Navigating the Fine Line: Face Dysmorphia and Cosmetic Surgery

Navigating the Fine Line: Face Dysmorphia and Cosmetic Surgery

By Sheena

Face Dysmorphia is a form of Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) where the individual obsesses over some perceived flaw on their face. The fixation could be on any feature of the face such as the nose, teeth or skin and could be a source of great distress to the sufferer. 

A person with facial dysmorphia is often found to be checking out their appearance in the mirror, seeking reassurance from others about their perceived defects and constantly comparing themselves to others. It is important to note that these flaws that preoccupy the mind of such an individual are often unnoticeable to others or greatly exaggerated in their imagination.



The Appeal of Cosmetic Surgery

In their effort to improve their facial features, many people with facial dysmorphia are drawn to cosmetic surgery. Whether it's a nose job, facelift, or chin augmentation, these surgical procedures promise to change perceived flaws into desired characteristics. People who have facial dysmorphia think that going under the knife will solve their problem but usually, it worsens the situation.

They are rarely satisfied with their appearance after the surgery. More often, they want to go for further surgical procedures and it starts a self-destructive cycle.

Various celebrities have shared their regrets and struggles following cosmetic surgery. They give a lesson to all of us that these procedures aren’t something to be taken lightly.

Kylie Jenner, a famous influencer and businesswoman, admitted to having done lip fillers. She regrets having undergone cosmetic procedures to fit societal beauty standards and worries about what example she has set for her daughter and the public.

Reid Ewing, an actor in the comedy sitcom ‘Modern Family’ admitted how he got trapped in the allure of cosmetic surgery, costing him his mental well-being. Later, he got diagnosed with body dysmorphia and sought professional help.

Courtney Cox, the actress known for her role in ‘Friends’, openly shared her regrets about getting face fillers. She expresses a desire to embrace natural ageing instead.  

Courteney Cox on bad face work: 'I'm looking really strange'

Not all Cosmetic Procedures are Bad

The decision to undergo cosmetic procedures should be taken after serious consideration… after carefully weighing the pros and cons. You need to recognise whether it’s your physical appearance that requires a change or your line of thought. 

One needs to address the potential pitfalls of solely relying on cosmetic surgery to treat body dysmorphia. At the same time, one needs to know that all cosmetic procedures are not bad or end in a negative outcome. Some procedures are necessary such as reconstructive surgery after an accident or for medical reasons like sinus correction.

Holistic Treatment Approaches to Tackle Facial Dysmorphia

  • Seeking Professional Help
  • Before taking the step to undergo any cosmetic procedure, it is advisable to get expert counselling from therapists or psychologists that specialise in body image and self-esteem issues. The mental health screening will help you know whether you need cosmetic surgery or psychiatric care.

  • Practising Self-Care 
  • Promoting self-care practises such as mindfulness and meditation and participating in activities that encourage self-esteem and self-expression can assist individuals in developing a healthy connection with their bodies. This will also help in cultivating a more positive body image and embracing yourself without any cosmetic fixes.

  • Participating in Support Groups
  • Joining support groups or online communities will help you connect with people who are facing the same problem as you. Sharing your own experience with facial dysmorphia and listening to other people’s experiences who have gone through similar trials can help minimise feelings of loneliness and facilitate recovery.

    Additionally, you will be able to know the experience of people who have chosen to undergo cosmetic surgery and whether it had helped them in their journey to heal from body dysmorphia or not. You will also be aware of the risks involved and this will help you make a better decision.


    While cosmetic surgery can provide transformative outcomes, it is critical to understand the risks involved, particularly when dealing with facial dysmorphia. It is important to realise that cosmetic procedures can't cure the underlying issues of a person with this condition.  

    Individuals can find healing and create a healthy body image by following a holistic approach that incorporates psychological support, education and self-care practises. 

    One should remember that to tackle face dysmorphia, the battle must begin from within and for that, we need to embrace our physical selves. So, let’s start the journey towards healing and love our bodies a little more!





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