The pandemic is having a ripple effect in many areas of life: everything from supply chain delays to changes in social interactions and more. When the world shut down, it affected businesses and families. As a result, people started spending more time connecting on digital platforms and less time enjoying face-to-face interactions.
One of the unexpected results of the pandemic is an increase in plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures. So why are people feeling a need to upgrade their appearance after spending so much time at home? Today, we’re going to break down a few of the reasons why plastic surgery is booming, as well as the most popular treatments that patients are choosing.
Why Is Plastic Surgery Booming?
Several factors contribute to the increasing rates of plastic surgery and cosmetic treatments. Can you relate to any of these things?
Researchers noticed an interesting phenomenon when video conferencing became the new normal: “Zoom dysmorphia.” Millions of people started feeling dissatisfaction or unhappiness about their appearance due to the fact that they were looking at themselves on camera throughout the day.
Computer users don’t realize that looking at themselves on the screen is like looking at a funhouse mirror. Front-facing cameras are convenient to use, but the close proximity to the camera can cause facial distortions. For example, the camera angle might accentuate a double chin, highlight wrinkles around the eyes, make the nose look bigger, or make the eyes look smaller.
Both social gatherings and work meetings shifted to digital interactions, resulting in people spending hours a day seeing their own reflection in video calls. Unfortunately, perceived insecurities are apparent when looking at their own faces on the screen, leading people to look for solutions to overcome these insecurities.
Even with the cameras turning off and people returning to in-person gatherings, the anxiety and worry about their appearance continued. These concerns are focused on the most visible parts of the body when looking at a webcam, including wrinkles, skin discoloration, weight gain, and more.
Common Use of Filters
Insecurities are amplified by comparisons made with other participants who are using camera filters. Photo editing tools and live video filters offer one-click solutions for smoothing wrinkles or slimming down.
After spending hours looking at a beauty filter on Zoom, the person looking back in the bathroom mirror seems to have more insecurities: larger pores, wrinkles, fine lines, skin discoloration, and more.
Even though these filtered photos and videos aren’t real, it’s hard to discern the difference between real life and what you see on social media. This comparison brings about self-confidence issues, which leads to a desire to change the appearance using cosmetic procedures.
One interesting phenomenon is that patients are bringing filtered photos or photoshopped celebrity pictures to their consultations. The desire is to make their real-life appearance look like what they see in the filtered image.
Change in Daily Habits
After spending months at home, many people noticed a change in body composition. Physical activities were limited because of COVID restrictions. Instead, it was more common to sit at home watching Netflix and indulge a little more than usual.
Reduced fitness activities and increased food consumption resulted in weight gain – known as “quarantine 15.” Gyms were closed, and people started eating more.
As things started opening up again, there was a common desire to return to the pre-pandemic body. However, diet and exercise take time, which is why some people turned to cosmetic procedures instead, such as liposuction or Coolsculpting.
Time for Recovery
Another interesting factor that is making plastic surgery more accessible is that it’s easier for patients to spend time at home during recovery. Pre-pandemic, it was an inconvenience to cancel social gatherings or miss events while recovering from surgery.
But when it became the “new normal” to spend extended time at home, people found it easier to schedule time for recovery without feeling like they were missing out on too much.
Also, mask-wearing helps to cover certain types of cosmetic side effects. For example, people using lip fillers or facial laser treatments can still go out without others noticing the side effects since a portion of the face is covered when wearing a mask.
Money in the Bank
Lockdowns and shopping limitations decreased the amount of money that people were spending. So, when restrictions started easing, a healthier bank balance made it possible to invest in services that weren’t affordable in the past – such as plastic surgery.
People weren’t spending their cash on expensive restaurants or outings. Over a few months, the savings added up, providing the financial flexibility people needed to move forward with their cosmetic surgery goals. Even though non-essential services (such as cosmetic surgery) were halted for a few months, there was an overwhelming demand as soon as these clinics opened up again.
Feeling Better After Months of Isolation
Another reason people seek plastic surgery is that they are looking for a fast way to start feeling better after spending months in isolating conditions. COVID restrictions took a toll on mental health, which is why people are now seeking new ways to feel more confident about themselves.
One example is the burnout that is happening among frontline medical workers. After spending so much time in the hospitals, healthcare workers need a boost and feel like they deserve to treat themselves to something special – such as cosmetic treatments that will improve their quality of life.
