The common body image issues men hide from women, and how to fix them

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From a young age, we’re exposed to a certain ideal physique that all of us women should strive for. Think of all the Barbie dolls you once had (or still have) in your collection – long, straight hair, perky bosom, cinched waist, mile-long legs, or the countless celebrities sharing with you the “secret” to their slim figures…

However, have you ever wondered if men have similar body insecurities like we do? Well, the short answer is yes. Even if they didn’t play with Barbie’s partner, Ken, they would’ve been exposed to it from a formative age or have the images of buff men with six-pack abs ingrained in their minds.

Just think of all the male A-listers flaunting their chiselled figures on films or the sportsmen that your man idolises. It’s safe to say that men are bombarded with images of the ideal male body as much as women are badgered with hourglass-figured women every time we scroll through social media.

But while women are always on the lookout for the next fad diet or quick slimming solution, men tend to be more impassive about their body insecurities.

How Men Suffer In Silence With Their Body Negativity

While some researchers say men are typically more satisfied with their physical appearance than women, many others purport that they struggle with body image anxiety just as much as women with the lingering feeling of being either too thin or too heavy to meet the male ideal.

And it’s not just the body that men worry about. There’s also a constant lingering fear of their hair not being thick enough, acne overwhelming their face (men’s skin has been proven to be oilier than women’s, thus more prone to breakouts), their muscles not as well-defined, or their bodies too big or too fat. Psychologists also shared that some men may even lie about their height or their genital size to make themselves feel more adequate, yikes!

But instead of engaging in frequent body surveillance like what most women are brainwashed to do, men tend to either deal with it quietly or even succumb to their body dissatisfaction. According to studies, those who recognise that professional help is needed still tend to seek treatment less frequently or hold off on treatment longer due to stigma or what people may think if they get help.

Dr. Ivan Puah, medical director of Amaris B. Clinic, has been seeing an increasing number of male patients enquiring on treatments to improve their body and self confidence.

“I have noticed that amongst the male patients, 20 to 25% are young adults who have serious body confidence issues. They are shy and inexpressive, often exhibiting signs of no confidence and extremely low esteem,” says Dr. Ivan Puah.

“They avoid eye contact and are uncomfortable going shirtless during examinations. I’ve also encountered instances where some of them teared up as they shared the reasons behind their sense of low self-esteem. There is just a sense of helplessness in them.”

In order to achieve their body goals without professional assistance, many resort to abnormal eating behaviours, such as calorie counting, cutting out certain foods/food groups, avoiding social events and functions that involve food, just to name a few. These men exhibit an extreme fear of being fat or of any weight changes and often see atypical eating disorders as a solution to their problem.

With the constant exposure to bulging biceps and powerful pecs in popular culture and on social media, plenty of men also fall back on substance abuse as their coping mechanism.

Meanwhile, those who want to look well-built may even turn to extreme exercising or risk their health by using anabolic steroids to speed up the effects. Where women diet in a dangerous way to achieve their desired figure, men regard usage of anabolic steroids as one of the routes they can take to “level up” their bodies.

Apart from a ripped physique, men are also more commonly concerned about gynecomastia, also known as “man boobs”. So what is the most effective way to take care of men’s body insecurities and give them the body that they’ve been longing for?

How To Tackle “Man Boobs” Effectively: Gynecomastia Surgery

Common Male Body Image Issues - Man Looking In Mirror

Gynecomastia, or more commonly referred to as “man boobs”, is a medical condition that affects 65% of male population worldwide. Whereas a normal male chest is flat with small nipples, “man boobs” are more rounded with nipples that appear puffy due to abnormal breast tissue development and for some cases, accompanied by enlargement of fatty tissues.

Apart from the physical appearance, men struggling with gynecomastia may also experience symptoms such as tenderness of the breast and swelling of breast gland tissue.

Research has found that common causes include genetics (yes, it can be hereditary), hormonal imbalance, certain medical conditions, ageing, side effects of taking certain medications for a prolonged period of time, usage of anabolic steroids, and excessive alcohol intake.

Gynecomastia is classified based on the tissues components involved. “You have true gynecomastia when only glandular tissue is the cause of your male breast enlargement. Mixed gynecomastia is the most commonly seen in my years of practise, and that is when both fat and glandular tissues are the cause. Lastly, although rare, pseudogynecomastia is due to the presence of excess fatty tissues without the involvement of glandular tissues”, explains Dr. Ivan Puah.

