Are Selfies Fueling Plastic Surgery?

Social media may be driving more people toward plastic surgery. The number of people getting plastic surgery is on the rise, according to a survey conducted by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Doctors reported seeing a 20 percent rise in nose surgery from 2012 to 2013, a 7 percent rise in hair transplants, and a 6 percent rise in eyelid surgery.

Taking selfies—self-portraits taken by cell phone, usually at arm’s length, and posted on social media networks—is another growing trend, and some believe the two trends are related. “Social platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, and the iPhone app, which are solely image based, foce patients to hold a microscope up to their own image and often look at it with a more self-critical eye than ever before,” said Dr. Edward Farrior, president of the AAFPRS, in a recent CBS news article.

The survey, conducted annually by the AAFPRS, asked a select group of it 2700 members about current trends and found that one in three plastic surgeons reported seeing an increase in requests for facial procedures by patients who said they wanted to look better online. More than half of the AAFPRS members surveyed said they saw a rise in facial cosmetic procedures and injections like Botox® in people under 30. Fifty-eight percent of the doctors surveyed said in the last year they’d seen an increase in patients under 30 coming in for plastic surgery and injections.

Women are the primary beneficiaries of plastic surgery, accounting for 81 percent of all procedures and surgeries, but men are also looking more and more toward getting little fixes here and there. Women ask for face- and eyelifts, men get hair transplants. Both genders in the under 35 category are electing to get rhinoplasty, or nose jobs—that’s 90 percent of women and 86 percent of men.

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