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Selfies can increase perceived nose size by 30 percent and nose width by 7 percent.

Nose Reshaping is the third most popular cosmetic surgical procedure in the United States.

According to a recent report published in the medical journal JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery, taking selfies at a distance of approximately 12 inches from an individual’s face increases perceived nose size by nearly 30 percent.

Researchers now are advising that patients contemplating cosmetic procedures should not turn to self-photographs as a benchmark when debating making changes to their faces.

“Patients, people, even my family have to be aware that if you’re taking a selfie, it’s not really how you look,” said Dr. Boris Paskhover, a Facial Plastics and Reconstructive Surgeon at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School and a leading author on the study.

“Selfies make your nose look wider and thicker when it really isn’t, and people like a smaller nose,” Paskhover added. “My fear is that the generation out there now doesn’t know. All they know is the selfie.”

Selfies have rapidly become depictive of our time, due to the popularity of social media sites like Facebook and Instagram. According to Anil Sabharwal, Vice President of Google Photos, during its first year of operation, Google Photos saw more than 25 billion selfies uploaded on its servers.

To put that into perspective, there are roughly 8 billion people living on the entire planet.

As stated by Paskhover, the selfie craze might be causing people to engage in surgeries based on photographs that distort their features.

According to a 2018 poll conducted by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons, 55 percent of surgeons reported having patients who said they were seeking cosmetic procedures to enhance their perceived semblance in selfies or other photos posted on social media in 2017, an increase of 42 percent since 2016.

The JAMA study focused on statistics from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health to estimate the facial dimensions of individuals from various racial and ethnic backgrounds in the United States. Using mathematical modeling, the researchers discovered that photographs taken at a distance of 12 inches increased nose size by 30 percent in men and 29 percent in women compared with photographs taken at an infinite camera distance.

Photographs taken at a distance of 5 feet from the subject did not drastically distort nasal dimensions.

“At 5 feet, the distance between your nose and the camera and the distance between your facial plane and the camera is almost the same,” Paskhover remarked. “Because the difference is very small, the nose doesn’t get skewed.”

In 2017, there were about 17.5 million cosmetic surgical and minimally invasive cosmetic procedures performed in the U.S., a 2 percent increase from 2016 and a 200 percent increase from 2000, as reported by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

218,924 of these procedures were nose-reshaping cosmetic surgeries.

“Overall, Cosmetic Surgeries are up again,” said Dr. Jeffrey Janis, Chief of Plastic Surgery at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and President of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. “They have trended up over the last several years, and they continue to grow.

“I think we are all aware of the power and influence of social media on Cosmetic Plastic Surgery,” Janis added. “People are sharing images in real time in large numbers with people that they know and, in some cases, with people that they don’t.”

Nose Reshaping, or Rhinoplasty, was the third most common cosmetic surgical procedure in 2017. It typically costs $6,000.00 to $15,000.00 per procedure, according to Paskhover.

Breast Augmentation was the most popular Cosmetic Surgery performed in 2017, accounting for over 300,000 procedures. Liposuction, Eyelid Surgery and Tummy Tucks were also among the top 5 cosmetic surgical procedures performed last year, according to the report.

“I think people also feel more unencumbered, more free, to talk about Plastic Surgery in a way that doesn’t carry any sort of social stigma,” Janis added. “But I definitely think that there’s been a lot of interest because of selfie culture.”

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, Rhinoplasty and other kinds of Plastic Surgery are generally considered to be safe, but as with any surgical procedure, there are risks involved. Complications like infection, poor wound healing and skin discoloration still occur in a small number of cases.

But the biggest risk is a disconnect between the patient’s expectations and reality, according to Janis.

“The biggest risk in my mind is actually more around levels of expectation,” he said. “You need to make sure that, number 1, the patient is an appropriate candidate, and number 2, you have a very thorough conversation with the patient about having appropriate levels of expectation about what can be delivered.”

Both Janis and Paskhover also stressed that identifying a highly-skilled, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon is an important consideration in the success of any cosmetic procedure.

“The biggest risk I see with Rhinoplasty is that if you go to someone who’s inexperienced, aesthetic outcomes are variable,” Paskhover acknowledged.

“It underscores the importance of public safety,” Janis noted. “You don’t want somebody who didn’t get the necessary training and doesn’t operate in an accredited facility to be operating on you.”


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