The influence of social media on cosmetic surgery and treatments

Many of us use social media not only to communicate with others, but to create an online persona for ourselves. Unlike our real identity, we can carefully curate the image we project on social media; in the digital space, no one will ever see you with messy hair and grungy sweatpants if you don’t want them to.

As a result, many of us create a perfectly polished, unrealistic online identity that we can never actually live up to. However, we’re starting to see people try, using cosmetic treatments to more closely resemble their filtered, online persona.

Some patients now bring cosmetic surgeons photographs of themselves with a specific Snapchat or Instagram filter applied to give them a thinner nose, larger eyes or fuller lips. Surgeons say these filters often create an airbrushed look that’s unattainable.

People aren’t just trying to measure up to the online persona of themselves; they’re trying to live up to the standards set by the social influencers they follow. And of course, the majority of those images are doctored, too, but unlike our own social media feeds, we don’t know in what ways they’ve been altered.

Patients are also increasingly requesting procedures based on specific photos posted by their Instagram idols. For example, there’s been an uptick in patients requesting lip filler to more closely resemble the sculpted faces that populate the Kardashians’ Instagram profiles.

Our advice, if you’re considering cosmetic surgery, is to talk candidly with an experienced doctor before you fixate on the result you hope to achieve. Every person’s bone structure is unique, so it might be physically impossible to duplicate on your face features of your favorite Instagram star.

Basing your cosmetic procedures on a digitally-created social media photo will likely lead to disappointment, because the results will never exactly resemble the filtered, 2-dimensional image. At Coastal Dermatology, our goal is to give you the most natural-looking results. We can sculpt or accentuate your features with fillers and injectables such as Juvederm, Restylane and Radiesse. We can also use small doses of neuromodulators like Botox and Dysport to subtly smooth deep wrinkles and crow’s feet.

If you’re considering cosmetic surgery or a noninvasive treatment, schedule a free consultation with our doctors at Coastal Dermatology & Surgery Center. We’ll work with you to achieve the results that will look best on your face. Contact us today!