Screening Patients for BDD is Crucial

Woman with Body Dysmorphia
Practitioners should screen their patients for body dysmorphia before performing aesthetic treatments

With Body Dysmorphid Disorder (BDD) affecting anywhere from 5% to 15% of aesthetic medicine patients, it remains important to properly screen your patients for this disorder before treatment. Researchers from the University of Gdansk, Poland, conducted a study to assess the main motivations, demography and clinical features of BDD to help practitioners continue to be aware of the disease. 

Related: Multiphasic BDD Screeing Protocol Identifies At-risk Patients

The single-center study (published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March 2022), was performed using an anonymous questionnaire completed by 199 patients of a private aesthetic medicine clinic in Gdansk, Poland. The researchers found that patients of the aesthetic clinic are primarily women between the ages of 40 and 50, with higher education; they typically undergo aesthetic treatments more than twice a year, with these treatments mainly being botulinum toxin injections. 

Related: Saying "No"

The common motivators for patients to receive these treatments included the desire to look fresh, reduce signs of aging and invest in themself. Roughly 15.6% of patients presented at least two characteristic features of BDD.

Related: Adverse Childhood Experiences Drive Postoperative Dissatisfaction

Some common characteristics that may be a sign of BDD that patients admitted to in this study included: 

  • Over 38% of patients claimed having critical and recurring thoughts about their appearance, which affected their daily functioning and caused a decrease in their well-being.
  • Almost 20% of them performed repetitive activities like frequently looking in a mirror or asking others for opinions on their appearance. 

The authors concluded that patients seeking cosmetic treatments may suffer from BDD; thus, it is increasingly important for aesthetic medicince practitioners to be aware of this disease and properly screen for it among their patients. 

More in Research