Posted: November 18, 2018
Has your teen expressed interest in plastic surgery? There has been a surge in the popularity of plastic surgery among teens lately, and for various reasons. Some are driven by normal insecurities and a need for belonging, others by bullying (accidental or not), and others by Hollywood influence and social media pressure.
Young as they are, one can’t deny that in many ways, teens are interested in plastic surgery for the same reason adults are.
As a parent, you only want the best for your teen. If your teen is contemplating plastic surgery, here are things to consider:
- Your teen must want plastic surgery for himself or herself, and must not be motivated by pleasing other people.
- Body parts are still developing during teenage years. Once your child’s face and body have fully developed, problem areas may be resolved, too.
- Losing weight through diet and exercise can do amazing things to your teen’s looks without surgery.
- Your teen must be emotionally ready to receive the procedure. Young people who are extremely self-critical, have a distorted view of their physical looks, or are depressed will not get better with plastic surgery. Their other mental health problems must instead be resolved with a trained therapist.
Age Limit for Procedures Popular Among Teens
While more and more teens have been getting cosmetic treatments, most of the procedures are not alarming. Teens usually go for non-invasive ones: chemical peels, fillers, laser skin resurfacing, and microdermabrasion.
However, there are reports of surgical procedures, too. The American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons published a report of around 236,000 cosmetic procedures provided to teens aged 13 to 19 years old. Common complaints include big or flat noses, protruding ears, acne or injury scars, and large or asymmetrical breasts.
For reference, check out this list of common treatments wanted by teens and the age requirement for each procedure.
Laser Treatment or Microdermabrasion
Scars caused by acne or injury are smoothened and evened out using these techniques. Skin fillers like collagen are used as well if necessary. Dermatologists generally perform microdermabrasion on patients at least 14 years of age.
Teens under the age of 18 may get fillers, so long as parents’ have provided consent. However, most dermatologists recommend for the patient to be at least 18 years old.
Our lead surgeon Dr. Obaid recommends to wait until the patient is 5 years old to qualify for ear pinback or otoplasty. At this point, the ear is 90 percent of adult height and can easily be reshaped.
Congenital Breast Asymmetry Correction
Dr. Obaid recommends for patients to be at least 16 to 17 years old for congenital breast asymmetry correction, although it still depends on the severity.
To get a surgical treatment for gynecomastia (overdevelopment of breasts on males) the male patient must be at least 16 years old. Make sure to clarify this with your doctor if your teen has a corrective agenda.
Plastic surgeons prefer to perform this cosmetic procedure when the patient is 18 years old because jaw growth is fully achieved at this age.
Rhinoplasty or Nose Job
This type of surgery is done for aesthetic reasons, addressing breathing problems, or both. Generally, the nose must be fully developed before rhinoplasty is performed. Girls must be at least 15 to 16 years old and boys 16 to 17 by the time of the procedure. Dr. Obaid can perform rhinoplasty on a younger patient if he or she has severe breathing problems.
Breast reduction is normally recommended for girls aged 17 or 18 – unless it causes significant pain, in which case Dr. Obaid can perform the procedure on younger patients. Teens who suffer from back and shoulder pain, have limited physical performance, or with breathing issues due to the size of their breasts, as well as those who are embarrassed with their large breasts can undergo the procedure. Note that there may be a need for a second surgery years later, as breasts are not fully grown until the age of 21.
If plastic surgery has been decided, look for an experienced plastic surgeon that is board-certified by a reputable organization like the American Board of Plastic Surgery. A good surgeon should advise on whether or not the procedure is right for your teen, and walk both of you through the process as well.
The procedure must be performed in an accredited facility and with the full and informed consent of the teenage patient and his or her parent/guardian. Let us talk about it! Set up a free consultation with us, and we’ll help your teen look and feel her best.