The reasons for cosmetic treatments – study

Minimally invasive cosmetic treatments are growing every year. Nowadays it is increasingly accepted. When you think of cosmetic procedures, think of injections such as botulinum toxin, hyaluronic acid fillers, but also peels and various laser treatments that make the skin less tired and smoother. However, there are also cosmetic treatments moles, acne scars, rosacea, telangiectasia, thickened scars, excess hair, cellulite, stubborn and diet-resistant belly fat, port-wine stains, excessive sweating, HIV facial lipodystrophy and tattoos.

Cosmetic treatments research

In one study, 30 people who have already undergone an operation or are considering having an operation were interviewed. There were 7 men and 23 women with a mean age of 41.9 years.

Eight different themes were discussed. 1. Emotional and mental health (self-confidence, self-awareness, stigma) 2. Cosmetic appearance (normal, better, younger looking, better in the picture) 3. Physical health (fear of decay, infection) 4. success at work and/or school 5. social well-being (social fears, relationship, upcoming social event) 6. cost and/or convenience 7. procedural perceptions (clinic reviews, physician reputation) and 8. timing of treatment (a lifestyle change, financial).

What are the reasons:

The following motivations for having a procedure were: desire to improve emotional state/happiness, to improve mental well-being/self-esteem, to improve overall appearance, to reduce physical ailments, to increase self-confidence in a professional environment, to reduce social anxiety, and to spend less time and/or energy or money spent on hiding the physical imperfection. Healthcare provider reputations were also important to patients, as were the effectiveness and longevity of the procedure.

It is mainly the physical and psychosocial issues that lead to cosmetic treatment. Different perceptions of a condition can lead to a shift to a patient-centered approach. It is important to focus on the different experience of the problem.


Waldman A, Maisel A, Weil A, Iyengar S, Sacotte K, Lazaroff JM, Kurumety S, Shaunfield SL, Reynolds KA, Poon E, Robinson JK, Alam M. Patients believe that cosmetic procedures affect their quality of life: An interview study of patient-reported motivations. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2019 Jun;80(6):1671-1681.

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