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Selfies Increase Demand for Plastic Surgery, Study Reports

Update Date: Dec 01, 2014 10:29 AM EST

Selfies, which are pictures taken by oneself, have gained popularity over the past few years. With more people taking selfies, researchers have been interested in studying the effects that selfies might have on different groups of people. In a new study, researchers found that selfies could be tied to increasing the demand for plastic surgery.

"There has been a 25 percent increase over the past year and a half to two years. That is very significant," Dr. Sam Rizk, a 47-year-old plastic surgeon, said about his Manhattan practice, reported by Reuters. "They come in with their iPhones and show me pictures. Selfies are just getting to be so crazy.

For this study, the researchers examined the poll results conducted by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS). A total of 2,700 members participated.

The team discovered that one in three members reported an increase in plastic surgery procedures that were requested by patients who were aware of their self-image in relation to social media. From 2012 to 2013, there was a 10 percent increase in rhinoplasty, more commonly known as a "nose job," a seven percent jump in the rate for hair transplants and a six percent increase for eyelid surgery.

"We all will have something wrong with us on a selfie image. I refuse a significant proportion of patients with selfies because I believe it is not a real image of what they actually look like in person," Rizt explained. "Too many selfies indicate a self obsession and a certain level of insecurity that most teenagers have. It just makes it worse. Now they can see themselves in 100 images a day on Facebook and Instagram."

Since selfies' popularity will most likely continue to soar, experts recommend people to consider nonpermanent ways of addressing their insecurities. For example, expertly applied makeup can make enhance one's features. There are also apps that can modify one's face by smoothing out wrinkles or added makeup. Even though these two methods can help with people's insecurities, they do not address the underlying issues.

Instead of finding ways to change physical appearance, people with these issues could greatly benefit from therapy aimed to improve self-esteem and self-acceptance.

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