People Getting Plastic Surgery To Look Like Their Snapchat Filters, Says Report

'Snapchat dysmorphia' is real

That's the message from three School of Medicine authors, who wrote a commentary last week for JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery about the growing health threat from "Snapchat dysmorphia". A new viewpoint article revealed the unsafe effects of smartphone photo filters on mental health conditions such as body dysmorphic disorder and body image issues.

Previously, people brought in celebrity photos to use as templates for their cosmetic surgeries but now, they are using apps to preview how they would look.

Studies have found that teen girls who alter their social media photos tend to be more concerned with their body appearance, and those with dysmorphic body image use social media for validation, according to the authors of a report published August 2 in JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery. BDD affects up to 2.4 percent of the population. It's these factors that may actually lead you to be unhappy with your regular appearance, the researchers say.

Plastic surgeons say they have seen an uptick in teenage patients, mostly girls, asking for surgery to make them look like filtered Snapchat images of themselves with larger, rounder eyes or altered noses.

Compounding the issue, not just for plastic surgeons but for friends who do a doubletake when they see the plain old you, is that more people are touching up their photos than ever before.

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Sure, maybe you want to take better selfies, but altering your appearance to do so isn't necessarily the best path, experts say.

"The pervasiveness of these filtered images can take a toll on one's self-esteem, make one feel inadequate for not looking a certain way in the real world, and may even act as a trigger and lead to BDD", wrote Susruthi Rajanala, first author of the viewpoint.

Instead of surgery, medical professionals should recommend psychological interventions, like cognitive behavioral therapy, for those with Snapchat dysmorphia. "They check off one thing, and it's gone".

"This can be especially harmful for teens and those with body dysmorphic disorder, and it is important for providers to understand the implications of social media on body image to better treat and counsel our patients", she said.

"It can be argued that these apps are making us lose touch with reality because we expect to look perfectly primped and filtered in real life as well".

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