Body dysmorphia, or body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), is when you have a compulsive tendency to obsess over a perceived flaw or defect on your body. It is classified as a form of obsessive-compulsive disorder that focuses on body appearance.
While it is relatively normal to mildly obsess over the way you look, people who have body dysmorphic disorder have an intense obsession with their appearance and body image, which impacts their ability to function in their daily lives.
Risk factors for body dysmorphia include feeling pressured by societal expectations of beauty, having negative experiences in the past such as bullying, having a blood relative who suffers from BDD, and having an existing depression or anxiety disorder.
1. Covering up perceived flaws with clothing, makeup or hair
People with body dysmorphia often go to extremes to hide their perceived flaws. They often try to cover up their so-called deformities with makeup, clothing, dark glasses, hats, and other items, PsychCentral reports.
Though their obsession can be directed at any body part, people with BDD often obsess over their face and head, including acne, ear size, nose, teeth, hair, and overall appearance.