Don´t be fooled by Instagram !


Don´t be fooled by Instagram !

Since photography was introduced into the medical field in the 19th century, standardized norms were established to improve the comparability and transparency of surgical treatment results.

These ethical standards are promoted by the associations specializing in plastic and reconstructive surgery. However, with the rapid growth of non-surgical modalities accessible to specialties outside of plastic surgery and an explosive increase in the use of before and after photographs on social networks for marketing purposes. marketingIn addition, a downward trend in adherence to photographic standards has been identified.

This progressive decline in the quality of before-and-after photographs has coincided with an increase in the problems of negative body image among adolescents and young adults in the United States, which is associated with increased use of social networks and a greater inclination to seek cosmetic treatments.

Despite the magnitude of this problem, the extent to which cosmetic professionals fail to follow established online photographic standards has not been quantitatively assessed using a standardized scoring system designed to facilitate quality improvement efforts.


Is it possible that you are being fooled by photos on Instagram?

The study we analyzed seeks to address this question through a comprehensive analysis of outcome photographs posted online by cosmetic professionals, using a standardized scoring system and rating scale recently proposed in facial plastic surgery and aesthetic medicine.

Well, an article called “TheUglyTruth” brings us the answer! This article delves into the world of surgical images and proposes a scoring system called SEPIA to evaluate these photos. Now, let’s summarize the key findings of the study.

The SEPIA is a scoring system used to evaluate the quality of photographs on Instagram, specifically those related to cosmetic treatments and surgeries. Images are scored on a scale of 0 to 9, where 0 represents low quality and 9 represents high quality.

According to the results, the average score of all the photographs analyzed was 4, which is considered medium quality. Surprisingly, about 40% of the images scored low (0).

Aesthetic medicine professionals, such as plastic surgeons, facial and oculoplastics, obtained higher scores compared to other specialists. However, significant variation in adherence to SEPIA standards was observed in different aspects, such as subject position and procedure description, which were met more frequently than others, such as timing and presentation of multiple views.

It was also found that photographs of surgical treatments had significantly better quality than those of non-surgical treatments. In particular, images related to rhinoplasty and lip fillers obtained lower scores due to the high frequency of immediate photos and selfies.

The SEPIA system, in conclusion, is a tool that evaluates the quality of images on Instagram related to surgeries and aesthetic treatments.

First, a total of 510 Instagram posts were analyzed that included some 2020 clinical images of cosmetic treatments, and this was not done by an amateur, but involved 102 practitioners of aesthetic medicine.


What is the quality of images on Instagram?

Surprisingly, the average quality of these images, as evaluated with the SEPIA scored 4 out of 9, which is considered merely average quality. That means there is room for improvement.

But here’s the interesting part: approximately 40% of the publications obtained a low score. Not very encouraging, is it?

The results also showed that some rules such as subject positioning, facial expression and description of the procedure are quite often met. However, synchronization and presentation of multiple views are too often overlooked.


Who takes the best photographs?

Interestingly, plastic surgeons plastic surgeons stand out in the quality of their images and publish fewer low-quality images. Score one for them!

In addition, low-quality images were more common in posts related to rhinoplasty and lip fillers, due to the high number of selfies and snapshots.

What is striking is that most practitioners do not admit the deficiencies professionals do not admit the deficiencies in their images.. A little self-criticism would not go amiss.


What is the relationship between image quality and the number of followers on Instagram?

As for Instagram followers, interestingly, no significant correlation was found between the number of followers and the quality of the images.

In summary, the study highlights that the quality of images showing cosmetic treatment results on Instagram generally has room for improvement. Something to keep in mind when looking for inspiration for cosmetic surgeries and treatments!