It’s not uncommon for teenagers to feel self-conscious about their looks. As your teen goes through puberty, he or she might experience a few unpleasant physical changes, from the occasional pimple and more severe forms of acne to arms and legs that feel too long or a nose that looks too large. While many teens grow out of their body issues as they finish growing and as their hormones start to calm down, not everyone does. In some cases, the effects of the teenage years can be long lasting.

While it’s easy to associate a teen’s wish for plastic surgery with vanity, in some cases, it can be an opportunity to help him or her rebuild confidence, correct a physical issue or to restore the function of an essential feature.

Coping With Bullying

Kids and teenagers aren’t exactly known for being kind and accepting when someone looks a little different from them. Some teens will relentlessly tease others about their appearance, even to the point of bullying them. For that reason, teenagers who have ears that protrude more than the average pair of ears or a nose that is large might beg their parents to let them have surgery.

In fact, procedures such as otoplasty, or ear reshaping, are often recommended for younger children, so that the child can avoid any potential teasing later in life. While ear surgery can be performed on kids as young as age 6, it might also be an appropriate option for older children or teenagers who are picked on for his or her ears and whose self esteem is starting to suffer as a result of the bullying.

Another feature that teens can feel self conscious about is their nose. But, things are a bit different when it comes to rhinoplasty and teens. Most facial plastic surgeons won’t perform rhinoplasty on younger teens, as their noses are usually still growing. Instead, it’s often recommended that teens wait until they are older and their nose is fully grown before they start exploring the possibilities of nasal plastic surgery. If the procedure is performed before the nose is full size, any additional growth surgery can affect the results.

Although plastic surgery can help a teen feel more confident about his or her appearance, there should be a few considerations that go into deciding to have the procedure, beyond trying to avoid bullying. It’s important that a teenager understand what will happen during surgery, what the recovery will be like, and that he or she is having surgery for him or herself, not in an attempt to please everyone around him or her.

Reconstructive Surgery

Remember, plastic surgery isn’t always about vanity. In some cases, a teenager might need to have reconstructive surgery, to correct damage to soft tissue, correct an area of scarring, or repair an injury. A teenager who’s been dealing with acne for the past few years might have scarring that he or she is very self-conscious about, for example, or a teen might have a scar that lingers from an injury he or she received as a child. Just as a procedure such as ear surgery can help a teen feel more confident in his or her looks and more at ease with those around him or her, reconstructive surgery can also improve a teen’s self esteem while correcting a physical deformity or issue.

Acne Concerns

Acne and pimples are often par for the course when it comes to being a teenager. While some teens only have to deal with the occasional blemish and can simply use an over-the-counter spot treatment, others have to deal with cystic acne, which covers much of the face and leads to pervasive scarring. Fortunately, teenagers who have been handed the short end of the stick when it comes to acne have a number of medical treatment options to help them cope with it. One option is to work with a plastic surgeon, such as Dr. Kyle Choe, to put together a skincare treatment routine that tackles the acne without irritating or drying out the skin.

Another option might be to try a treatment such as microdermabrasion. Microdermabrasion is a type of mechanical exfoliation. It removes the top layer of dead skin cells, helping to smooth skin and create a more refreshed look. The treatment not only helps teens are who currently dealing with acne and blemishes. It can also help reduce the appearance of lingering acne scars, giving teens a boost of confidence about their skin.

If you are a teenager who is concerned about a particular part of your appearance or if you have a teenager who has body image concerns, board certified facial plastic surgeon Dr. Kyle Choe can help you understand your options. Dr. Choe will discuss your concerns with you or your teen and provide advice about the most appropriate steps to take. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Choe, call 757.389.5850 today.