Following vampire facials and Cinderella foot surgery, eartox is the latest cosmetic procedure in demand by women over 40. Eartox, most commonly referred to as ear rejuvenation, involves injecting dermal filler into the earlobes to plump them up.
The procedure was pioneered by Dr Carolyn Berry, who began offering this type of treatment in response to requests from patients who no longer have the confidence to wear their hair up because of their 'sagging' earlobes. Dr Berry has seen a marked difference in patient’s self-esteem following this procedure and is seeing an increase in the number of women requesting ‘eartox’.
Critics of this increasingly popular trend are concerned that it focuses attention on yet another part of a woman’s body. Dr Emma Mardlin, a clinical therapist from Pinnacle Practice, has warned that the increasing availability of minor cosmetic surgery could encourage the development of more serious self-esteem issues such as body dysmorphia, an anxiety disorder that causes sufferers to develop a distorted view of and obsession with their appearance.
Amy Milner, an associate in the clinical negligence team at Penningtons Manches, says: “Cosmetic surgery is rarely the answer to body concerns and, as Dr Mardlin has suggested, the availability of more minor cosmetic surgery could encourage people to worry even more. Is the fact that these types of procedures are becoming more common an indicator of widespread insecurities amongst men and women? Should more be done to combat the insecurities in the first instance, whether by arranging psychological assessment/counselling in the first instance or considering non-surgical treatments?
“We have recently been instructed by someone who has been diagnosed with body dysmorphia following a blepharoplasty (eyelid) procedure at the age of 19. The surgeon acknowledged that the 'deformity' was extremely minor and not noticeable but went ahead with the surgery. While the procedure itself was a 'success', it has led to tragic consequences for our client who has been diagnosed with body dysmorphia and is now undergoing counselling.”