Recently, Dr. Fishman sat down with Theravive to discuss a phenomenon that is being seen more and more often—snapchat dysmorphia. With the advent of filters on apps like Snapchat and Instagram, people have the ability to edit themselves, removing imperfections and changing the shape of facial features. While this may seem like harmless fun, it can potentially lead to symptoms of Body Dysmorphic Disorder. When the line between filters and real life become blurred, people can become hyperfocused on perfection.
Dr. Fishman admits she’s seen a rise in this so called “selfie dysmorphia” particularly in younger patients. In her words, some patients come in with “very unrealistic expectations of appearance, bred within the Snapchat-filtered, Photoshopped, and Instagrammable culture of today.” Unfortunately, these expectations of poreless, wrinkleless skin are hard to meet, even with new cosmetic innovations. She states “These patients tend not to be great surgical or treatment candidates, as their expectations are not in line with reality–or the treatment results I provide.” Dedicated to helping her patients, Dr. Fishman tries to look for warning signs of “snapchat dysmorphia” in patient’s reasons for surgery and expected outcomes.
It’s incredibly important that patients have mature and realistic expectations before undergoing any type of cosmetic procedure. When Dr. Fishman suspects a patient’s motivation for a treatment may be a result of pressure for perfection, she tries to help reset expectations, to help provide the most satisfying experience possible. Still, in some situations it may be best to forgo treatment all together. If patients are suffering from Body Dysmorphic Disorder, they are best treated with psychological or psychiatric help, not surgery.
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