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Fact Sheet


An excessive preoccupation with an imagined or a minor defect of a localized facial feature or body part, resulting in decreased social, academic and occupational functioning.

Characteristics of BDD:

  • Preoccupation with perceived distortion of a specific body part
  • Camouflage of a specific body part
  • Avoidance of social interactions
  • Frequently comparing one’s appearance with that of others
  • Often checking how one looks in the mirror
  • Seeking surgery for appearance when others have said such treatment is not necessary
  • Excessive grooming (combing hair, shaving over and over, removing hair or applying makeup)
  • Exercising or dieting excessively
  • Frequently touching the perceived defect
  • Measuring the “unpleasant” body part


  • Do you worry about the appearance of your face or body?
  • If so, what is your concern? How bad do you think your face or body appears?
  • How much time do you spend worrying about the appearance of your face or body part?
  • Have you done anything to hide the problem or rid yourself of the problem?
  • Does this concern with your appearance affect any aspect of your life (e.g. school, job or social life)?


The AAFPRS believes that individual cases merit careful evaluation under the supervision of a facial plastic surgeon. Both the surgeon and the patient should have a clear understanding of what the patient’s motivation is to have surgery as well as what the patient’s expectations of the outcome is.

The AAFPRS is the world’s largest association of facial plastic and reconstructive surgeons with more than 2,600 members – whose cosmetic reconstructive surgery focuses on the face, head and neck. Academy fellows are board-certified and subscribe to a code of ethics. In addition, the AAFPRS provides consumers with free information and brochures and a list of qualified facial plastic surgeons in their area by calling 1-800-332-FACE or by visiting the AAFPRS Web site,

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