Serious injuries may result in long-term or even permanent facial disfigurement, which can be devastating long after the injuries heal. According to the American Medical Association Journal of Ethics, facial disfigurement is closely linked to self-concept, or the image people have about themselves.
As a result, it can have a severe psychological effect, in addition to physical changes.
Self-concept and the face
The face obviously plays a significant role in seeing and hearing the world, as well as communication. However, it also plays a major role in relationship building, since the face is the first thing other people see upon meeting someone.
Along with the role it plays in social matters, the face has an impact on other areas of life. It can influence the opinion of employers when someone seeks new jobs and opportunities. It can also have an effect on criminal verdicts, as bias can affect the opinion of judges and juries.
Facial disfigurement and the emotions
Facial disfigurement has a range of social ill-effects. It causes decreased self-confidence, social anxiety and avoidance of social situations. These effects can greatly limit relationships, both platonic and romantic. The length of interpersonal relationships is also affected negatively.
The stress of disfigurement and the social issues it causes leads to other poor effects. Some people experience substance abuse problems as a means of coping. Quality of life is also decreased, and many people with facial disfigurement have a poor perception of themselves.
Therapy and reconstructive surgery can help mitigate some of these issues. Proper support is most important to develop a healthy self-image and self-concept.