Dermatology

How Cosmetic Procedures Impact Self-Perception

I came across an interesting article this month in Currents (Vol 2019, issue 2), a publication of the American Society of Dermatologic Surgery. Dr. Heidi Prather and Kachiu Lee examined the affect that cosmetic procedures have on patients’ self-perception. They looked at factors such as self-esteem, self-confidence, aging appraisal, and self-attractiveness. Over 530 patients were surveyed at 11 different academic and private practice dermatology settings. Prior to treatment, only 30% of patients reported feeling younger than their actual age. One month following a single cosmetic treatment, 64% of patients stated that they felt younger than their actual age. Over 75% of patients also reported feeling better in the following areas: improved professional relationships, improved personal relationships, self-confidence, and self-esteem.

I am fascinated by this data on many levels. First and foremost, it is empowering to recognize that we have the tools that help each individual feel their best. We recognize how subjective beauty is. We are also aware how each of us views ourselves differently. I might be bothered by something that no one else really notices. For example, I recently saw a patient who was fixated on a tiny broken capillary underneath her nose. I had to really examine her skin to see the blood vessel. It was there, but barely noticeable. But the great thing is that our office has a laser that is ideal for specifically targeting that blood vessel, destroying it, without impacting the surrounding skin; in other words, vascular lasers such at the KTP or PDL laser are very safe and effective at treating unwanted blood vessels with minimal risk or side effects. I had another patient who commented that her children said that she always looked angry due to the vertical lines that had formed between her brows over many years from frowning and concentrating. These subtle lines really affected her. A little Botox helped solve that concern.

With cosmetic procedures, ranging from skin care treatments to lasers to injectables such as Botox and fillers, we have the ability to address the concerns of which our patients are aware. In doing so, we empower that individual to look and feel his or her best. How incredible that the patient walks away from their treatment feeling more confident, younger, and more confident while maintaining a natural appearance that is true to them.

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