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BEWARE OF PHOTO FILTERS: “Selfie-itis”

August 15th, 2018

Selfie Filters example

BEWARE OF PHOTO FILTERS: “Selfie-itis”

Do you use photo filters on social media like Instagram or Snapchat? There is new data suggesting that the extreme use of glamor filters on social media might cause BDD or Body Dysmorphic Disorder. According to the Mayo Clinic, BDD is described as intensely obsessing over your appearance and body image, repeatedly checking the mirror, grooming or seeking reassurance, sometimes for many hours each day. So when a person gets used to seeing themselves in Selfies that are not accurately representative of how they really look, dissatisfaction of personal appearance might start to take hold. In the past, expensive photo altering programs used to be available only to Hollywood stars, to create clear skin, flawless hair, and slenderized body parts. Retouched photos filled glossy pages of popular magazines. Now in this hyper digital age, social media users are turning to relatively inexpensive custom filters to look perfect, like the one above. Plastic Surgeons, including myself, are seeing more patients not happy with their online photos. It is important to know the warning signs when a fun hobby becomes an unhealthy obsession. When BDD leads to obsession and the inability to function adequately in your daily life, causing significant distress, there may be a problem. Perhaps it is time to consult with a mental heath professional, not a cosmetic surgeon. Physicians, as well, need to be aware of what I call Selfie-itis.

Screenshot above- RetouchMe: Body & Face Edition, Beauty app for Perfect Selfie

by Alexander Lozitsky

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17.5 Million Can’t Be Wrong!

March 21st, 2018

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17.5 Million people can’t be wrong, as The American Society of Plastic Surgery releases their latest stats for last year, along with the top 5 elective cosmetic surgery procedures in the United States. Here they are in order of popularity:

  1. Breast Augmentation
  2. Liposuction
  3. Nose Reshaping
  4. Eyelid Surgery
  5. Tummy Tucks

If we add up the number of people having cosmetic surgery to the number choosing minimally invasive procedures like Botox and temporary fillers, the number is a staggering 17,504,950. Why are over 17 million men and women seeking aesthetic changes in record numbers? In my experience, my patients report dozens of reasons for requesting a change. But studies have shown that self-esteem is often linked with the perception of your own personal appearance. There is no doubt that first impressions are proven to create strong assumptions of what people might think of us. In this age of social media and an intense focus on looks, this can serve as a harsh barometer. Confidence in one’s appearance is often related to a sense of acceptance and well-being, so now it can be measured with number of Followers and Likes or Shares. The bottom line is that elective cosmetic surgery and minimally invasive procedures continue to grow in popularity, but it is the responsibility of medical providers to give patients informed consent and for patients to have realistic expectations.

I find that many of my patients mention that they find satisfaction in their new appearance and are pleased with their decision. So whether you are sporting a new hairstyle, a flattering new outfit, or yes, even have had cosmetic surgery; the idea of feeling good about yourself often translates to self-confidence.

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