his era of Zoom meetings and video conferences has seen many residents dialling up their dermatologists because, all of a sudden, wrinkles are too visible or hairlines appear much higher. It’s a scenario dubbed ‘Zoom dysmorphia’ and doctors said it has become more common in the UAE.
With insecurities magnified, there has been an uptick in cosmectic consultations, the specialists said.
Dr Preethi Dayashankar, dermatologist at Medeor Hospital, Dubai, said: “This is on the rise in the UAE residents, as seen by our fraternity, who share a common opinion on people reaching out to us for corrective treatments. This scenario has become more prominent after the restrictions have been lifted and physicians became more accessible.”
Zoom dysmorphia occurs when a person becomes fixated on flaws in their appearance, particularly during Zoom or video conference calls, Dr Dayashankar explained. “It initiates a self-critical comparative response that leads to people rushing to their physicians for corrective treatments which they had not considered before the onset of Zoom classes or calls.”
In a report published in The International Journal of Women’s Dermatology this year, a whopping 86 per cent of patients polled had cited video-conferencing as the reason for seeking cosmetic treatments.
Common concerns found in global studies were receding hairlines, nasolabial folds, wrinkles close to the eyes, pigmentation, etc.
However, such cosmetic issues don’t always require any medical procedure. “What we see on the screen is not an accurate representation of what we look like. Lens size and subject distance are important factors in photography, affecting how the subject appears on the screen,” said Dr Dayashankar.
“As ethical dermatologists, we should know when to do any correction, or just an explanation and counselling would suffice,” she added.