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“Selfies” Could be Pressuring Youth toward Plastic Surgery

Update Date: Mar 14, 2014 10:09 AM EDT

"Selfies," which are photographs people take of themselves or of themselves with others, have become extremely popular in today's society. Even though selfies might be fun to take, a new survey is claiming that selfies might actually influence the youth to turn to plastic surgery.

"Social platforms like Instagram, Snapchat and the iPhone app Selfie.im, which are solely image based, force patients to hold a microscope up to their own image and often look at it with a more self-critical eye than ever before," warned the president of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS), Edward H. Farrior, MD, in the news release. "These images are often the first impressions young people put out there to prospective friends, romantic interests and employers and our patients want to put their best face forward."

In this AAFPRS survey, the researchers polled a small group of people from the academy's 2,700 members regarding the latest trends in facial plastic surgery. One out of the three facial plastic surgeons reported that people who requested these types of cosmetic procedures were more self aware of their physical appearances in relation to social media. In 2013, there was a 10 percent spike in nose jobs, a seven percent increase in hair transplants and a six percent increase in eyelid surgery.

Over 50 percent of the AAFPRS members surveyed stated that they witnessed a jump in facial cosmetic surgical procedures and Botox injections in people under 30-years-old. On top of the pressures to look young, the report found that 69 percent of the children patients who wanted plastic surgery reported being bullied. 31 percent of the youth patients stated that they turned to plastic surgery to avoid being bullied.

"The top five things most patients are most concerned with are results, costs, recovery, pain and scars," Farrior said according to CBS Local. "Whether driven by a desire to stay competitive in the workforce, remain attractive to their mate or simply to look as good as they feel, advances in non-invasive anti-aging technologies are making it possible to delay the hands of time while retaining a natural outcome. As recovery times are reduced and results are more subtle, aesthetic procedures become a more viable maintenance option for young men and women."

The researchers reported that women continue to undergo plastic surgery more so than men. In 2013, 81 percent of all cases were in female patients. Despite the increase in popularity of cosmetic surgeries for younger people, the survey found that patients appear to be more educated about plastic surgery now than before. People are less likely to accept online deals and offers.

"Our members nearly unanimously agree that prospective patients need to exercise caution when considering an online deal," said Farrior. "To ensure the best results, you should have a consultation with your prospective physician to assess your candidacy and clearly discuss your goals. Always make sure to select a board-certified surgeon who specializes in plastic surgery of the face, head and neck."

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