The Newest Back-to-School Must-Have for Teens? Cosmetic Surgery
Nearly 64,000 cosmetic surgery patients in 2014 were aged 13-19
When then-17-year-old Kylie Jenner admitted to getting lip fillers it caused expressions of shock – and even anger – across the internet. But, the fact is, she’s just one of thousands of teenagers who are undergoing cosmetic procedures.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, nearly 64,000 cosmetic surgery patients in 2014 were aged 13-19, and experts believe this number is bound to rise.
“There has been an increase in teens coming in for plastic surgery,” Dr. Richard Ellenbogen, CEO of BeverlyHillsBody, tells PEOPLE. “This is directly related to the surgery of the stars of their reality shows, and the acceptance of cosmetic procedures on social media.”
Many opt to get these procedures during their summer vacation.
“Because teens have faster healing time than adults, they use any vacation they have for their surgery,” explains Ellenbogen. “Christmas, Easter, Labor Day and summer are the most popular times.”
The most common procedures among teens are rhinoplasty, breast augmentation, male breast reduction, ear surgery and dermabrasion, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons statistics.
Ellenbogen has also seen a rise in liposuction and lip fillers. He says that certain procedures are not appropriate for young teens.
“A rhinoplasty in a 16-year-old nose that is still growing will require a revision later on, so that is refused,” he says. “Breast augmentation in many teens is refused for lack of emotional maturity, and certain liposuction procedures which create a six-pack or air between the thighs are delayed to a later age.”
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Clinical psychologist Dr. Judy Rosenberg believes teenagers seek cosmetic surgery as a way to deal with their self-esteem and other emotional issues.
“Our culture makes it so socially acceptable to seek plastic surgery, and because celebrities create the idea that if you are beautiful and perfect you will be rich, famous and loved, teens easily associate this plastic surgery ‘solution’ as a pathway to feeling better,” Rosenberg, founder of the Psychological Healing Center, tells PEOPLE.
She recommends parents try to find the root of their teenager’s issues before opting for cosmetic surgery as a solution.
“If you find your teenager wanting plastic surgery, do the ‘psycho-surgery’ first, and delve into what is really bothering him or her.”