According to a cosmetic surgeon in London, the average age of women who want to have a cosmetic surgery procedure is now 39 years of age. This number is down from 42 years old which was the average age just three years ago. On the other hand, the average age for men has fallen from 47 to 45 years of age. Dr. Julian De Silva, of the Centre for Advanced Facial Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery, reported the decrease in the average age for cosmetic surgery after reviewing thousands of patient records for the past five years. According to Dr. De Silva, social media apps such as Instagram are partly responsible for the rising number of people undergoing surgery at a younger age. When asked about patients who desire cosmetic surgery, he told the newspaper, The Independent, “They have done their research and have made a positive decision to improve their appearance. They may see their large nose, baggy eyelids, thin lips or weak chin as a barrier to acceptance and want to make a positive life change."
Factors Influencing Cosmetic Surgery in Younger Patients
- Social media – The influence of social media on the rapid growth of cosmetic surgery among young individuals cannot be overemphasized. Social media is arguably the strongest and most important factor contributing to the growth of plastic surgery. In this day and age where everything gets uploaded on social media, young people care about how they're perceived online. Instagram culture hasn't done any favors to the younger generation. A lot of young individuals go on Instagram only to see perfection in Instagram models, celebrities and so on. Young individuals feed their mind with these images and the end result is a feeling of inadequacy. They feel their features aren't perfect enough and try to fix them through plastic surgery.
- Rising popularity of plastic surgery – The rising popularity of plastic surgery is also one of the major reasons the average age of plastic surgery patients is at an all-time low. Plastic surgery information that was once hidden and difficult to get is now easy to find on the Internet. The worldwide acceptance of plastic surgery has made it the norm. A lot of people don't even view it as a major life decision anymore. Most people just view undergoing plastic surgery like another Tuesday at the office.
- Aware of Outward Appearance – Awareness about outward appearances has always been a thing. Throughout recorded history, human beings have always been conscious of what they look like to others. These days, body parts are scrutinized for perfection and a body part viewed as being imperfect has to be worked on.
- Selfies – The selfie is also a major factor for the decrease in the average age of plastic surgery. Selfies are a fundamental part of modern culture. Looking good for selfies is one of the major reasons for plastic surgery growth. As long as science and technology keep producing next-level photography apps, there will always be people who want to look perfect when taking photos.
- Celebrities – Fans of celebrities want to look like them using plastic surgery. Another way celebrities influence the falling average age of plastic surgery is by undergoing surgery themselves. A lot of celebs get work done and aren't shy or ashamed about it. They admit it openly and embrace the situation. When young individuals see these changes, they want to do exactly what their favorite star did so they can look just like them.
Most Common Teen Plastic Surgery Procedures
Some plastic surgery procedures like breast enlargement, liposuction, and cheek implants are generally considered inappropriate for teens. Other procedures may be beneficial and they include these procedures:
- Rhinoplasty AKA nose reshaping or a nose job is the most common cosmetic procedure requested by teens. The nose needs to have reached its adult size before surgery can be performed. The nose has usually finished growing by age 15 or 16 in girls and age 16 or 17 in boys.
- Otoplasty AKA ear pinning is also a highly requested procedure by teens. In most cases, it is done because teens think their ears are too large and stick out too far from the head. Otoplasty can be performed after the age of 5 or 6 years.
- Breast asymmetry correction is another plastic surgery procedure highly requested by teens. It is performed when one breast is different from the other in size or shape.
- Breast reduction is a very common teen plastic surgery procedure. It can benefit teen girls as young as age 15 who are embarrassed by having very large breasts or who are experiencing shoulder pain or back pain because of excessively large breasts.
- Gynecomastia AKA male breast reduction is a procedure used to treat excessive breast development in male teens. This condition can disappear by itself but, if the condition is severe enough, this procedure can be performed.
- Laser treatment or dermabrasion is mostly performed to smooth skin scarring caused by acne. Collagen or other fillers are also sometimes used to repair skin defects. Other treatments for acne scars include intense pulse light therapy (IPL), microneedling, chemical peels and photodynamic therapy.
Teens Should Consult with a Board-Certified Doctor
Before teen patients decide to have any type of cosmetic surgery, they need to consult with a board-certified doctor. The doctor will examine the patient to make sure the area of the body they want to change has grown or developed enough to undergo the surgery. In addition, the doctor will set realistic expectations so the teen patient will not be surprised or disappointed by the results achieved by the cosmetic surgery procedure.