What is 'Snapchat dysmorphia,' and why is it concerning?
A new viewpoint article published in JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery exposes the harmful effects of smartphone photo filters on body image issues and mental health conditions such as body dysmorphic disorder.

Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is a mental health condition affecting 1 in 50 people in the United States. People who have the disorder can spend hours obsessing over minor or nonexistent flaws in their appearance, picking their skin, or grooming themselves.

Some of the people living with BDD have a history of unnecessary or repeated cosmetic surgeries; the disorder has been associated with obsessive-compulsive disorder, major depression, and suicidal tendencies.

Although the causes of BDD are unclear at the moment, researchers think that several factors are at play, including genetics and neurobiological issues such as a faulty processing of the neurotransmitter serotonin (also known as the happiness hormone).

Now, a new viewpoint article written by researchers at the Boston Medical Center (BMC) in Massachusetts suggests that there might be an additional risk factor: selfies.

Susruthi Rajanala, of the Department of Dermatology at the BMC, is the first author of the viewpoint. In their article, the authors highlight the fact that the popularity of social media and the increasing accessibility of filters in apps such as Snapchat and Facetune have profound psychological effects.

"The pervasiveness of these filtered images can take a toll on one's self-esteem, make one feel inadequate for not looking a certain way in the real world, and may even act as a trigger and lead to [BDD]," they write.

Read more: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322706.php
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