TUESDAY, Aug. 7, 2018 (HealthDay News) - Photo-editing tools that make people look more flawless online than in real life may be a health threat, medical experts warn.
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". BDD affects up to 2.4 percent of the population.
These are all edits they see in the Snapchat versions of themselves. Mental health treatment is a better remedy, they advised.
In their article, which drew national media attention, they note that photo-editing technology was once the province of models and actors.
"Now, it is not just celebrities propagating beauty standards: it is a classmate, a coworker, or a friend".
According to surgeons, patients who want to undergo cosmetic surgery to improve their images do not want to look like celebrities, but to maintain their features and beautifying them by making some improvements, such as fuller lips, bigger eyes, or slimmer noses.
In a statement on the study, Neelam Vashi, said: "Filtered selfies can make people lose touch with reality, creating the expectation that we are supposed to look perfectly primped all the time". A 2017 survey from the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery sound that 55 percent of surgeons report seeing patients who mention selfies as a reason for requesting surgery, compared to 42 percent in 2015. When you bring in a filtered selfie to the surgeon's office, it's actually an "unattainable look", the authors write, and wanting to make that come to life off of their screen is "blurring the line of reality and fantasy for these patients".
They recommend therapy, medications, and an "empathetic and nonjudgmental approach by the clinician". "It levels the playing field for everyone".
An anonymous patient of Dr. Escho's told the British newspaper, "I never was happy with taking photos but using filters made me feel like I looked good".