To get rid of the female-like breasts effectively, you can consider a gynecomastia surgery with a certified doctor who can advise you thoroughly from start to finish.

“Based on my experience, each gynecomastia case is unique, and the surgical approach should not conform to one-type-fits-all. During the assessment, I’ll carefully consider the degree of the gynecomastia, and glandular tissue-to-fat ratio and thereafter propose an individualised approach for the patient. Ultimately, my aim is to reduce breast size by removing fibrous and painful tissue and/or fat tissue to restore a natural-looking masculine body shape, with the smallest possible incision,” says Dr. Ivan Puah.

Having undergone dedicated training in gynecomastia surgery in the US, Dr. Ivan Puah further refined his surgical skills and developed a unique 360-degree Glandular Tissue Dissection (360°GTD®) technique for gynecomastia surgery.

Creating only endoscopic-like incisions that are no larger than 4mm, he performs the dissection carefully following the glandular tissues. Through these tiny incisions, he is able to effectively reduce the invasiveness of the procedure, leaving minimal scarring when the surgical site is fully healed.

Those with fatty tissue enlargement of the breasts will require additional work via VASER Lipo. Delivering ultrasonic energy that specifically targets fat cells and breaks them down, VASER Lipo is able to get the job done with minimal disruption to the surrounding connective tissues, blood vessels, and nerves.

Following that, the liquefied fat will be siphoned out using a suction tube and Dr. Ivan Puah will further contour the chest with a specialised VASER cannula to create a more sculpted look. You’ll be glad to know that the skin around your chest will be visibly firmed up, courtesy of VASER Lipo’s ability to stimulate collagen production.

How To Remove Excess Fat For Men: VASER Lipo

Dieting and exercising may not be foolproof methods to get rid of those pesky wobbly bits in certain targeted areas, but you don’t have to despair as there are clinically effective and safe approaches that you can count to send fat packing: body contouring procedures such as VASER Lipo.

In the market since 2007, VASER Lipo is an advanced fat-eliminating procedure that sculpts the body by utilising ultrasound wave technology to break down fat cells into fragmented and liquefied form, allowing the doctor to remove the cells safely and effectively while leaving surrounding tissues relatively undisturbed.

It’s worth noting that only a handful of doctors worldwide are qualified to perform the VASER Lipo procedure as they are required to formally complete the VASER Fundamental and Advanced Body Sculpting training. In Singapore, VASER Lipo was first introduced back in 2008 by Dr. Ivan Puah, who is known in the Asia-Pacific region as the procedure’s main proponent for over a decade and counting.

Less intrusive than the traditional liposuction method, VASER Lipo is powerful enough to eliminate at least 90% of localised stubborn fat under local anaesthesia. This makes it suitable for shaping both small and large areas including jowls, chin, abdomen, waist, hips, male breasts, arms, back, buttocks, thighs, knees, and calves. Another benefit you can get with VASER Lipo: firmer skin courtesy of its ability to encourage collagen production.

Because it only zeroes in on unwanted fat tissues and leaves other vital connective tissues relatively untouched, VASER Lipo essentially is the answer to the chiselled bod that you want with minimal pain and downtime as compared to other methods. And so long as you maintain a balanced diet and active lifestyle, you need not worry about the treated areas rebounding to its previous appearance as the fat tissue removal process is permanent.

How To Get A Toned Physique For Men: VASER Hi-def Lipo

Common Male Body Image Issues - Six Pack Abs (cropped)

To achieve well-defined muscles, you may consider VASER Hi-Def Lipo, a next-level body sculpting procedure that targets the arms, chest, abdomen, and lower body areas to achieve more defined muscles. Due to the intricate technology used, only skilled and experienced physicians who are VASER certified and accredited by the Ministry of Health Singapore, like Dr. Ivan Puah, can perform this more complex surgery.

VASER Hi-Def Lipo involves Dr. Ivan Puah performing selective removal of fats in the targeted areas to create a sculpted athletic physique. By targeting the superficial layers of fat that reside directly over your muscles, VASER Hi-Def Lipo is able to permanently remove both peripheral and deep fat tissues that surround muscle groups and amplify the underlying muscle tone.

