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MDLinxYoung Patients are Smashing Bones in Their Faces with Hammers. Here’s Why and What You Can Do to Stop It.

The Intersection of Social Media Influence, Self-Image, and Risky Cosmetic Procedures

The bone smashing trend, a self-inflicted form of facial trauma, is a stark example of the dangerous lengths individuals will go to achieve perceived beauty standards. This practice, amplified by social media platforms, highlights the urgent need for awareness, education, and intervention from healthcare professionals.

HCN Medical Memo
As healthcare professionals, it’s crucial to educate patients about the severe risks associated with practices like bone smashing and to provide them with safer alternatives. It’s also important to recognize the potential mental health implications and refer patients to mental health professionals when necessary.

Key Points

  • Bone smashing is a dangerous trend where individuals intentionally fracture their facial bones to achieve a certain look.
  • The trend has gained popularity on social media platforms like TikTok, with the hashtag #bonesmashing garnering more than 258 million views.
  • The increase in such risky practices can be attributed to the high costs and inaccessibility of professional plastic surgery.
  • Most plastic surgery content online is not shared by board-certified plastic surgeons, leading to misinformation and promotion of risky procedures.
  • Health risks associated with bone smashing include asymmetry, facial disfigurement, infections, internal bleeding, nerve damage, and impaired basic functioning.
  • Bone smashing may be a sign of emotional distress, low self-esteem, poor body image, or body dysmorphic disorder.
  • Social media exacerbates these issues, especially among younger people.
  • Healthcare providers should intervene when they see patients hurting themselves and refer them to mental health professionals.

Between 2020 and 2021 alone, the number of cosmetic surgical procedures increased by 54%, and non-surgical procedures shot up by 44%, according to data from The Aesthetic Society.

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