& the Internet: Plethora of Information or Pandora's Box?
The advantage of the teen today versus the teen of
yesteryear is experience and knowledge. Generation Y is more informed than Gen X
as Gen Z will be more informed than Y and so on. Why? Technology.
development of the Internet, so very long ago, has such an economical and socio-impact that without it I sincerely believe the world
would be nothing like it is today. Nothing. The bell curve
for growth is so steep now it incomprehensible. Anything can be researched
online and if you can't
find it online you can do your own research the old fashioned way
(books, microfilm and interviews) and make your own
website to educate others.
So, what does technology have to do with cosmetic
surgery or other types of aesthetic enhancement much less having to do with
teens?! Everything. Because of technology teens are exposed to and can better
understand and learn about procedures, be they small or large, to enhance
specific areas that may not appeal to them. Teens are also exposed to the desire
for beauty from the media
via the internet,
which is not entirely to blame; as well as personal websites, social networks,
texting and chat rooms where
the topic at hand is "Send pic" They are also exposed, therefore more vulnerable, to possible exploitation. My point is that teens have a enormous resource literally
at their fingertips to research and weigh the possibilities of each and every
feasible cosmetic procedure or application, so they aren't exactly walking in
The bottom line is that teens are a lot
more informed today than I was at their age and even more so than their parents
and grandparents at the same age. They are well aware of the risks and
complications associated with general cosmetic enhancement and are more apt to
take on the responsibilities of an adult. Personally, I was emancipated at age
16 and was working several jobs, all of my own choice. I was responsible enough
to take life on well ahead of the rest of the group. Just as today's teen is
forced with more choices, more adult-oriented situations and more scrutiny from
the ever-intruding and loud-mouthed public eye.
This Taking It Too Far?
Many people feel that as a teen it
is too young to take on the emotional responsibilities of a cosmetic
procedure. A respectable, qualified surgeon (along with a good psychologist) can help make that diagnosis upon
having a consultation and most of them will not go ahead with a procedure if
severe underlying issues are at stake. Although take care in your choice of
surgeons, I beg you. I have spoken with many patients that were in their
early and late teens, as well as their parents, regarding surgery or simple enhancement
issues. And I am always willing to speak with more regardless if it is positive
or negative. Also look into counseling or professional
opinions of persons who are unbiased (not your parents, not surgeons, not
your family and not plastic surgery affiliates either).
really caring about how we appear to one another when our hormones start
intervening and wreaking havoc on our bodies and minds. That is a
psychological and physiological fact. Cosmetic Plastic Surgery for
teens is surely controversial but many of these procedures are very mainstream
such as Otoplasty (ear pinning), Rhinoplasty/Septoplasty (cosmetic AND
functional nose surgery), Acne treatment and Jaw advancement -- with or
without orthodontics (braces, overbite correction).
Speaking of orthodontics,
many parents see a need for braces when there is no dental/medical need and truly even this can be very painful and
takes years of use to correctly align the teeth and bite -- surely orthodontics
can be considered in the same category as cosmetic surgery. Many patients I have
spoken to confided that having braces was more painful than having a rhinoplasty
or otoplasty. The pain that you experience with a rhinoplasty or other cosmetic
procedure is a matter of days compared to a matter of years with braces. Don't
get me wrong, I'm all for braces, I am just pointing out that they are of the
same family. Just know that there are improved braces out there and
improved techniques of correcting teeth. Not the old yank some teeth and
fill your mouth with metal types. See our
Dental Section for more information. It seems correcting your smile on a cosmetic
level only at a young age is politically correct. As is piercing an
infant's ears. So be it.
even reconstruction procedures for cleft palate or lip, craniofacial defects
and syndactyly/polydactyly repair (webbed/extra fingers and toes). We're aren't talking breast augmentation
here -- although at later periods in the teen years some teens seek breast
reduction due to overly large breasts or reconstruction due to a single, undeveloped or underdeveloped
breast deformity. The above
procedures address "defects" or health concerns that should not be
considered extreme or inappropriate. The fact is over 25,000 American teens were
reported to have had cosmetic surgery in 1999 in the years 2001, and 2002 this
number increased by far. 2003 is now just beginning.
to Draw the Line: Deeper Issues of Reasoning
Some issues like insecurity or
mental and emotional issues should be noted when deciding upon whether or not a
procedure should even be entertained. If you are doing this for someone else,
that is a big red flag. If you are under the impression that a cosmetic
procedure will solve all of your issues, it won't. You remain the same person
that you will be with the former version of your body. It won't change who you
are and it won't make someone like you.
