Aesthetic interventions in young people – When it is better not to do them
Treatments to eliminate acne, unwanted hair or stretch marks, anti-cellulite and aesthetic interventions, fillers to make the lips plumper, rhinoplasty, aesthetic correction of the ears and mammoplasty, i.e. breast augmentation. 73% of Italian adolescents admitted to having undergone some form of aesthetic treatment and those listed are the most requested interventions.
Social networks could play a role in increasing adolescent aesthetic demands. In order to avoid feeding psychological disorders, it is essential to evaluate their minds before allowing them to undergo aesthetic intervention.
Aesthetic interventions and Instagram
Today more and more young people and especially the very young teenagers, want to feel in step with the Instagram look , homologating to their peers and to an aesthetic ideal standardized by social media ” explains Gabriella Fabbrocini, director of Clinical Dermatology at the Federico II University of Naples , who spoke about the critical relationship between adolescents and aesthetic interventions during the Hair & Nail and Anti-Aging conference. “In the era of Instagram, image is everything for many young people,” continues the dermatologist. “Teens share their lives online, consciously or subconsciously seeking confirmation from likes. One of the primary reasons for patients seeking cosmetic surgery is the desire to look better in photographs. More and more teenagers want plump lips and sharper cheekbones, often to create the perfect selfie.
In recent years, social networks have often been talked about as possible supporters of the increase of small adjustments and aesthetic interventions among the youngest. But more generally, according to experts, the overall improvement in economic, social and cultural conditions, together with simplification and greater accessibility, contribute to making the possibility of aesthetic treatment more widespread even among adolescents.
Aesthetic interventions for young people: why yes, why not
It is a discourse that always applies, but especially in the face of such young patients, whoever decides to proceed with the aesthetic intervention must always take into account the patient ‘s psychological balance. For example, if there is an objective physical defect or deformity that causes psychological distress and negatively affects the boy’s or girl’s social life and interactions, it is okay to proceed with treatment. The important thing is that the adolescent is psychologically healthy and has realistic expectations. On the other hand, all procedures aimed at achieving “ideal beauty” or altering ethnic traits are not encouraged. Both interventions can subsequently cause identity crises.
Body dysmorphic disorder
Assessing the patient’s mental health is also important to prevent body dysmorphic disorder sufferers from abusing corrective surgery. Adolescents who suffer from it exhibit normal physical traits or minor defects. Which they tend to amplify due to an altered perception of their body. They feel a strong sense of embarrassment with others so much that they avoid situations that involve direct social contacts such as school and relationships. By resorting to surgery, patients with dysmorphism can trigger a “snowball effect”, because no surgery would ever be satisfactory. Their problem, in fact, is emotional and psychological rather than physical, and should be addressed in psychotherapy.
Aesthetic interventions when young: the role of the doctor
In cases where a young patient exhibits severe depression. A body dysmorphic symptoms, eating disorders, or is already involved in chronic addictions, the surgeon should act as a bridge. For example, delaying treatments or recommending a psychologist. “The risks are many. Among all the accessibility to unprofessional treatments. Which can also be won in almost all beauty salons, at the hairdresser and dentist. Also on the online marketplace you can find cheap filler products. Which may contain non-sterile substances and cause allergic reactions and infections. A full assessment of physical and psychological characteristics is required of an adolescent. And the reasons that push him to undergo cosmetic surgery. The final choice must be a decision shared by the adolescent, the parents and the doctor.