Summary: Can your phone make you get plastic surgery? It depends on how you use it–and how often. It’s not necessarily any particular app that might cause you to undergo plastic surgery (although social media certainly has a role to play). It’s how you hold the phone. When you look down at your phone, you might be giving yourself something called “phone face.”

Can Your Phone Make You Get Plastic Surgery?

We all know that social media can exert a certain amount of influence when it comes to plastic surgery, but can your phone make you get plastic surgery too? To a certain extent, the question is itself a little redundant: most of us interact with social media on our phones, so it’s entirely impossible to separate the two. Your phone and your social media will always be intertwined, at least for most of us.

But there are some aspects of your phone that, outside of your social media interactions, can end up making you get plastic surgery–or, at least, in some cases, make you feel like you ought to.

That’s not a universal experience, of course. Not everyone is going to feel as though they need plastic surgery–some people will feel good about the way they look no matter how many signs of aging they see in the mirror. But others will want to address those changes–and some of those changes can be exacerbated by your mobile device in some pretty interesting ways. This article is not intended to substitute for medical advice–if you have any medical questions about this, please consult with a medical professional.

How Does Your Phone Change Your Face?

Your phone is an interesting device, if only because it’s so all consuming. Think about how many times a day you glance at your screen. Sometimes you downright stare at that glowing little box. And there are plenty of people who use their mobile phones as a kind of substitute television–watching all the media they can on it. As mobile phone screens have grown larger and larger, that seems only more and more natural.

At first glance, it doesn’t really seem like that would impact your face at all, right? How is looking at your screen going to exacerbate the signs of aging? Well, turns out it’s not so much the act of looking that is the problem–it’s where the phone is when you’re looking.

Here’s what happens:

  • Most people hold their mobile phone screens below eye level, so you need to look down in order to see your screen.
  • You spend so much looking down that certain features on your face begin to feel a little extra pull from gravity. Or, at least, gravity starts to pull on different areas of the face than it normally would.
  • Over time, this can result in a phenomenon known as “phone face,” in which the skin around the jowls and jawline becomes extended in a way that is, perhaps, premature for one’s age.

Can “Phone Face” be Reversed?

The extent to which excess skin is created by this particular practice varies from person to person. It depends on how elastic your skin is and, well, how often you use your phone. The more you look down at your screen, the more severe (in all likelihood) the “phone face” will become. But the natural amount of elastin in your skin–and the overall health of your skin–has a bit impact as well.

Once this excess skin has been created, it is nearly impossible for it to be naturally mitigated. For most people, the only way to eliminate excess skin is via surgery. That’s why facelift procedures are a popular way to eliminate this particular “phone face” look. In some cases, dermal fillers may be used to achieve temporary results–but your options will most heavily depend on how advanced your phone face has become.

Don’t Forget About Social Media

That said, the impact that social media can have on your desire for plastic surgery is both much more potent and more malicious. The prevalence of sharing photos, of popular opinion, of selfies–it all makes one much more aware of his or her so-called flaws. And that can lead to all kinds of issues, such as body dysmorphia.

That said, there are plenty of people who find themselves happily transformed because of their mobile devices. And there’s no doubt that these devices make it easier to make appointments, check up on surgeons, view ratings, and that kind of thing.

So we can’t look at mobile devices as some kind of simplistic negative influence. They do plenty of good things. And, besides, it’s not like anyone is going to toss their mobile device because they might get phone face. If they were going to do that, it would have happened years ago (phone face is not necessarily a new discovery). Can your phone make you get plastic surgery? It can certainly create specific conditions. But surgery is a decision only you can make.


About the Author: Nick Engebretson has been working with plastic and cosmetic surgeons for over twenty years. This article was written in conjunction with the staff at South Shore Plastic Surgery, owned and operated by Dr. Charles Polsen, a Houston area plastic surgeon.

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