Many teens feel as if they must
conform to the thin, waiflike bodies of runway models and cover girls.
Heck, many women in general feel this way! I can
relate to this. This is
a serious issue -- please please please seek counseling if you are obsessed about
your body weight, food or eating to the point of unhealthiness. Also obsessing over yourself at
any age is very damaging. Liposuction is not usually appropriate for a
teenager so eating healthy and exercising may help. If not, underlying hormonal
or thyroid problems may exist so be sure to consult with your physician. And if
after all this, stubborn pockets of fat at the gender or genetic specific areas still exist
and if in late adolescence, liposuction is sometimes considered.
weight loss or unhealthy eating, I feel as though I MUST speak up here.
I have noticed (as well as many studies and articles to back this up), that
children and teens are heavier than they were just a decade ago. Why you
ask? Because today's society lives off of carbs, sugars and non-fat
products. You need fat, - period! Not sugar-fat, not carb-fat -- fat-fat, real,
unadulterated fat! egg fat, butter fat, fish fat, cream fat, cheese fat,
olive oil fat, avocado fat -- things of that sort. You
can't lose fat and control your cholesterol without fat. Isn't it Ironic? Increased intake of
simple carbs, sugars and starches cause an insulin spike and
BAM! everything gets stored on your thighs, buttocks and stomach. Look
around you, our society is beefing up and not in a good way either. Cut
down the simple carbs and sugar! Especially refined products (white bread, white
rice, refined sugar, etc).
What can you do?
LIMIT your intake of white flour products, such as bread is the first step,
and if you DO eat bread, eat whole grains. If you eat pasta and rice, for
goodness' sake stop eating so much white pasta and white rice. Think WHOLE
GRAIN pasta (whole wheat, kamut, spelt, Jerusalem artichoke). And that potato you're eating thinking that you're on a "diet?"
Well, eating that potato certainly puts you on a diet, a high insulin
diet. I kid you not, if you cut out all the simple carbs and sugar every
day you will lose that pooch or thigh mass without much effort, if any at all.
Please know that you mustn't
think that all of your problems will change if you have a procedure or get those
braces. If you are mentally and emotionally unable to accept yourself no matter
what, then you will always be unhappy with yourself. Please seek counseling if
you feel as though you need help regarding issues like eating disorders or self hate.
serious disorders you may have heard of include anorexia, bulimia, manic depression,
clinical depression and more.
Body Dysmorphia Disorder
(BDD) is an illness and the fact that it is so easily tossed around and
overdiagnosed because aesthetic concerns may be very relative. Relative to
what that individual person believes what it is that they do not like,
aesthetically, about themselves. BUT! It is an illness and if one does have it,
please get help. Here is an excerpt pertaining to BDD:
"Body dysmorphic disorder consists of a preoccupation with a nonexistent or minimal defect in appearance. Some people with BDD do have a minor physical defect, like mild acne or slightly thinning hair. But the flaw is only slight. The person with BDD, however, considers the flaw to be noticeable, unattractive, even ugly. In addition, the appearance preoccupation must cause significant distress or impairment in social, academic, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
What are the preoccupations or obsessions of BDD like? BDD sufferers commonly think about their appearance problem for at least an hour a day, sometimes for much more. Often they cannot resist or stop their thoughts even though they try hard to do so. BDD preoccupations can focus on any body part and often focus on more than one aspect of appearance. Commonly, BDD sufferers focus on their face or head, most frequently their nose, hair, or facial skin, but any body area(s) can be affected. Whereas some people with BDD realize they look worse to themselves than they do to others, others with BDD are completely convinced that their view of their defect is accurate. BDD sufferers often feel that other people take special notice of their perceived defect; for example, stare at it, laugh at it, or talk about
it." (Ralph S. Albertini, M.D. and Katharine A. Phillips, M.D. - Author of
The Broken Mirror - Brown University Medical College)
Although, I believe
it is very opinionated and ignorant to say to
someone who has acne, regardless of degree, that acne is not that big of a deal when they
don't in fact have it themselves. If one has ever been called pizza
face or Rudolph -- like ME -- they can surely empathize. I can assure it
doesn't feel good. How can someone diagnose on the basis of
opinion. For instance a psychologist or parent may diagnose a child with BDD because the
patient thinks he or she is fat or ugly. Beauty is in the
eye of the beholder and just because that child finds that she/she is unattractive
in comparison to cover models and other people doesn't mean that he or she has
self hate issues. This is a relevant concern. Teens are faced with what society
idolizes every waking moment. Plus, the psychologist doesn't know what other
kids at school are saying, the psychologist doesn't know what is important to a
person at least 3 decades younger than he or she. Quite frankly, a lot changes in 3
decades. A teen of today is forced to withstand and conquer forces and issues
that their parents or grandparents weren't forced to deal with. IMPORTANT!
