Marketing campaigns and social media are targeting the younger generation as a way to increase revenue for clothing, skin care and cosmetics.  The result is that today’s youth is exposed to dual pressures from peers and marketing to look perfect, have the newest technology and wear the latest fashions.  Plastic surgery is also on the rise amongst young patients.  In some cases, the procedures are performed to correct cosmetic issues, such as nose size or small chins.  In other cases, though, teenagers want plastic surgery simply because their friends are undergoing procedures.

In 2013, Americans spent an estimated $12 billion on cosmetic procedures, both surgical and non-surgical.  The last 18 years has seen a 471% increase in the number of women who have plastic surgery.  The field of plastic surgery has also changed.  At one time, little consideration was given to proper body proportions, and bigger was always better.  Recently, though, plastic surgeons are taking on the role of giving patients sound professional guidance to ensure optimum results, both physically and emotionally, for their patients.  Unfortunately, though, teenagers rarely see the interaction between surgeon and patient.  Plastic surgery remains appealing to teenagers at a time when their bodies are changing, and issues with body image are the strongest.

In 2012, more than 200,000 teenagers underwent plastic surgery.  The most popular procedures were ear surgery, nose surgery, breast augmentation, and liposuction and breast reduction for teenage boys.  Having plastic surgery so early in life sets the stage for relying on cosmetic procedures to improve one’s confidence rather than develop a realistic body image.  For these reasons, Dr. Kole discourages plastic surgery for anyone under the age of 18, except in cases where the surgery will improve anatomical function or repair injuries and trauma.

Instead, Dr. Kole encourages teenagers to allow their bodies and personalities to develop naturally.  Over time, your priorities will change, and you will appreciate your unique, individual beauty that sets you apart from others.