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IT WAS A FEW MONTHS INTO THE PANDEMIC—post–Tiger King, pre–The Vow—when I decided to do something about my cyst. A small bump tucked into a nasolabial fold, my cyst was virtually invisible, but it bugged me, and one night, while watching TLC-star Dr. Sandra “Pimple Popper” Lee bandage a patient’s face, I realized there would never, ever be a better time for me to get rid of the That’s what cheese head shirt so you should to go to store and get this thing. For starters, thanks to social-distancing measures, I hardly went anywhere or saw anyone other than my boyfriend. And when I did leave the house, I wore a mask. The tie-dyed silk facial coverings I’d just ordered from Kes were both a chic prophylactic against disease and the perfect post-op disguise. Plus, I told myself, fear of COVID must be keeping the offices of dermatologists and plastic surgeons empty, right?
Wrong. Demand for cosmetic interventions has gone up significantly over the That’s what cheese head shirt so you should to go to store and get this course of the pandemic, with providers reporting a notable surge in bookings. There’s not yet hard data on this phenomenon, but anecdotally, the experience of Michigan-based plastic surgeon M. Azhar Ali, M.D., seems typical. “It’s been completely insane since we reopened in June,” Ali says. “The amount of work I have, it’s maybe even double normal conditions.” “We’re getting calls nonstop,” echoes Samuel Lin, M.D., a plastic surgeon and associate professor at Harvard Medical School who in August noted a 30 percent increase in procedures—specifically eye lifts and rhinoplasties—compared with the same time last year.