Photos in magazines are airbrushed. Please know this. Gobs of make-up, lighting
and photo-altering is a reality. Just because you don't have a body like
Spears or Josh Hartnet doesn't mean you aren't attractive.
And we aren't
talking. "my clothes are better than your clothes and my
shoes are more expensive than yours" either. Nor am I talking about, "my
friends are better than your friends." I am talking about the trend
basing hiring on appearance as well as experience. Even young adults are
finding that they are turned down positions due to a level of attractiveness, how
can a teen not want to improve themselves aesthetically if adults are promoting this very practice? That's not
to say all employers regardless of
era appreciate a scrubbed, attractive appearance to portray their company because they do. Teens and pre-teens are also faced with the barrage of slimy adults that are seeking out children and come into
your homes via the Internet to prey on the innocent. Teens and Pre-teens MUST be
smarter nowadays in order to survive. Today's teens are better prepared, more
intelligent, definitely more street smart and involved with higher issues like
the environment, charity and healthcare issues, politics, you name it. Teens are
doing more now than their parents were at the same age. And just think, in some
countries now as well as 500 years ago in most societies, teens were
getting married, having children, raising families and taking on other
responsibilities of adulthood.
And just look at the fashion and
entertainment world. The skinny little flawless-skinned Gap ads and Guess models
idolized by society are much different from the plump, full figured pin-ups of
yesteryear. Teens are smart enough to realize that society, as pathetic as it
is, seems to favor and cater to those who are attractive. Those aren't my rules.
I just work here. The fact of the matter is, humans are cruel -- people are
teased and there is simply no reason not to do anything about it. Yes,
there are individuals out there that may have underlying mental or emotional
issues, yes they should seek counseling regarding these concerns. But to simply
be denied correction of a pair of prominent ears, which may be the focal point
of classroom insults, or to reduce breasts that are the source of
backaches, posture problems, headaches and ridicule is simply ludicrous.
Body Dysmorphic Disorder IS a Reality
Another important aspect is to realize that Body Dysmorphic Disorder MAY be a
problem. Please do not get defensive until you truly understand the boundaries
and symptoms of this disorder.
The standard or
typical description of BDD by the American Psychiatric Association:
- Preoccupation with an imagined defect in
appearance. If a slight physical anomaly is present, the person's concern is
- The preoccupation causes clinically
significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other
important areas of functioning.
- The preoccupation is not better accounted for
by another mental disorder (e.g., dissatisfaction with body shape and size
in Anorexia Nervosa).
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition
(also known as DSM-IV). Copyright © 1994 American Psychiatric Association.
Symptoms of Body
Frequently comparing your
appearance with that of others; scrutinizing the appearance of others
Often checking your appearance
in mirrors and other reflecting surfaces.
Camouflaging the perceived
defect with clothing, makeup, a hat, your hand, your posture, or in some
other way that diverts the attention of the defect
Seeking cosmetic surgery,
dermatologic treatment, or other medical treatment for appearance concerns
when doctors or other people have said such treatment isn't necessary
Questioning and fishing
for compliments; seeking reassurance about the flaw or attempting to
convince others of its apparentness
Anger or resentment towards
those who do not see your perceived flaw
Excessive grooming (i.e. combing
hair, shaving, cutting hair, dyeing hair, applying makeup and/or concealers)
Avoiding mirrors and reflective
Frequently touching the defect
Picking and touching your skin
Repeatedly measuring the
disliked body part
Excessively reading or searching
the internet about the defective body part
Excessive exercise or dieting
Avoiding social situations in
which the perceived defect might be exposed
Frequent absenteeism from school
or your place of employment because you feel ugly
Failure to uphold a job for fear
of someone seeing your perceived defect
Failure to hold a job because
you are depressed about your appearance
Avoiding leaving the house for
fear of someone seeing your perceived defect
Feeling very anxious and
self-conscious around other people because of the perceived defect
But it really goes further than
this. Speaking as a patient and a person who has come across patients who have
been diagnosed with such and who have had extensive surgery, these patients
don't want to hear it, heck! I wouldn't want to either -- they don't want to admit it and they think most surgeons,
psychiatrists or even friends are against them. I am not saying this to sound
like some sort of know-it-all or for it to sound as though I am not on your side if this pertains to you. I am in fact going out on a limb
here because this IS a very sensitive, yet important factor, of revision
rhinoplasty. I am only going to give you my honest opinions and observations, as
well as proven statistics and articles written by respectable doctors.
