BDD is relatively common at around 2% of the general population but is much more common at 9-15% of aesthetic dermatology patients and up to half of those seeking surgical rhinoplasties.
While there has been increasing focus on aesthetic patients with the disorder, very little is known about the practitioners. The thought patterns and suggestions of aesthetic practitioners are important when addressing our patients, as often our internal values and ideas are projected during this consultation process, even at an unintentional subconscious level.
A first of its kind survey was conducted to study the prevalence of BDD among aesthetic practitioners in 2017.
When analysing the results per profession, BDD was most common among aesthetic nurses at 50%, who also had the highest average score of 30, followed by aesthetic doctors at 16% with an average score of 26 (Figure 4). Of note, prevalence of BDD symptoms was lowest within the dental profession.
There are further implications for aesthetic patients being treated by practitioners with BDD; the latter have been found to have greater left-sided brain activity when it comes to processing facial detail and, therefore, may have a tendency to focus on certain areas rather than treating the face as a whole.
Without a doubt, BDD is the single greatest challenge facing our work as aesthetic practitioners and the integrity of our industry. We hope that by initiating this study we have at the very least created a platform for dialogue about this disabling condition.
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