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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 22  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 12-20

Cosmetic Procedures in Adolescents: What's Safe and What Can Wait


1 Department of Dermatology and STD, Vardhaman Mahavir Medical College, Safdarjang Hospital, New Delhi, India
2 Sculpt Aesthetic and Cosmetic Clinic, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Niti Khunger
Department of Dermatology and STD, Vardhaman Mahavir Medical College, Safdarjang Hospital, Ring Road, New Delhi - 110 029
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijpd.IJPD_53_20

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Teenagers between 13 and 19 years are increasingly seeking cosmetic procedures. They are suffering from anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem as a result of an obsession with body image and celebrity culture, fueled by social networking sites. Teenagers seek cosmetic procedures most commonly for traumatic scars, acne and acne scars, pigmentary abnormalities, hypertrichosis, hirsutism, and tattoo removal. They demand plastic surgery for nose deformities, breast asymmetry, ear abnormalities, and congenital deformities. The physical, emotional, psychological, social, ethical, and legal aspects must be considered while counseling adolescents. Not every teenager seeking cosmetic surgery is well suited for a procedure, and teens must demonstrate emotional maturity and an understanding of the limitations of these procedures and the risks involved. There should be a 3-month cooling-off period, followed by another consultation, which should be done in the presence of a parent. Only very essential surgery should be performed, giving realistic expectations on the outcome of procedures, as they rely too much on physical appearance to gain confidence. A psychiatric evaluation is essential to rule out body dysmorphic disorders in those repeatedly seeking treatment for minor defects. Sometimes, procedures are necessary to avoid social withdrawal and loss of self-esteem. Proper informed consent should be taken, explaining the benefits, limitations, and risks involved. Ideally, teenagers should not receive cosmetic or surgical procedures unless there are compelling medical or psychological reasons to do so. A successful aesthetic procedure in a mature teenager can have a positive influence, whereas surgery on an immature, psychologically unstable adolescent can have an adverse impact. This review discusses what is safe and what can wait, still there is limited evidence. There is a strong need for guidelines for the use of cosmetic surgery on children and teenagers.


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