When I first began researching long ago with
plastic surgery, in general, I noticed that the diagnosis of BDD was very common
and, in my opinion, too often given with a prescription for medications as if it
were candy. I admit it, at first I was very disappointed with the psychiatric
society, in general, passing out the BDD diagnosis in the same trend as ADD
(Attention Deficit Disorder) until I realized that there was an increasing trend
in plastic surgery with persons who were diagnosed with BDD or typical/nontypical clinical
depressions. ESPECIALLY rhinoplasty and dermatological
treatments. It's a fine line to walk, surely both sides fall and slip
through the cracks on the other side during the journey.
It must be said that although it is difficult
to diagnose BDD if you are not trained to recognize the symptoms, these
individuals who are afflicted with such do slip through and onto the
operating table and wind up becoming even more depressed and withdrawn from
society after their secondary, tertiary revision surgeries. The
plastic surgeon, although not having gone through extensive training in
psychiatry, becomes somewhat experienced in turning patients away who fit certain
criteria or give a surgeon a bad feeling or red flag.
I am not against those who have certain
issues having surgery -- believe me! -- but it MUST be realized that surgery will not help those
who are afflicted with these disorders. It will not make you a different person,
or make you more popular, get you more dates or make you a super model.
patients are not in the mental state to recognize what is considered attractive
by most or even by themselves. They really don't know what they want but they
know that they don't want to look like they presently do. But if given the
chance to have the exact result desired, the dysmorphia is still present and
presents a problem in the healing stages. The patient then becomes obsessed even
further and convinced that he or she is ugly in general, not to mention
unsatisfied with a result that is considered by most to be exemplary.
You may argue that it is the patient that
must be satisfied with his or her result, and you are very right, they should
be and that is what is truly important. But if the patient does not KNOW what is
attractive to them and will always be unsatisfied with the outcome it is very
unhealthy. If they are not capable of accepting a great outcome and see fault
where there is none. What then?
"BDD and secondary, tertiary, etc.
rhinoplasty is most often seen in males" according to Dr. Mark B.
Constantian. It has also been noted by The American Academy Of Cosmetic Surgery
that 2% of cosmetic surgery patients have it. That may seem low to you but of
this 2% it is most often observed in rhinoplasty and liposuction/lipoplasty
patients. When you do the math, that's a lot of nose jobs.
This is in no way an attack on your person
but a means with which to ask yourself if you are truly in possession of an
unattractive nose or an outstanding one. Please seek help or at least research
this disorder even if you do NOT think you have it. It is good to read up on and
you just may realize that you have more in common with some BDD patients than
you'd think. At the very least you could understand the pains that others who DO
have BDD go through and perhaps help someone with your knowledge. I do ask that
you do NOT research BDD for the sole reason of fooling or tricking a plastic
surgeon into thinking that you are normal and I use that term
very loosely. Of course we all have our different opinions and preferences
for what is attractive however repeated dissatisfaction and obsessing is both
unhealthy and dangerous, when we repeatedly hear that everything is fine and
that we are imagining it -- it pays to listen sometimes. Do yourself or someone
you know a favor and know the warning signs before it's too late.
Suggested Reading on Body
Broken Mirror: Understanding and Treating Body Dysmorphic Disorder
by Katharine Phillips, M.D. - click the book to buy or read excerpts
Adonis Complex: The Secret Crisis of Male Body Obsession by
Harrison G. Pope Jr., MD; Katharine A. Phillips, MD; Roberto Olivardia,
PhD - click the book to buy or read excerpts
I read this book to help to better
understand body dysmorphic disorder. Although I am not a licensed
psychologist I do have experience in interviewing persons with image
disorders, or those who teeter at the threshold while battling daily
with low self esteem poor body image. There is an amazing number
of people who are unhappy with their bodies - unfortunately some of
these may never be comfortable with their body image.
