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Trends among teens

March 11, 2020

Kaitlyn Hughes
The number of minimally invasive cosmetic procedures performed on teens increased by 3.6 percent from 137,251 in 2008 to 162,000 in 2018.

Some teenagers are driven to get minimally-invasive cosmetic procedures, which are alternatives to surgeries with long and painful recoveries. These relatively simple procedures, which include laser hair removal and Botox injections, have become more accessible with recent medical advances.

Despite their decline over the past decade, doctors have raised concerns regarding teenagers getting cosmetic surgeries, the most popular of which are nose jobs, breast enlargements and ear reshapements. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons suggests that at the earliest, rhinoplasties should be performed on females ages 15 to 16 and males ages 16 to 17, while breast enlargements should be postponed until patients are at least 18.

“Surgeries, teenagers are still developing, so I don’t recommend it,” Flower Mound primary care doctor Javaria Jabeen, who offers non-surgical cosmetic procedures, said. “I don’t do anyone less than 17 for lasers. We hold off because their hormones are still changing. Botox, we usually limit it for 18 or above.”
Additionally, few guidelines are set to ensure that these procedures are performed appropriately on teens, who rarely realize how addicting procedures like Botox injections can be.

“I like to have more of a natural look for the patient, so I tell them if it’s going to be unnatural then don’t do it or I don’t want to do it, because if it’s just too much, it’s going to be obvious,” Dr. Jabeen said. “They’re going to get addicted to it.”

Although psychological screenings are not required by law, many cosmetic surgeons check patients’ mental health before procedures by administering a test to identify patients who have body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). This is especially common for teenage patients to ensure that they are in the mental state to decide on surgery.

“I think it’s a good thing just to know if they’re ready for the surgery or not, if they’re mentally prepared for it,” senior Shreena Desai said.

Despite her concerns, Dr. Jabeen believes cosmetic procedures can also have positive effects on teenagers, such as boosting their self esteem.

“It builds up your confidence,” Dr. Jabeen said. “If they really want to get that procedure done and that is what is holding their confidence or they’re feeling bad or they’re feeling low about it, then yes, I would be very positive about it and tell them to go ahead and get this done.”

Tara Connick
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