Breaking Records in the Plastic Surgery Industry
Not only was there a huge demand as soon as plastic surgery clinics started opening again, but the boom has continued. This increase in plastic surgery services hasn’t peaked yet, resulting in record-breaking numbers of procedures being done.
Many plastic surgeons agree that their businesses are thriving right now, with plenty of new customers booking consultations and treatments.
It might seem surprising to hear that plastic surgery is on the rise, especially with the economic challenges and unemployment that occurred. But working professionals are often the customers who have the cash to spend on plastic surgery, and many of these people continued working remotely throughout the pandemic.
Most Popular Cosmetic Treatments Since the Pandemic
What are patients choosing to improve about their appearance? Many of the procedures line up with the perceived imperfections that people see while looking at the Zoom camera all day long. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the post-pandemic plastic surgery boom is happening partly because Americans have a more positive outlook on plastic surgery compared to the past.
The most popular plastic surgery procedures include:
Nose Reshaping (Rhinoplasty)
The nose is one of the most prominent features on the face, so it makes sense that Zoom participants notice the shape and size of their noses during meetings. Additionally, as mentioned earlier, the angle of the laptop camera and close proximity to the camera makes the nose look more prominent.
Rhinoplasty is increasing in popularity. The goal is to change the shape of the nose to fit the rest of the face. The surgeon carefully designs the nose while considering the size, shape, and symmetry of the nose in proportion to the rest of the face.
Sometimes, rhinoplasty is necessary to correct medical issues, such as a deviated septum. However, even when the primary purpose is for medical reasons, a patient can also enjoy cosmetic benefits as well. You will want to discuss the final results you’d like to achieve with the surgeon.
Keep in mind that there is often visible bruising after a nose reshaping surgery, so you’ll need to plan time for recovery before scheduling Zoom calls or other face-to-face meetings. In addition, patients often choose to schedule phone calls as an alternative to video calls while they are recovering after nose surgery.
Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty)
Signs of aging around the eyes are more noticeable on video calls, causing many people to be concerned about crow’s feet, excess skin in the upper eyelid area, and bags under the eyes. Bright eyes bring a youthful appearance, while lines around the eyes can make someone look other than their age.
The purpose of eyelid lift surgery is to reduce the excess skin of the eyelid. Changing these features can create a refreshed appearance for someone who previously looked tired all the time. This procedure is a highly individualized process, with the goal of making aging eyes look a bit younger and brighter.
Not only is eyelid lift surgery helpful for cosmetic and aesthetic reasons, but it is often medically necessary because of the way the excess skin is impacting a person’s line of vision. For example, if the upper eyelid skin is dropping into the visual field, it can limit the person’s overall vision because the skin is getting in the way. Eyelid surgery can remove excess skin and lift the eyelids to create an optimal line of vision.
Eyelid lift surgery requires downtime to heal from the procedure, especially because of swelling and visible bruising during recovery. It’s common for patients to need several weeks for recovery before they feel confident in face-to-face social interactions.
While some people choose individual treatments, such as nose reshaping or eyelid lift surgery, there are times when it makes sense to do a full facelift. This surgery is the most intensive option compared to other more minor procedures, but it also produces the most noticeable results.
During facelift surgery, the surgeon removes excess skin and smooths out wrinkles and folds while also tightening and lifting facial tissues. Typically, a facelift doesn’t include an eyelid lift or brow lift, but there is an option to complete multiple procedures during the same appointment.
The incisions for facelift surgery are around the hairline, temples, and ears. Multiple techniques are often used to create optimal results, such as excess skin removal and fat sculpting. The result is a more youthful appearance in the face since the procedure helps to remove signs of aging (such as sagging skin and wrinkles).
Looking at a phone camera accentuates the double chin, making it hard to see anything else while video chatting. Laptop cameras also accentuate this part of the face, especially since the camera angle is usually pointed upward compared to the face.
Both men and women are noticing the extra skin and fat under the jawline and looking for solutions to slim down the neck and improve the overall appearance in the chin area.
Diet and exercise offer results over time, but it takes months to reach the target goal. As a result, many people are turning to cosmetic procedures to get rid of the “quarantine 15” as quickly as possible. Certain procedures, such as liposuction, offer fast results and a noticeable difference immediately after the treatment. But it’s necessary to plan for recovery time as the bruising and swelling are part of the healing process.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, liposuction is the second most popular type of cosmetic surgery. The treatment removes unwanted pockets of fat in targeted areas, using a machine that removes fat cells while contouring and sculpting specific parts of the body.
