WESTLAKE, Ohio - Last year, economists reported gains in auto, retail and home sales.
But there's another industry that also got a big boost: plastic surgery. Last year, 14.6 million cosmetic procedures were performed, which is up 5 percent from the previous year.
Dr. Michael Wojtanowski, of the Ohio Clinic for Aesthetic and Plastic Surgery in Westlake, is a plastic surgeon who is passionate about helping his patients look their best.
But for some, beauty costs. The latest cosmetic statistics show people don't mind paying for it. In 2012, Americans spent $11 billion on cosmetic procedures. This number is surprisingly high in a struggling economy.
"And the reason for that is that people still want to be able to look good. They still want to put their best foot forward, whether the recession is there or not," Wojtanowski said.
Non-surgical facial procedures are a top priority for those wanting a better look with no down time. The most popular method is Botox injections.
"More Botox is injected across the country than any other procedure that we do," Wojtanowski said.
In fact, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, Botox treatments reached an all-time high of 6.1 million injections in 2012.
But it's not just female celebrities like Cher and Joan Rivers who are benefiting from the Botox magic. Men use Botox too.
Christopher Zwolinski, 49, is one of more than 360,000 men in the U.S. who get the injections to look younger. They actually have their own slang terms for it: Brotox or Boytox. Times have really changed.
Wojtanowski said 30 percent of his patient population are men and that didn't exist 30 years ago. He said the reason for this is that men like to look good.
Zwolinski, a married father of four, said it was his love for the great outdoors that took a toll on his skin.
"What I've found over 20 years is that my face has weathered and with my diet and exercise I feel youthful, but with Botox I feel and know that that smoothes the wrinkles in the skin," Zwolinski said.
The number of men using Botox has tripled since 2001. It's up 258 percent.
Zwolinski said he isn't surprised by the numbers and has no problem paying $400 per treatment.
"The cutbacks with children growing and out of the household has allotted some wiggle room in the finances to utilize this, the money, constructively. I feel it's been put to a good use and the results I am very satisfied with," he says.
When asked if he would ever consider plastic surgery Zwolinski said, "When I was in my 20s I said that I would have my hair dyed, at 40 back to blonde and I have yet to do so. Perhaps in my 60s I would consider it.
Dr. Wojtanowski suggests if you are seeking to have surgical or non-surgical procedures done, make sure the physician is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and has proper training.