A record number of U.S citizens underwent lip surgery in 2015, according to a leading industry body, which is linking the surge to the rise of social media and the "selfie" photograph.
"We live in the age of the selfie, and because we see images of ourselves almost constantly on social media, we're much more aware of how our lips look," David Song, the president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), said in a press release on Monday.
Looking at its 2015 statistics, the society claims the number of lip implant procedures grew by double-digits in every region of the United States in 2015. It gained in popularity with both women and men with a total of 27,449 lip implants, it said. This was an increase of 48 percent since 2000 and was - on average - one procedure about every 19 minutes last year.
Lip augmentation was the second-fastest growing facial procedure in the United States since 2000, it said, with only dermabrasion procedures - a type of skin-resurfacing - growing faster. The society - which is the largest plastic surgery specialty organization in the world, according to its website - also saw "staggering growth" in lip injections, it said.
"Lips are an easy place for people to start," Robert Houser, a plastic surgeon in Westerville, Ohio, said in the same press release.
"A patient may not be ready to commit to something as dramatic as a facelift or eyelid surgery, but there are a variety of ways you can change the shape of your lips."