Liposuction can be done on many parts of the body, including:
Immediate recovery usually requires between 5 to 7 days before returning to light daily activities. But it can be up to 4 to 6 weeks before getting back to regular physical activities such as exercise and lifting.
Other types of related weight loss surgery include skin removal to get rid of excess skin after losing a lot of weight, as well as a tummy tuck to flatten the stomach. Even though it’s not necessarily considered a “cosmetic” procedure, some people use bariatric surgery as a method to help with weight loss. This technique reduces the size of the stomach to limit the amount of food the person is eating each day, which results in weight loss.
Fat and skin can be removed from the abdominal area during a tummy tuck surgery. This treatment is an excellent solution for people who have lost weight and want to tighten and flatten excess skin of their stomach.
After tummy tuck surgery, the final result is a tighter and flatter abdomen and improved shape overall. For example, the abdominal profile is smoother and firmer. The surgeon can sculpt the ideal shape to improve the abdominal area as much as possible. At the same time, separated or weakened abdominal muscles can be tightened and repositioned to enhance strength and core stability.
As with other types of plastic surgery, most patients agree that tummy tuck recovery is easiest when working from home. Since mobility is limited while the incisions are healing, it can be challenging to go into the office for a long day of work. On the other hand, it’s very simple to jump on a Zoom call while working remotely.
Breast Augmentation or Reduction
While augmentation is one of the most popular treatments for women who want to improve the appearance, shape, and positioning of their breasts, breast reduction is also growing in popularity right now. A reduction can be part of a weight loss effort. Or, a reduction is sometimes helpful for athletes, dancers, or other professionals in highly active lifestyles.
Breast augmentation involves the placement of silicone implants to increase the overall size of each breast. Or another option is to use the fat that is harvested from another part of the body.
Breast surgery is highly customized based on the preferences and goals of each patient—the surgeon talks with each patient about the size and shape that they desire. For example, the best results might be achieved using a combination of a breast lift and augmentation.
These surgical treatments are common after pregnancy because of the way the breasts change due to the fluctuating hormones. But it isn’t necessary to wait until after pregnancy before having cosmetic surgery. These treatments can be completed at any stage of life.
Some women want a full transformation to recover their bodies after having a baby. A “mommy makeover” is the process of using multiple treatments to create the overall desired results. For example, a woman might have a breast augmentation and lift, liposuction, and a tummy tuck done at the same time or in separate surgeries, depending on the complexity of the procedures.
The benefit of pairing multiple procedures is to reduce the overall recovery time, but it can also lead to improper healing or results.
Of course, there are limitations to the number of procedures that can be completed at a time. If you want a mommy makeover, talk to the surgeon about your overall goals to determine which procedures are ideal for your unique needs.
Additionally, many people are now finding a good opportunity to take care of reconstructive procedures they’ve been putting off. Examples of reconstructive treatments include:
- Scar revision
- Tumor removal
- Laceration repair
- Hand surgery
- Maxillofacial surgery
Minimally Invasive Procedures
In addition to major plastic surgery treatments, there has also been an uptick in the number of minimally-invasive treatments. The most common Med Spa services include:
- Laser skin resurfacing
- Chemical peels
- Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) therapy
Is It a Good Time to Schedule Your Plastic Surgery?
If you have been considering plastic surgery or other cosmetic treatments, it might be an ideal time to book a consultation. First, consider how much flexibility you have in your schedule right now. Then, find the best time to schedule the surgery so you can make your dreams become a reality.
The potential benefits can boost your confidence and have a positive impact on many areas of your life. Even though there is a bit of time required for recovery, patients are satisfied with the final results and happy that they made an effort.
There is no risk to scheduling a consultation to discuss plastic surgery procedures. During this appointment, you have a face-to-face conversation with an experienced surgeon to learn more about the available options. Not only does our experienced team help you learn more about the anticipated benefits of each procedure, but we also discuss potential risks and side effects.
If you are ready to learn more about how your life will change after plastic surgery, schedule a consultation with a local expert: Dr. Cat Begovic. Dr. Cat is a well-known plastic surgeon offering a variety of cosmetic procedures, including full mommy makeovers and non-invasive options such as ThermiSmooth.
Since Dr. Cat is a board-certified plastic surgeon, you can have confidence knowing that she is highly skilled and has decades of experience in the industry. Call today to book a consultation and learn more about available treatments.