There were more than 76,000 cosmetic surgery procedures performed on teens in 2011.
Dr. Cynthia Elliott, owner of Skinspirations, a Tampa Bay nonsurgical cosmetic facility, warns against children undergoing both surgical and minimally-invasive procedures as their bodies, as well as their understanding of the inherent risks, are still developing.
While surgical procedures are most common among teens, many of them are also seeking laser skin resurfacing, chemical peels, dermabrasions and even Botox injections. And though research into the dangers of cosmetic procedures performed on children under the age of 18 is limited, the physical and emotional risks are numerous, according to Dr. Elliott:
“While adults tend to want to stand out or turn back the clock, teenagers typically seek cosmetic procedures to better fit in,” Dr. Elliott said. “But adolescents fail to understand that their bodies are still maturing, and the results they desire may occur naturally as they grow. Because they’re also still growing emotionally, the appearance goal they have now may be entirely different from what they hope to look like a year or two from now.”
Before seeking a cosmetic procedure, Dr. Elliott advises parents to speak with their child to find out the reason behind the request and whether they have attainable goals; and, in addition, to seek the help of a practitioner with experience in treating young adults.