Covid-19 changed a lot about the way Americans live and work. The price of houses shot up as many people formerly tied to an office can now work remotely from home. Home improvement centers saw their sales climb as more people were stuck at home and needed better accommodations with which to work. In my neighborhood it seems every other house is having a pool installed. I guess if you’re afraid to travel at least make your staycation better. Recreational vehicle sales rose sharply from two years ago as more people decided to vacation without flying. For that matter, the price of used airplanes has also skyrocketed due to people seeking alternative ways to travel. Travel by private planes, including private jets has also risen in response to Covid.
Apparently, that’s not all that Covid has changed. It was recently reported that cosmetic surgery is climbing in response to people concerned about how they look on a computer screen during Zoom meetings.
A national survey by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons reports that three-fourths of cosmetic-focused plastic surgery clinics that responded to the survey have seen an increase in business compared to pre-pandemic levels with almost 30 percent saying their business has doubled.
Some of the surgeons and clinics surveyed report that many of the patients coming in had reallocated travel funds for cosmetic procedures. Other surgeons said many of the women they treated were concerned about their appearance when all their coworkers could see was their face on a screen.
“COVID changed everything. No one was traveling, vacations got canceled,” Basu added. “So I think a lot of families and patients had a lot more disposable income. And so, they found that this is the right time for them to do a cosmetic plastic surgery procedure.”
The survey identified women aged between 31 and 45 as the most likely to seek cosmetic procedures. Popular procedures included tummy tucks, liposuction, and breast augmentation.
Ok, that last sentence makes no sense. The popular procedures are not generally visible on webcam. However, it’s not just in the United States that’s seeing an increase in cosmetic procedures. According to Dr. Graham Offer, similar trends are occurring in Britain.
“I have seen a big increase in facial stuff over the last year since lockdown,” he told Healthline.
One thing that comes to mind is the recovery process at home after a procedure could make Zoom meetings difficult. If your face is red and puffy from fillers, facelifts or laser resurfacing, it’s going to be noticeable on a screen. I guess you could fake a bad webcam for a week or so.
Not covered in the survey is the fact that cosmetic surgery is the only area of medicine that performs like a normal market. My research over the past 20 years finds that cosmetic surgery prices have risen about equal to consumer inflation. Consumer inflation (Consumer Price Index) has increased by only one-third as much as medical inflation. The price of cosmetic services that can be done by registered nurses or even aestheticians have increased at rates lower than consumer inflation over the past 20 years or more.