Why plastic-surgery demand is booming amid lockdown
Topic: Why plastic-surgery demand is booming amid lockdown
As much as we may now be trained to sit on video calls and stare at our colleagues through a computer screen, many of us find ourselves constantly distracted during our daily huddles and meetings. It’s not the dog barking in the background, or the roommate making lunch over someone’s shoulder – it’s the sight of our own faces.
And the longer that video thumbnail stares back at us, the more we start to notice things. Were those crow’s feet there before lockdown? Did my nose suddenly get bigger? Is one eyebrow higher than the other?
It’s little surprise that after months of conducting conversations via video call, many of us have started to analyse – and criticize – our appearances more. Cosmetic doctors and plastic surgeons around the world – Australia, the US, the UK, Japan, South Korea – have reported surges in bookings for surgical and non-surgical treatments following lockdown. It’s being referred to as the ‘Zoom Boom’.
“‘Lockdown Face’ has become a thing,” says Ashton Collins, director of Save Face, a UK government-approved register of accredited cosmetic practitioners. “We were inundated with queries saying, ‘I’ve noticed that my frown line is terrible, that my lips need doing, or my nose is crooked’.” Since the UK lockdown began in March, Save Face has seen a surge of 40% more traffic to its website, with people researching treatments, then going onto the register to find local practitioners.
What is it about pandemic video calls that have us scrutinising our every feature – and just how rational is it?
‘Cosmetic’ plastic surgery, in which someone changes their appearance for aesthetic rather than medical reasons, ranges from non-invasive procedures, such as Botox or skin fillers, to invasive procedures, such as facelifts and rhinoplasty.
And these procedures are pricey. Americans spent more than $16.6bn (£12.76bn) on cosmetic plastic surgery in 2018, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, with an average facelift costing almost $8,000 (£6,151). So, when the pandemic hit, some cosmetic doctors felt extreme uncertainty about what lockdown would mean for their industry, especially with disposable household income falling as well as the inability for patients to see doctors in person.
However, the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) says its doctors were reporting up to 70% increases in requests for virtual consultations during this period, as patients continued to consider treatments they’d be able to get once they could see their surgeon face to face again. Similarly, a recent survey by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons showed that 64% of its doctors had seen an increase in their virtual consultations since the start of Covid-19.
Topic Discussed: Why plastic-surgery demand is booming amid lockdown