procedure, which results in almost immediate results, costs about $250 to $350 and needs to be repeated every four to six months.
"One of the things I find attractive about a person is the eyes and mouth," Carlton said. "I had no top lip at all. So I went in, had a 10-minute procedure and now I have lips. It was easy."
An experienced supporting cast backed Carlton’s decision. His girlfriend has had her breasts, lips and nose surgically enhanced. His mother has had her breasts done and is preparing for her second face lift.
"I grew up with it, so it’s just part of the grooming process for me," he said. "It’s all about making yourself look good. That’s the world we live in."
Kelly said he’s seen plenty of evidence that other men have accepted that cosmetic procedures aren’t just for women.
"A lot of the work I do is in Scottsdale clubs, and 90 percent of those guys are more plucked, pruned, coiffed and waxed than half the girls I know," Kelly said. "And there’s nothing wrong with that. People just like to look good."
• Dr. Marc Malek, The Vitality Project, 8412 E. Shea Blvd., Scottsdale, (480) 596-1234 or www.vitalityproject.com
• Dr. Kris Morshedian, Arizona Vein and Skin Rejuvenation Institute, 3320 N. Second St., Phoenix, (602) 200-8346 or www.ArizonaVeinInstitute.com