Selfies Give Distorted Facial View

Selfies introduce measurable distortions in the size and perception of facial features

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WEDNESDAY, April 6, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Selfies can negatively affect perceived facial appearance, according to a study published in the April issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

Mark P. Pressler, M.D., from the University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas, and colleagues tried to quantify changes in size and perception of facial features when taking a selfie compared to the gold standard of clinical photography. Three photographs (a 12-inch and 18-inch series with a front-facing smartphone camera and the five-foot clinical photography series using a digital single-lens reflex camera) were taken of 30 volunteers.

The researchers found that nasal length was an average of 6.4 percent longer in 12-inch selfies versus clinical photography and 4.3 percent longer in 18-inch selfies versus clinical photography. There were no significant differences in alar base width comparing selfies to clinical photography. There was a decrease of 10.8 percent in size of the nose in relation to the face when comparing 12-inch selfies to clinical photography and a decrease of 7.8 percent when comparing 18-inch selfies to clinical photography.

"These data allow for a more precise conversation between the surgeon and the patient," the authors write. "Further study will elucidate how changes between different photography settings further contribute to distortions and perceptions in plastic surgery."

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