There are a lot of services and products available on the market today. One of the easiest and most accessible forms of advertising is social media especially with the photo-sharing app Instagram. With cute photo filters and video effects, many fall prey to Instagram marketing.

There’s nothing wrong in shopping for products and services on social media. However, consumers should know the services that they’re not supposed to scout using Instagram like cosmetic surgery.

Plastic Surgeons online

It is now a trend for plastic surgeons to showcase their work and to use social media as a marketing tool.

There is nothing wrong with that; however, experts say that picking plastic surgeons from social media poses some serious health risk. This warning is according to a new study published in the journal Aesthetic Surgery last Wednesday, August 30.

Although it should be common sense why a person in need of a professional service should seek help in hospitals, the study emphasized that only 17.8 percent of cosmetic surgery ads on Instagram in Canada and the U.S came from certified plastic surgeons. This alarming rate means there are indeed real doctors out there, but more than 70 percent of the posts are bogus or uncertified.

According to Dr. Clark Schierle a certified Plastic Surgeon and lead author of the study, many physicians use the social media app to post but they aren’t actually trained to perform plastic surgery. The only way to be sure is to visit their clinic/practice.

Schierle also clarified that they are not against the use of the social media app in searching for plastic surgeons but choosing one is a different story. They wanted consumers to dig deeper and verify before undergoing sensitive procedures to ensure its success.

The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery dictates that practitioners in the U.S.

should be certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery with five years of surgical training and residency. They should also pass the board’s oral and written exams. The study also mentioned that although the certification is only a voluntary credential, this will assure patients that they will undergo procedures under very capable and well-trained hands.

Social media study

The study was conducted after reports of an alarming number of botched treatments reached the association. In order to collect data, the researchers reviewed over 1,000 Instagram posts with plastic surgery related hashtags last January. They categorized and reviewed the top nine posts. Upon further investigations, only a few of the top posts in Canada and in the U.S. were from certified plastic surgeons.

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