This book covers the male aspect of
body dysmorphic disorder ranging from obsessive weightlifting to extreme dieting
or supplementation. Males are no different from females in their desire to
look their best. Due to the majority of porn targeted at men; for years it was
thought image disorders were a thing only women were plagued by. Wanting
to look like Barbie or a centerfold seemed common for women. Yet for men,
seemed to detract from their masculinity. This book helps show the side of
the coin where it isn't how you FEEL about your masculinity that questions it
somehow, but how you LOOK. Many men feel that if their biceps are not
hard as steel or their middles cut like a diamond, they somehow do not measure
up. Welcome to the world of what psychologists call the Adonis
Complex hence the book's name.
I have come across so many men who
feel they must look their best no matter what and CONSTANTLY worry what they eat
or how they look and still walk around in sweats without showing an inch of
abdominal flesh. Many aren't hitting the gym for strength or jogging for
great distances in the heat for cardiovascular health, they are striving to
become an ideal which is unattainable. Stop living this way, don't be a
victim to your body. Live, live well but healthily. There is a happy
medium, I assure you.
The Adonis Complex covers symptoms
to look out for and offers understanding to the many men who are determined to
have the body of a Roman God and will do almost anything to get there. A
definite read if you a male and in need of answers or have concerns which need
to be quelled. Male body dysmorphia is sometimes compared to anorexia
nervosa and can be equally harmful. Even if you do not feel that you have
an image disorder, if you are active in the gym and are concerned with ideal body fat percentages perhaps you could look upon this book to
help understand those you may come into contact with at your gym. While
there is nothing wrong with wanting to look our best or feeling better when we
do look tanned and tone, putting ourselves into harms way or letting this
desire take over our social life is unhealthy and should be addressed.
Obsession: Learning to Love the Way You Look by
Joni E. Johnston - click the book to buy or read excerpts
I first must say that I believe beauty is
relative. This book is written by a clinical psychologist who was
bombarded by family members nudging her towards perfection throughout
childhood. It saddens me to know that I know SO many women who
feel the exact same way and I wonder truly how much the media does have
to do with this all. Is it not the consumers who buy the magazines
which portray the waif-thin models? After all aren't we supposed
to be looking at the clothes and not the body?
We all know that there are two sides
to every coin but we also know that society and even our own family members may
show intentional, or unintentional, favoritism to those whose appearances
shine. And I don't mean from an oily T-zone. I mean true
beauty. Everyone would be lying if they say that they don't feel better
when they look their best than when they have gained a little (or more) weight,
have a break out or have nothing to wear. We have all been
affected by how we look to ourselves and how others feel we look.
Some may argue that this book is not
for those who truly need to lose weight or have plastic surgery and
that it is more for people who are attractive and are too "sick" to see
it. This is ludicrous, beauty is relative and that is just another
ridiculous arm of society depicting what is more attractive than the
other. This book is helpful for ALL people in ALL walks of life which way
be uncomfortable with the way they look. It is about being unhappy or self
conscious with the way you look, not how maybe you are a little over or
underweight than the next person; it is about feeling the need to look good and
realizing what can be changed healthily.
This book is a first person account
of the author's pain growing up and realizing just exactly how events can trigger
neuroses or lack of esteem, at a very young and impressionable age. It
contains questionnaires and surveys to determine your level of self esteem and
just how much you are affected by media coverage of the beautiful.
Personally, I am a little tired of hearing that it is JUST the media's fault. People
know what is attractive to them, it isn't like we are THAT
impressionable. Nature takes precedence. Read Nancy Etcoff's Survival of the Prettiest for a not so new look at what drives us to
become attracted to those who are considered beautiful.
I still recommend Appearance
Obsession; I like the way it is written and enjoy reading and comparing the author's
experiences. It contains helpful advice and offers support ion an seemingly
individual level Just don't allow yourself to use the media as a crutch
for any lack of esteem you may have. I think there are far more issues at
stake to cause image problems, such as personal experiences, relationships or
lack thereof, chemical imbalances and random incidents can all trigger low self
For more information on image
disorders, see our special
Dysmorphic Disorder section.
For more information on societal
ideals and appearance, see our
Online BDD Support Groups
We are not affiliated
with the groups below but have provided the information for your convenience.
