The permanent cosmetics industry sees its fair share of clients with Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD). This disorder is a mental health condition where the person affected by it has the propensity to fret about their perceived visual flaws to the point of distraction and interference of their everyday life.

A person with this condition spends an inordinate amount of time in front of the mirror obsessing about their flaws and worried about minor things like “My eyebrows aren’t perfectly matched side to side. My left eye is a fraction of a millimeter higher than my right eye. My nose is crooked. My teeth aren’t even when I smile.”

People with this condition can’t control their negative thoughts, particularly regarding their own appearance, despite the people closest to them reassuring them that they are beautiful and that all is fine with their appearance. This is an occurrence that affects both women and men.

This condition can be a serious challenge when a client schedules a permanent cosmetics procedure. It is very common that with this condition, the client will not be happy with the result of their procedure, no matter how well it turns out as determined by the technician or the people around the client.

For this reason, an experienced technician needs to be aware of observations during the consultation as well as the way the client fills out the health questionnaire before the procedure. Some specific things the technician will look for with BDD include:

  • Does the client compare aspects of her appearance to others?
  • Does the client check her appearance in the mirror frequently?
  • Does the client avoid others or situations because of her appearance?
  • Does the client brood about past experiences or situations to explain the reason why she looks the way she does?
  • Does the client spend time trying to figure out how to camouflage or alter her appearance?
  • Does the client focus more time on how she looks than on her surroundings?
  • Does the client avoid reflective surfaces, photos or videos of herself?
  • Does the client avoid eye contact as you go through the consultation?
  • Does the client discuss her appearance in extreme detail and question you about her appearance in excess?

People with BDD are not good candidates for permanent makeup procedures. They are better served to have an evaluation by a physician who specializes in psychological issues. Often these conditions are treated with anti-anxiety medications, anti-depressants or therapy.