Teens turn to plastic surgery to look like Snapchat filter selfies

Unhappy Mixed Race woman texting on cell phone
Photo credit: Getty

Teenagers are increasingly undergoing plastic surgery to look like their Snapchat-filtered selfies - a trend that has researchers concerned about underlying mental health conditions.

A new study published in JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery Viewpoint has warned of an "alarming trend" where teenagers seek out the fuller lips, larger eyes and angular cheekbones seen in many popular selfie filters, reports The Independent.

"Snapchat dysmorphia", a term coined by British cosmetic doctor Tijion Esho earlier this year, is believed to be a form of body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) in which individuals can't stop obsessing over minor flaws in their appearance.

Dr Neelam Vashi, director of Boston University Cosmetic and Laser Center, said "filtered selfies especially can have harmful effects on adolescents or those with BDD because these groups may more severely internalise this beauty", reports The Independent.

A 2017 Annual American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery survey noted that 55 percent of plastic surgeons had patients wanting to improve their appearance in selfies.

Those suffering from a type of BDD wanting to turn to plastic surgery should consider seeking psychological interventions such as cognitive behavioural therapy, said Dr Vashi.

Researchers and doctors have also recommended patients undergo further checks to test for other underlying body image issues.