Facial rejuvenation surgeon Dr. Edwin Williams has been practicing in the Capital Region for nearly two decades. Today his Latham business does very well, but when he first got here things didn't look so bright.
"When I first moved here 20 years ago for just exclusive facial plastic surgery, colleagues of mine told me I was out of mind, I was gonna starve because people in Albany just don't have plastic surgery. Well it's not the case. I think if people are given the choice, are always happy if things can be done safely," he said.
With safety in mind, people are willing to spend their hard-earned cash for some cosmetic procedures. Meaning in a sagging economy, people don't want sagging faces. Dr. Williams say non-surgical procedures are on the rise across the nation and in the Capital Region.
"Non-surgical procedures in 2009 were at 10 percent and grew 17 to 18 percent annually, during the down economy," said Dr. Edwin Williams of the Williams Center of Plastic Surgeon Specialists. "The most common procedures are Botox, soften some of the harshness, make them look a little fresher."
One of Dr. Williams' patients is Columbia County native Teralynn Warner. She says the mentality toward cosmetic procedures has changed drastically in the area.
"Women are much more open to talking about. It's not something that is hush, hush, it's happening and it's great and why not take advantage of it," she said.
The 43-year-old has received Botox to help her career in commercial modeling.
"I looked in the mirror and I said 'I don't feel as old as I'm starting to look.' So I wanted to soften some of the lines around my eyes," she said.
And as the number of people in the Capital Region getting cosmetic procedures continues to grow, surprisingly men are contributing to it.
"Seven, eight years ago maybe made up 8 or 9 percent of our patients, considering the non-surgical and the surgical options now, according to last year's data they're around 17, 18 percent of our patients," said Dr. Williams.
He says the most common procedures for men are Botox, fillers and hair restoration.
He also says some of his patients are familiar state leaders.
"Lets face it; their Capitol is how they're perceived. So whether that's a visual perception or perceived in what they've accomplished, so they're certainly more in tune with how they are viewed by the public than other folks. "I wouldn't say they're any different than anyone else, they just a little more aware of their appearance," he said.
And whether you're a man or a woman, Teralynn says to make sure you know if Botox is for you. "Research it. Everyone's different. I took good care to make sure it's the decision that I wanted to do, and that I would continue. I feel very good about it. I didn't jump into it," she said.
Both her and Dr. Williams say the best thing to stay looking young is to take care of yourself through exercise and a healthy diet.
"People are taking care of themselves better. Twenty years ago people just didn't take care of themselves. They didn't go to the gym, they didn't watch what they eat, any of our typical patients are patients who've not let themselves go," said Dr. Williams.
"I see lots of people walking, biking and taking really good care of themselves. I think I was maybe a little bit ahead of my time, because I've always done that. I've always been into exercise and taking care of myself," said Warner.
Some non-cosmetic reasons for using Botox can be for sweating. Patients get it injected into their armpits or palms. It can also be used to treat migraines by getting an injection to the back of the head.