Body Dysmorphic Disorder eGroup
to Have Surgery or Noninvasive Enhancement
Some surgeries can be performed at
birth so since these infants can't read, maybe the parents will read this.
far as the majority of these procedures they can be performed any time, except
for rhinoplasty. The nose houses sensitive growth receptors for the face and disrupting
these receptors can really mess you up! Surgeons try and restore the receptors
in reconstruction should an accident occur but for simply cosmetic reasons they
try and wait. Usually rhinoplasty is performed at
the earliest, 13 or 14 years of age in girls and 15 to 16 years of age in boys.
Reason being, and it is a known fact, girls physically mature faster than boys
to and the collective goal is to perform surgery when at least 90% of the growth
is complete. Otoplasty can be performed anytime but it is usually done
either in junior high or as an adult when the patient can afford surgery if
his/her parents refused to. I can only hope that parents will allow their son or
daughter this option, being called names like Dumbo, Mickey Mouse or
Yoda is so messed up. It really hurts, so if you are reading this think
twice about calling someone names. What comes around, goes around.
Acne treatment can be
started as soon as it rears its wicked head. A lot of young teens go on
You MUST realize Accutane has serious possible side effects but has significantly helped many
people. For instance prolonged
use can trigger Hyperotosis, which is excessive bone growth, as well as
joint fusion and excessive, keloid-like scarring in the event of a dermal
injury. Discuss this with your dermatologist. Accutane has helped
many, many people but it is not without its side effects.
Therapy™ is approved for dermis defects so that when it is injected into acne
scar depressions, your natural collagen is triggered and after a few sessions
you may literally be "cured" of your scarring. Although deeper
scarring will require more invasive measures such as dermabrasion. Consult
with a qualified surgeon or Dermatologist (for skin matters) regarding your
options for cosmetic enhancement.
Personally I used
Nu-Derm and Retin A Micro gel (Tretinoin) for my acne and acne
hyperpigmentations/scars. It truly worked! I may plan on
having the Obagi Blue Peel to further my results because I still have the left
over scarring but it appears that just the Obagi and Tretinoin is working.
Remember to try the least invasive measure first.
Procedures & Concerns For Teens
These procedures are very common and all are typical reconstruction or functional
type surgeries. Some may be cosmetic although they are not your standard
procedures that adults get. You will not see liposuction or breast
implants here. The most popular aesthetic concerns for teens in
& Acne Scar Support Forum)
Acne Scar Removal*
Asian Eyelid Crease Surgery
(incision & non-incision) This procedure is especially popular in
Asia. This is a highly controversial matter in some areas and
Birthmark removal surgery
abnormally sagging or fatty eyelids which may impede vision)*
blepharospasm (nervous eye
"ticks")*, and hyperhydrosis (excessive sweating)
Buccal Fat Extraction (for
"chubby" cheeks; although use with caution!! I don't recommend
this for teens whatsoever due to facial fat loss as we age)
Augmentation (for very weak chins)
Cleft Palate & Lip repair*
Therapy™ for acne scars
Cosmetic Dental &
(braces, tooth whitening)*
Craniofacial Defect correction*
(aka blepharoptosis, saggy
eyelids) treatment options include blepharoplasty and canthopexy*
Excessive hairgrowth removal (hypertrichosis is very rare)
Facial Paralysis Correction and
and Sun Damage Removal
Gynecomastia (male breast
Inverted Nipple Correction
Advancement or Augmentation (through
genioplasty, maxillofacial and orthognathic surgery or orthodontics)*
LASIK - (no glasses!)
Lesion Removal (Wart and Mole
(I truly suggest
temporary devices and lip balms
for younger teens. I don't suggest permanent procedures or even temporary injectables at a
young age unless there is significant congenital malformation)
(more teens get this than you think)
(for acne, light scarring, hyperpigmentation, etc)
(lip asymmetries, missing eyebrows or those with various alopecia, scars,
areolae repigmentation, Vitiligo etc.)
Tiplasty (nasal tip refining of
for Acne and Acne scar/hyperpigmentation removal
Ear lobe reduction, Microtia, Prominent ear, Cryptotia)
(lip asymmetries, missing eyebrows for those with alopecia, also camouflages
scars, simulates areolae, and can lessen the appearance of Vitiligo etc.)
Light Therapy) for hyperpigmentations
(try a back brace and yoga - it truly works!)
