The social rise of "selfies" is believed to be having a significant impact on the plastic surgery industry.
A recent study showed one in three facial plastic surgeons that participated in a survey saw an increase in requests for procedures as a result of individuals becoming more self-aware of their appearance through social media, the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) reported.
Out of the 2,7000 AAFPRS members surveyed, 13 percent identified a link between increased photo sharing and appearance dissatisfaction. As a result the surveyed members obserced a 10 percent increase in rhinoplasty, a 7 percent increase in hair transplants, and a 6 percent increase in eyelid surgery between 2012 and 2013.
"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," said Edward Farrior, MD, President of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. "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."
Social media is also believed to be driving down the age at which people tend to get plastic surgery. In 2013 over half of surveyed facial plastic surgeons saw an increase in these procedures and injections in people under the age of 30.
Women were still more likely to get plastic surgery than men, and two-thirds of all females who got the procedures were mothers. The researchers determined women are most concerned with maintaining a youthful appearance through procedures such as facelifts and achieving proportionate features; men's main desires were to be wrinkle-free and have a full head of hair. Nose jobs were the most commonly-requested procedure across both sexes under the age of 35.
"The top five things most patients are most concerned with are results, cost, recovery, pain and scars," said Dr. Farrior. "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."