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​Should Plastic Surgery Be Off-Limits for Teenagers?

plastic surgery teenager

Being a teenager nowadays comes with more challenges than it did just 25 short years ago. Teens are constantly reminded of their looks whenever they post pictures or visit the social media accounts of their friends and classmates.

This can lead to many serious psychological conditions in which depression and other forms of self-harm can easily set in. Perhaps this is why over 200,000 teens opted to undergo plastic surgery in 2017.

While plastic surgery for adults is perfectly acceptable by today’s societal standards, it’s not the same for teens. Many people will look down upon teens who get plastic surgery or the doctors who perform the procedures.

While there is an epidemic of body dimorphism in this country that’s caused in major part by social media, there are some situations and instances where plastic surgery for teens is not only acceptable, but in many cases entirely necessary.

We’re going to look at what plastic surgery for teens means. Is it morally wrong to allow a teenager whose body isn’t fully developed to undergo the knife? Are there any acceptable reasons for a teen to get plastic surgery?

And we’ll answer the most important question of them all: Should plastic surgery be off-limits for teens?

What Kinds of Surgeries Do Teens Opt For?

For many teenagers, looking like a particular celebrity is more important than anything else in life. As they comb through their social media pictures, teenagers may realize that perhaps their nose or chin doesn’t quite look like the nose or chin of their favorite Hollywood starlet or actor.

Plastic surgeons are reporting that they are seeing more and more teens come in for rhinoplasty, liposuction, and non-invasive rejuvenation treatments such as Botox and dermal fillers.

Sometimes parents will even give the gift of plastic surgery to a teen who recently graduated high school or turned 16 years old. Parents who encourage their teens to get plastic surgery for shallow aesthetic reasons are acting unreasonable and being irresponsible.

The bodies of many teenagers will continue to develop long after they graduate high school. If a surgeon were to agree to operate on them for a non-medical reason, it could cause significant complications later down the road. As the bodies of teenagers are still maturing, the work the surgeon did six months prior could be completely wiped away, or worse yet – cause severe and immediate health issues.

When is Plastic Surgery for Teens Acceptable?

From both a medical and moral perspective, unless the teen is suffering from a condition which could hamper their self-confidence or otherwise cause harm, they should wait to get surgery until their bodies have stopped developing.

For example, a teenager recently walked into the offices of a plastic surgeon seeking labiaplasty. She was only 16 years old but had an enlarged labia minora which prevented her from wearing a bathing suit due to self-conscious reasons. She also could not participate in sports and was getting urinary tract infections on a regular basis.

Both the parents and the surgeon decided that labiaplasty to correct the enlarged labia minora was the right thing to do – not only for the health of the teen but for her mental well-being as well.

Nose jobs are also a tough call for both surgeons and parents alike. If a child was born with an elongated nose, there could be self-esteem issues, or there could be a serious medical condition that can only be fixed via corrective surgery.

Non-Invasive Treatments

Such non-invasive treatments as Botox and dermal fillers have exploded in popularity, not only amongst adults but with teenagers as well. Many teens think that such procedures as chemical peels, laser hair removal, and microdermabrasion are minor things – no different than waking up and putting on makeup every morning.

While teens usually don’t have facial wrinkles to smooth out, many teens who suffer from migraines or other forms of headaches have found relief and comfort when their condition is treated via a series of Botox injections from a qualified plastic surgeon.

Some teens will fixate upon a particular self-perceived body defect – often to the point of suffering mental issues because of it. The more active they are on social media, the higher the chance of them being dissatisfied with their bodies.

If left unchecked, it can turn into a serious psychological condition called body dysmorphic disorder, in which the teen will fixate and obsess over a tiny self-perceived defect of their face or body.

For example, one 17-year-old female recently posted a question on a medical forum. She wanted to know where she could find a plastic surgeon who would be willing to give her a Botox injection to remove two small lines on the side of her mouth.

No reputable plastic surgeon would agree to help her, but there are plenty of fly-by-night Botox “med spas” who will treat underaged children provided that a parent or other legal guardian is present.

Teenage Plastic Surgery

If you have a teen who is wanting to get plastic surgery and you as a parent feel that their reasons are valid due to health or major self-esteem concerns, give us a call at (214) 965-9885. Dr. Adams is a world-famous plastic surgeon, and he will sit down with you and your teen to discuss the possibility and potential outcomes of getting plastic surgery.


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