(nasal refinement for large noses or "humps")
Scar Revision (trauma-induced,
Hypertrophic scar, Keloid*)
Septoplasty (improves function of
breathing and straightens the nose)*
Strabismus (aka cock-eye)*
Vascular Lesion Removal
wine stains, red nose, spider veins)*
*may be covered by insurance
maintenance issues like: (Please see our
Discussion Forums for
information on the below subjects)
Diet & Nutrition
My Friends Be Able to Tell?"
A big concern of many of you may be
things like, will my friends be able to tell? Will they care? Will they make fun
of me? etc. You can either choose to tell them or not, quite frankly it is no
one's business but you or your parents'. Not everyone is so blatant and loud as
I am about cosmetic surgery. Here in California, nose casts aren't that big of a
deal. In high school it is quite the norm to have a Septoplasty/Rhinoplasty
(nose job) during the school year much less over Summer vacation or for your
graduation present. Although the
bruising of a Septoplasty/Rhinoplasty is pretty much gone in 8 to 10 days and the
swelling will diminish over the next few weeks and quite frankly if you have the
surgery over Summer vacation by the time you go back to school no one will ever
know; unless of course the change is dramatic, like a jaw advancement, severe
hump or prominent nose. The definition following a rhinoplasty is so very gradual that not even
most daily acquaintances will notice. The only way to tell is to compare photos.
Besides a Septoplasty is more functional than a rhinoplasty, which is mostly
for cosmetic applications. Septoplasty is often covered by insurance and
tell your friends you couldn't breathe and had to get it fixed. It is a
functional surgery, but these days I truly doubt they will care if you had
anything cosmetic -- they will more than likely be jealous.
You can address the issue
of having surgery early
on as to not cause drama. Or you can keep quiet and never let them in on it.
they find out later, nip it in the bud and either tell them about it or let them
know that you feel it is none of their business. Sometimes hiding things often
causes more curiosity though so be careful. And never lie if it will be
uncovered later. It only makes you look guilty and ashamed. Lying and not
disclosing something are two different things. Besides if they are your friends,
why would they care, they just may have cosmetic concerns themselves. Besides
don't ever think that it is shallow or vain to care about what you look like.
Don't let anyone tell you different either, if that were so we would never brush
our hair, put on makeup or shave. Looking good makes us feel good,
where's the shame in that?
Do I Ask My Parents?"
Bringing the issue up to your parents can't
always be an easy thing. Parents are always saying, "I love you for who you
are" plus they don't see fault in their own children. PLUS! They may be
offended because your nose, ears, or chin is just like theirs and why on
earth would you want to change that?! They may feel insulted or become insecure,
themselves, with your dislike of the family nose or jaw.
But you see, it's not
your parents that have to deal with being teased at school about a prominent nose or ears.
not your parents who have to deal with cruel remarks about hormone induced
cystic acne in class. And if you are a parent reading this, listen to your
children when they speak to you before you get mad at me for writing this
section up. They may be dropping hints about what they are
insecure about or truly dislike about their appearance. These years are
difficult and peer acceptance is an important role in future development. I know
that aesthetics is not all what life is about, and that intelligence and
personality is what truly matters. Well I like to think that all of my visitors
are already intelligent and nice so they can only benefit further, right?
Obviously I got a
letter from an angry parent-type and they weren't too happy with the info in
this section. Well, I refuse to believe that a little TLC and "oh you
look great the way you are" will make overly projecting ears, a very weak
jaw or acne go away. Remember, Mom & Dad, denial does not eradicate. Please
try to walk in your children's shoes for a moment.
For Your Surgery
You should be given a
pre-operative information packet that explains everything you should do and know
before your surgery date. The packet should include a list of all the
medications you should not take starting usually at 2 weeks before your
surgery. These medications will include, but are not limited to, aspirin
containing products, stimulants, seratonin supplements, etc. Would you like to
view a typical
Medication & Supplements List?
We have a
printer-friendly version as
well. Also, if your surgeon advised that you may take Arnica montana,
Bromelain, etc. for swelling and bruising you should either have this in your
packet or begin shopping for your necessities. Also PLEASE if you smoke, STOP
before your surgery and stay quit. I mean that. Smoking increases
your chances of tissue necrosis (cell death) and impedes your body's ability to
heal. I am not saying this to hear my self *talk* or to lecture. I had to
before my first surgery and it is BAD news if you do not. Besides my skin
improved remarkably afterwards. I implore you, please quit.
