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Is the rise of “selfies” distorting what we “think” we look like?

I recently attended Cosmedicon 2020 and was fortunate to be able to participate in several presentations and topics relating to this area of medicine. Of particular interest was a discussion led by Dr Jack Zoumaras, Dr Malcolm Linsell and Roberta Honigman about body dimorphic disorder. I think the discussion gave all practitioners many points to consider and reflect on, and for myself as a Doctor I particularly found the following points from recent statistics interesting:

  • The rise of “selfie” culture is affecting peoples self image.
  • We are spending too much time on social media.
  • Individuals are presenting to their doctors to alter their faces for better selfies.
  • Selfie Cameras distort the facial image
  • the Camera model in addition to the camera angle and distance will also distort the facial image

I feel that as Doctors in this field, we need to be aware and ask/determine if there is an underlying reason for why a particular patient may be presenting to us and screen for mental illness and consider referral to a psychologist for treatment and management. In the long term, providing patient centred care using this approach can help someone by treating potentially underlying issues, rather than treating the symptom.

“First do no harm” – Hippocrates.