Ethics in Aesthetics: The Influence of Social Media Platforms on Aesthetic Procedures in Saudi Arabia
Author(s): Abrar E Bukhari, Dalal A AlDosari*, Mohammed A Almashali, Leena M.Alzakry, Yara K AlKhalid and Al-Mazidi Sara H
Background: Aesthetic procedures, commonly performed worldwide, are affected by several factors. The perception of beauty on social media is a recent and decisive factor that affects patients' decisions and places physicians on a thin line between patients' desires and medical ethics. This study assesses the relationship between aesthetic procedures and social media among Saudi Arabians. We also discussed physicians' ethical considerations while meeting patients' demands. Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted among all social media users in Saudi Arabia above 16 years old; a survey was randomly distributed through social media platforms (WhatsApp and Twitter) and sent to 5000 random cellphone numbers via SMS. 1050 participants responded to the survey Results: 66% didn’t obtain professional opinions and relied on social media for aesthetic procedures. 3.6% who depended only on professional consults were dissatisfied with their results. Conclusion: Although patient requests and updates on aesthetic procedures are essential, dermatologists' and plastic surgeons' ethics and professionalism shouldn’t be affected by new social media trends. Results showed that patients were more satisfied with their professional opinion, even if social media was the primary reason. Since social media can disseminate information, physicians should educate the importance of seeking professional consultation.