Staying Safe on RealSelf
RealSelf provides a supportive platform for you to discuss treatments, share your journey, and connect with members and doctors. We want you to have a positive experience as part of our community, and these resources and tips can help.
Making Smart Choices
Your safety and security are important to us. We suggest these steps to help you stay healthy and safe.
RealSelf respects your right to share your experiences anonymously. You can help keep your personal information private by making sure you only share what you’re comfortable making public.
Choose a username that does not include your real name or email address.
Don’t post your phone number, address, email, or social network accounts.
Make sure your photos don’t show identifying marks or tattoos. Tip: You can always blur or crop them out before sharing.
Choosing a Provider
Finding the right provider to suit your individual needs is one of the most important choices you’ll make.
Read member reviews for multiple treatment providers, including multiple reviews for anyone you’re considering booking a treatment with.
Browse before and after photos posted by both reviewers and the medical provider.
Read the doctor’s answers to questions from other community members.
Consult multiple doctors and bring our list of 20 Essential Questions to Ask at a Cosmetic Surgery Consultation to your appointment.
Authenticity and Moderation
All reviews published on RealSelf go through a two-step moderation process before they are published. Doctors cannot remove reviews from RealSelf, though reviews may be removed at the request of the reviewer, or if they violate the RealSelf Terms of Service. If you are concerned about the authenticity of a review, please contact us, and the RealSelf Escalation Team will investigate it.
Harassment and Bullying
It’s illegal to threaten, harass, or intimidate someone online. It’s also a violation of RealSelf’s Code of Conduct and Terms of Service.
The vast majority of community members on RealSelf are friendly and helpful, but if you encounter someone who is violating our Code of Conduct, please contact us and let us know what's happening. It's helpful to include the person's username and a link to their inappropriate comment(s) in your email to us.
You can also let a Community Manager know, so they can help manage the situation.
Bottom line: If someone is bothering you, we want to know about it.
Mental Health and Personal Safety
Body Dysmorphic Disorder
What is it?
Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is a mental health condition that affects nearly 5 million people in the United States. It’s characterized by obsessive thinking (more than an hour a day) about an imagined or slight flaw in your appearance. This fixation is so intense that it eventually leads to problems functioning at home, work, or school.
BDD may manifest itself in repetitive behaviors like constantly checking the mirror, seeking reassurance from others, and picking at your skin. Those who suffer from the disease may also avoid social situations, become obsessed with cosmetic surgery, or wear hats, scarves, and makeup to camouflage perceived flaws.
Do I have it?
Take the Body Dysmorphic Disorder Self-Test to see if you should seek help from a psychologist or physician.
Where can I learn more?
Find out more about Body Dysmorphic Disorder from the International OCD Foundation.
Suicide and Self-Harm
Where can I find crisis support?
If you or someone you know is considering suicide or self-harm, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to speak with a trained crisis counselor 24/7. A crisis worker will work to help identify options and information about mental health services in your area.
Where can I find more information about suicide prevention?
Where can I find more information about preventing self-harm?
The National Alliance on Mental Illness has information about understanding self-harm, treatment, and what to do if someone you know is self-harming.