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Are Your Clients Suffering From BDD?

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Body Dysmorphic Disorder

With an obsessive focus on a perceived appearance flaw a key symptom of body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), many sufferers turn to esthetic medicine. Dermatologists and plastic surgeons consider the disorder a red flag and contraindication in their practice, although patients still often receive cosmetic procedures, according to a recent study calling out BDD “under-diagnosis” published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons’ report that up to 10% of patients seeking cosmetic procedures are affected by the [BDD] disorder, out of 2% of the general population.

Amid differing statistics, industry experts agree that aesthetic medicine and BDD intersect. The study found that out of 173 plastic surgeons, dermatologists and cosmetic doctors, only 1–5 BDD patients visited their practice in the past year. This contradicts the American Society of Plastic Surgeons’ report that up to 10% of patients seeking cosmetic procedures are affected by the disorder, out of 2% of the general population.

Moving Forward

While only 7% of professionals surveyed routinely screen for BDD, and 70% refused to perform cosmetic procedures for those patients. Less than half worked together with mental health professionals when encountering BDD patients, with plastic surgeons the most likely to refuse treatment and recommend outside help.

While only 7% of professionals surveyed routinely screen for BDD, and 70% refused to perform cosmetic procedures for those patients.

For those physicians who did refuse treatment, 16% reported verbal altercations from patients, with 6% receiving legal threats. Physicians can use the BDD self-test provided by RealSelf as a baseline tool to help identify suffering patients and provide information.

For more information on BDD, visit Cosmetic Surgery Times.

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