During the recovery period, you are advised to lay off any strenuous activities or exercise routines and to just take it easy in order for the final desired results to set in within three to six months. You will also be required to wear a compression garment for four to six weeks post-treatment as it helps to minimise swelling.

How To Treat Acne Successfully For Men: Acne, Scar & Marks Treatment

From comedones (blackheads and whiteheads) to inflammatory acne (cysts, nodules, pustules, and papules) as well as scars, it’s not difficult to see how common breakouts and acne marks can affect a man’s self-esteem especially when it resides on a large area of your face.

In some severe cases, these angry inflammations can appear on the back, neck, chest, arms, and shoulders too. Additionally, it doesn’t help that a man’s skin is thicker, tougher and generally oilier than women’s, according to several studies.

Because everyone’s skin is vastly different, it’s more worthwhile to go for a series of acne management procedures that’s tailored specifically for you by Dr. Ivan Puah upon analysing the severity of your skin condition.

With the Acne, Scar & Marks Treatment, you will be prescribed a personalised plan that suits your needs with the following treatments:

  • Medical-Grade Skin Peel: Also known as a superficial exfoliating treatment, this gentle yet effective treatment employs the use of natural acids and enzymes to slough away dulling dead skin cells and clear clogged pores for a fresher, more youthful-looking complexion. While minimising the appearance of open pores and re-balancing inflammation and oil production, the active ingredients can also help improve overall skin tone and acne scars.
  • Pico Acne Scars Laser: This treatment uses FDA-approved picosecond laser to take care of acne scars and reduce pore size effectively. The technology used delivers powerful 450-picosecond pulse energy that penetrates deeper into the skin to treat targeted areas without causing damage to the skin surface. Relatively quick and virtually painless, this treatment helps improve skin texture in lesser downtime.
  • Medication: Prescribed only to those with moderate or severe acne, this option covers topical retinoids, topical antibiotics, azelaic acid, oral antibiotics, and isotretinoin tablets that can be used in conjunction with the aforementioned treatments to effectively bring acne under control.

Talk To Dr. Ivan Puah About Your Journey To Complete Male Confidence Makeover

Common Male Body Image Issues - Dr Ivan Puah (Amaris B Clinic)

When it comes to liposuction, Singapore’s Ministry of Health is extremely strict about which health professional is allowed to perform such procedures. That is why they issue licenses based on stringent criteria and only allow accredited doctors to perform liposuction in Singapore.

A VASER® Certified Physician, Dr. Ivan Puah is accredited by the Ministry of Health in Singapore to perform liposuction. The founder of Amaris B. Clinic attained his VASER® Fundamental and Advanced Body Sculpting training in Colorado and Argentina in 2008, and was trained and guided in syringe liposculpture by distinguished French plastic surgeon, Dr. Pierre François Fournier. On top of that, Dr. Ivan Puah had received dedicated surgical training in gynecomastia surgery in the US.

With Amaris B. Clinic, you can be assured that your well-being will be taken care of as a patient’s safety and results are always their top priority. Dr. Ivan Puah will consult and advise patients on the suitable treatment plans based on their clinical conditions, needs, and expectations. With more than 15 years of experience in performing body sculpting procedures, Dr. Ivan Puah is undoubtedly qualified to recommend a treatment solution that gives you the best possible results.

Courtesy of his wealth of experience and leadership, Amaris B. Clinic has been recognised as the “2019 Body Sculpting Provider of the Year in Asia-Pacific” by GlobalHealth Asia-Pacific. This accolade is awarded to entities that have been identified to have maintained high standards in quality care, and is judged based on market research, consumer survey, and by a panel of industry experts. The clinic also recently snagged the “Best Weight Management” award by Tatler Singapore.

That’s not all, Amaris B. Clinic stands out among other aesthetic clinics in town as it has also ventured beyond medical aesthetics and cosmetic enhancements. Currently, the clinic supports its main passion with integrative medicine that includes weight loss and fitness assessment, pain management, sports injury rehabilitation as well as myotherapy and physical therapy.

If you’re looking for an aesthetic clinic that can help you improve your physique and boost your self-esteem, look no further than Amaris B. Clinic which is run by a dedicated team of professionals who will improve your looks, health, and fitness on every level through fully personalising their approach to your treatment.