How Young is Too Young

How Young is Too Young

How young is too young?

As plastic surgery becomes popular, more accessible, and even more acceptable in society, teens as young as 14 are now looking to alter their appearance.

What age is considered too young to let a teen alter her face? Media like instagram, movies, and young celebrities all influence the way young girls see themselves and how they aspire to look. Kylie Jenner is a huge impact on young girls today – she’s a big part of the new trend of young teens looking to enhance their lips- and eventually looking to get other procedures done, too. Having started with lip fillers at age 16, (although she admitted she over-did them when she was younger), Kylie hasn’t stopped getting the enhancements.

Kylie Jenner Before & After

Which bring us to the point that most plastic surgeons debate over: maturity.

Many doctors believe that girls need to mature psychologically, not just physically. This may be based on making rash decisions based on immediate gratification. If they wait until they are 18 or older, they probably won’t want a drastic change like they thought they needed, or they might experience a change of heart in general. These procedures are big changes, and we can see why many plastic surgeons ask them to sit on the idea until they are mature enough. Physically, though, “The rest of the body is still growing and changing during the teenage years, and cosmetic procedures, whether noninvasive or traditional surgeries are simply not a good idea (Dr. Wiener from FashionTimes Blog ).” Many doctors agree that at the age of 18, cosmetic surgeries could be done.

“Not every teenager seeking plastic surgery is well suited for an operation. Teens must demonstrate emotional maturity and an understanding of the limitations of plastic surgery.  The ASPS cautions teenagers and parents to keep in mind that plastic surgery is real surgery, with great benefits, but also carries some risks. Teens should have realistic expectations about plastic surgery and what it can do for them.  In addition, certain milestones in growth and physical maturity must be achieved before undergoing plastic surgery. (American Society of Plastic Surgeons)”

Of course, that may not be enough. By 18, the desire might still be there (if they haven’t found a way to convince their parents do get it done earlier) since the influence of media has only gotten stronger. “There’s no more stigma to having fillers or Botox,” notes RealSelf spokesperson Jennifer Moses. “The mind-set is more like, ‘It’s my body. It’s my choice. It’s my money. (Elle Magazine)”

Many argue being a teenager is hard enough. If their confidence is dropping or they’re getting bullied, why make a big deal about an enhancement or procedure? If both patient and parent did their research and it’s going to be done by a professional they trust, why not make the change? Who’s it going to hurt?  This is part of the controversy.

Even more, what about the procedures that are functional or needed for quality of life? Rhinoplasty for a broken nose or a deviated septum. Deforming facial asymmetry. Otoplasty for ears– which is usually done at around 5-6 years of age. Even breast reduction that can alleviate back pain.  Most professionals and parents will agree this age situation is tricky…

What do you consider the minimum age to do any type of cosmetic change to the face? Would you let your kids get an enhancement/procedure?  Share your thoughts on this topic.

We value our patients’ opinions.  We would be happy to work with our young patients and their parents to find a safe approach to their current situation.

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