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Social Media & Plastic Surgery

Does Social Media Play a Role in Plastic Surgery Trends?

Social Media & Plastic Surgery

Each year, the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) reviews the surgical procedures that took place the year before. Per their latest report, 2017 was one of the busiest years for plastic surgeons to date. In fact, these experts believe that 2018 will be even busier, and they claim social media is driving demand for several popular procedures.

The Stand-Out Trends for 2017

The 2017 report showed that the average number of non-invasive procedures performed across the country has increased by some 25% since 2012, representing a huge increase in demand. What’s more, the millennial generation has embraced injectables – particularly dermal fillers and Botox – to the point that 80% of all the treatments performed in 2017 were cosmetic and non-surgical in nature. What is driving this dramatic increase in the number of non-surgical and surgical cosmetic procedures? Per Patrick Byrne, the director of the Division of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Johns Hopkins Medical Center and an AAFPRS board member, it’s all about the selfie culture.

Are Selfies Driving Cosmetic Procedures?

Byrne is positive social media is influencing the demand for plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures. He claims, “Younger people, up through middle age, increasingly perceive themselves through the lens of their own social media accounts.” Because the selfie is the new hello, and because even the younger generation is in competition with everyone else to maintain their youthful appearance, plastic surgeons are providing more cosmetic procedures across the globe than ever before.

Of course, while this is excellent news for plastic surgeons who want to succeed in their endeavors, it does pose a bit of an issue. People compare themselves to others, which makes them incredibly self-critical. The same AAFPRS survey found that up to 55% of the people who had any kind of procedure – surgical or otherwise – did so to look better in their selfies compared to only 42% of people in 2016. This means that plastic surgeons and patients alike must be vigilant in establishing self-esteem in ways outside of aesthetic appearance.  

Predictions for 2018

Plastic surgeons believe that the demand for cosmetic and surgical procedures will only continue to rise in 2018. What was once considered “taboo” is now socially accepted and, in some cases, even expected. These days, the younger generation views Botox treatments and even certain surgeries as another tool in their arsenal, much like their daily moisturizer or mascara. No one is ashamed to see a plastic surgeon and go under the knife or needle to achieve the standards they set for themselves these days, and that’s a huge driving force in the plastic surgery industry.

It is anticipated that the top procedures in 2018 will remain cosmetic and minimally-invasive. Things like the non-surgical nose job which is done entirely with injectables, eyelid procedures designed to help individuals look less “tired”, and even platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections, which are thought to regenerate soft tissue and plump the skin, will likely be some of the most popular procedures throughout this year.

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