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- A US dermatologist says they've seen a spike in people wanting appointments for 'appearance-related' issues since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic

- The term 'Zoom dysmorphia' is being used to describe those with distorted self-image after months of looking at themselves in front-facing cameras

- SU Professor Mike Tomlinson says an official diagnosis o Zoom dysmorphia would take years



"There's always a double chin in a Zoom call!" laments Breakfast Show host Refilwe Moloto.

Is it true, or could it be that CapeTalk host is suffering from what experts have dubbed 'Zoom dysmorphia?

It appears that the hours and hours many of us have spent in video meetings since the start of the Covid-19 may have begun to take a toll on our psyche and how we view ourselves.

Harvard Medical School dermatologist Shadi Kourosh said she has noticed a spike in the number of people requesting appointments for appearence-related issues in the last 18 months.

“It seemed that, at a time like that, other matters would be top of mind, but a lot of people were really concerned with feeling that they looked much worse than usual,” she told Wired.Com

So is Moloto's critique of her online appearance an accurate one, or is she one of an increasing number of people whose self-image is taking a battering as a result of hours spent staring at themselves on screen?

She turned to Professor Mike Tomlinson, co-director of the Institute for Life Course Health Research at Stellenbosch University for some expert advice.

Dysmorphia is a diagnosis where no matter what the reality is of your appearance, you see a different thing.

Professor Mike Tomlinson, Co-director of the Institute for Life Course Health Research - Stellenbosch University

Like with anorexia where you see yourself as fat, but you may in fact be underweight.

Professor Mike Tomlinson, Co-director of the Institute for Life Course Health Research - Stellenbosch University

The term 'dysmorphia' is being used a little bit liberally in this case.

Professor Mike Tomlinson, Co-director of the Institute for Life Course Health Research - Stellenbosch University

For something like 'Zoom dysmorphia' to become an actual diagnosis would take years of research.

Professor Mike Tomlinson, Co-director of the Institute for Life Course Health Research - Stellenbosch University

People are putting their cameras low all the time and seeing their double chins - it's not flattering!

Professor Mike Tomlinson, Co-director of the Institute for Life Course Health Research - Stellenbosch University

This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Are you suffering from the latest Covid side effect? It's called Zoom dysmorphia

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