"Zoom Dysmorphia" - Pandemic Plastic Surgery Phenomenon

Posted April 19, 2021
Zoom dysmorphia what causes it

There has been a good amount of discussion about the rise in plastic surgery procedures being the result of the coronavirus pandemic and the need to shelter in place/work from home. Employees of companies all across the country are attending meetings on video calls. In addition, family members that are not able to attend special occasions in person are virtually taking part in weddings, birthdays and other family events. While video calls are an easy way to stay connected during a time when people have tried to stay six feet away from each other, there are reports that the increased amount of time spent starting at screens has resulted in a new phenomenon known as “Zoom Dysmorphia”.

The Rise in a New Type of Body Dysmorphia

This new form of body dysmorphia, known as “Zoom Dysmorphia”, received its name in reference to the Zoom video conferencing and online chat service. It is also believed that the large use of video conferencing might be another reason for the growth in plastic surgery procedures such as rhinoplasty and a lower facelift along with cosmetic procedures that reduce fine lines and wrinkles such as fillers and Botox.

The phrase “Zoom Dysmorphia” was coined in a study that was published in the International Journal of Women’s Dermatology. The study was conducted in order to gain better insights into the role that looking at their reflection on a screen for multiple hours each day might play in causing some people to develop a “negative self-perception”.

“Zoom Dysmorphia” Study Details

Zoom DysmorphiaThe study was conducted by surveying more than one hundred board-certified dermatologists. Many of these medical professionals claimed they had encountered patients that wanted to undergo cosmetic procedures so they could make alterations or improvements to their look after viewing their appearance on video calls.

The research from the study does suggests that images viewed by people that use video calls could be distorted due to issues such as blurring, lighting and the quality of the camera. It should also be noted that workers have never spent this much time looking at their appearance. While they often view how they look in photos, the amount of time spent on video calls in front of a computer screen has grown over the past year. The need to use video call technology on a daily basis is allowing people better understand the changes that have happened to their face over the years.

Some of the most common changes that have happened to the faces of patients over the years include the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, eyelids that make someone look tired all the time and a sagging neck. Since these changes were not focused on so often in the past, patients are now looking to address issues they see each time they are on a video call.

Desire for Plastic Surgery – Reasons Beyond Video Calls

In addition to the constant viewing of the face on video calls, there are other reasons the public wants to have plastic surgery in 2021. Some doctors feel that the multiple reasons for the rise in plastic surgery include video calls, the increased amount of time patients have to research medical procedures since they are at home more often than in the past and the ability to recover at home (away from the view of others) while still being able to perform their jobs remotely.

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons conducted a survey last year that showed 49% of Americans, who never had a plastic surgery procedure in the past, were now open to the idea of having a procedure at some point in the future. The people in this survey showed an interest in making alterations and improvements in their neck, lower face and jawline.

The changes in these areas of the body are best addressed by surgical procedures. Issues such as a sagging neck, a lax jawline or the middle of the face showing loose skin need to be addressed in a way that allows the final results to maintain a natural appearance.

Plastic Surgery Preparation Steps

Anyone interested in undergoing plastic surgery needs to take their time and do proper research about the desired medical treatment. In addition, patients need to be examined by a board-certified doctor before undergoing a procedure to make sure they are healthy enough to have a surgical procedure like a facelift or they can achieve the results they desire from a noninvasive treatment like Botox.

One other aspect of cosmetic surgery that patients need to discuss with a doctor is the type of final results they want to enjoy. Fillers and Botox do not provide permanent results so patients will need to have follow-up treatments to maintain the results. These treatments are good options for patients that are unsure of having a surgical procedure and want to get a better idea of what the results will look like before having invasive surgery. On the other hand, surgical plastic surgery can provide results that are long-lasting and can even last a lifetime.

- MA


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