During adolescence, many teenagers become self-conscious about their changing bodies and appearance. So much so, that some are even turning to plastic surgery to correct perceived imperfections and boost their confidence.
In fact, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) 229,000 cosmetic procedures were performed on teenagers in 2017, and this population accounts for 4% of all plastic surgery treatments.
Nevertheless, it’s important for parents, teenagers, and plastic surgeons to carefully consider the patient’s motivation and maturity before proceeding with a cosmetic procedure. In addition, researchers believe that guidelines can help all parties involved better navigate teen plastic surgery.
Keep reading to learn why more teenagers are interested in cosmetic procedures, the most popular treatments among adolescents, and recommendations for patients under 18 years of age that want plastic surgery.
Why Are More Teenagers Interested in Plastic Surgery?
Growing up in a social media and selfie-obsessed culture, most teenagers are constantly evaluating their appearance and comparing themselves to friends and influencers that the see online.
Consequently, they often look to plastic surgery as a way to adhere to societal standards of beauty.
However, a large number of teenagers undergo plastic surgery due to health reasons or to improve a particular feature (such as the nose or ears) that has affected self-esteem and/or led to bullying.
Which Cosmetic Procedures Are Teenagers Most Likely to Seek?
Of surgical procedures, teenagers are most likely to seek rhinoplasty, otoplasty, and male breast reduction.
They also make up a small percentage of non-invasive treatments by having laser hair removal, laser resurfacing, and light-based therapies and peels for acne.
Guidelines for Teen Plastic Surgery
Aesthetic experts recommend approaching teen plastic surgery with extreme caution.
For parents, it’s important to facilitate open and honest communication about their child’s concerns and seek a board-certified plastic surgeon for further consultation.
He or she has the knowledge and experience to properly evaluate the patient’s reasons for wanting surgery, their physical and emotional readiness for a cosmetic procedure, and understanding of the benefits, risks, and recovery involved.
Additionally, researchers have developed guidelines that take into account the patient’s age, the procedure of interest, and the growth and development of the area being treated.