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Teen Plastic Surgery: A Bad Idea?

by Editorial Team | February 1st, 2010 | Teens

During your child’s teen years, it’s inevitable that you will have all sorts of awkward conversations with them. Whether it’s a discussion about smoking, drinking, or relationships… there will be quite a few uncomfortable moments between the both of you. These days, there’s a new topic to add onto that list. Now more than ever, kids are inquiring about plastic surgery. How should you respond?

It’s More Serious Than You Think

Cosmetic surgery may seem like something innocent, but you need to consider your child’s underlying motives. Is she being teased in school for having too large of a nose or too small of a chest? Perhaps your child isn’t one of the popular kids and feels plastic surgery will be a magic solution? Reasons like these are often clues of an underlying self-esteem issue. When that’s the case, it’s highly recommended to have these issue addressed with a psychiatrist before cosmetic surgery is contemplated.

As a parent, you also should be concerned about the message communicated by allowing them to get plastic surgery. The last thing you want is for them to think serious self esteem issues can be corrected simply by going  under the knife. This is why it’s so important first to have your child discuss these issues with a professional; only go forward with the procedure if they determine it to be an appropriate decision.

Is It Cosmetic or Reconstructive?

It’s important to distinguish between these two categories. Reconstructive plastic surgery would include things like rhinoplasty for fixing a deviated septum. Meanwhile, breast implants usually are done purely for cosmetic reasons. Then there are those gray areas like otoplasty (ear pinning), which fall somewhere in the middle.

If your teen is desiring surgery that is purely cosmetic in nature, then it’s usually a telltale sign of self-esteem issues. Often times, it’s counseling and not plastic surgery that is needed. Meanwhile, according to the consensus on one otoplasty forum, many parents feel that ear pinning is usually acceptable if the child’s ears protrude excessively. In fact, when a child is younger (usually under five or six years of age), then insurance often will pay for otoplasty to be performed.

Rhinoplasty is another gray area that is often hard to classify. Your child may ask for a nasal hump to removed; was it natural or the result of a broken nose? Whatever the case, it’s important to realize the nose is still growing throughout the teen years. This is why quite a few members on this rhinoplasty forum advise against the procedure, until adulthood is reached.

On the other end of the spectrum, there are a few cosmetic procedures, which both parents and professionals would agree are warranted. For example, many kids develop severe acne scars during the teen years. If this scarring doesn’t fade away on its own, most would agree it’s okay to consider acne scar remover treatments (i.e. lasers, peels, etc).

  1. carol pamela says:

    wow ur so right!!

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