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Patient Motivations for Seeking Cosmetic Procedures

JAMA Dermatology; ePub 2018 Aug 15; Maisel, et al

Common reasons why patients seek minimally invasive cosmetic procedures included emotional, psychological, and practical motivations, in addition to the desire to enhance physical appearance, according to a recent study. The study was performed at 2 academic and 11 private dermatology practice sites that represented all US geographic regions. Participants (n=511) completed a survey instrument based on a recently developed subjective framework of motivations and a demographic questionnaire. Researchers found:

  • Typical respondents were female (440 [86.1%]), ≥45 years (286 [56.0%]), white (386 [75.5%]), and college educated (469 [91.8%]) and had previously received at least 2 cosmetic procedures (270 [52.8%]).
  • Apart from motivations pertaining to aesthetic appearance, motives related to physical health, such as preventing worsening of condition or symptoms (253 of 475 [53.3%]), and psychosocial well-being, such as the desire to feel happier and more confident or improve total quality of life (314 of 467 [67.2%]), treat oneself or celebrate (284 of 463 [61.3%]), and look good professionally (261 of 476 [54.8%]) were commonly reported.
  • Motivations related to cost and convenience were rated as less important (68 of 483 [14.1%]).


Maisel A, Waldman A, Furlan K, et al. Self-reported patient motivations for seeking cosmetic procedures. [Published online ahead of print August 15, 2018]. JAMA Dermatology. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2018.2357.