No drugs either!!
ephedra, no herbal ecstasy, no any type of herbal speed or diet pills or
drinking for 2 weeks before surgery and several afterwards. Please ask your
surgeon before you resume anything from aspirin to diet pills. This is important
as you can have a major reaction with the anesthesia and die, during AND
afterwards as your body purges the anesthesia medications.
It is quite possible that you
will have preliminary blood work performed. This is normally an extra
out-of-pocket expense (about $75.US) that the patient must participate in to check your white
and red blood cell count (complete blood count, CBC) which ultimately alerts
your surgeon to disease or disorders beforehand. If you
are a female they may take an extra vial for a pregnancy test. Some surgeons ask
that you have physical. This can be yet another out of pocket expense so ask at
your consultation what will be needed when you are quoted a price.
So many things to do... so little
time. Surgery will be here before you know it so visit the
For Surgery page and relax. This section contains, printer-friendly
pre-op lists, tips and advice as well as things you must do to prepare for your
Road to Recovery
Should you choose to undergo a
procedure or treatment, you must realize it isn't a haircut. There are pains,
bruising, swelling and/or side effects as well as risks and complications.
have included every bit of information to my knowledge on how it is to recover
from the different procedures or what to expect while undergoing a treatment.
have also added tips and products with which to make your recovery period as
smooth as possible. Just remember if anything is of a concern or you feel as if
something just isn't right, contact your surgeon or dermatologist
immediately. If you
do not see information about a procedure, believe me I am currently working on
it. If you see anything that needs to be added or a story you have to offer
Email me and do so.
of Cosmetic Surgery & Noninvasive Procedures
All surgery has risks and even
acne treatment has its own cautions. Please read each and every bit of info. you
can find on a subject (unless it's redundant) before deciding if it is worth it
to you or not. I have included every risk to my knowledge of every procedure
within the pages of this website, including infections, revision surgery
and hematoma (pooling of blood) and much more. And if you see a procedure not on
the list, or no info of a procedure that IS listed, rest assured I am working
Please discuss with your surgeon,
the risks and complications and if he fails to mention any risks, run! don't
walk from his office. Please read the
Consultation Help Page which has a printable
list of information to find a great surgeon plus questions to ask your surgeon
once you do find him. This is very important! Complications do arrive and one
must be fully prepared in the event of a negative reaction or result. Good Luck!
FACT! According to the American
Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons (ASPS), 326,233 total cosmetic
procedures (not total patients) were performed on patients 18 and
younger in 2004. 13,217 of these surgical
procedures were otoplasty (ear pinning), 51,931 were rhinoplasty (nose surgery),
approximately 3,962 were breast augmentation procedures, 3,631 were
gynecomastia correction (male breast reduction) and 3,250 were
liposuction. The two most common procedures for persons under
18 years of age were non-surgical chemical peels, (109,052) and microdermabrasion
(68,709 procedures), presumably for acne treatment. Four years later,
the number has almost doubled!
I received this comment recently although no
email address was left so I could not respond, hence I am responding publicly to
this person in hopes that they begin to truly understand what this website is
"why would you offer any of this
information to teens? Dont [sic] we teach our children to be proud of the way
they look? And that they dont [sic] need to be
perfect? I can not seriously belive [sic] that
you would allow your teen to change their body to become what everyone else
wants them to be. If your teen daughter approached you saying, "Mom, my
breasts are to [sic] small, I want implants." Would you make her an appointment
with your plastic surgeon, of [sic] try to assure her that she is beautiful the way
she is? Any parent that would condone changing their kids to be ideal, should
be considered unfit."
Well, let me start by saying to you that you
obviously didn't READ this section because I do NOT suggest the use of breast
implants unless there is significant asymmetry (to the point of one is an A and
the other breast is a D) and I still think one should wait until they are
older. Teens include the ages 18 and 19. 18 and 19 year olds don't need their
parents' permission to do anything. They are going to do it if they want
and I'd rather that they get realistic information rather than sticking our
heads in the sand and believe we live in a perfect world. Yes, in a perfect
world other kids wouldn't make fun of other children but obviously you either have *perfect*
children already or you're not paying attention. You say that a parent
who "would condone changing their kids to be
ideal, should be considered unfit." NO one said
*ideal* or *perfect* until you came a long. We are talking mostly
reconstruction and repair of medical "defects" -- not to be ideal.
If your kid was being made fun of because he or she had very large protruding
ears, webbed toes, a very prominent nose, severe acne or micrognathia and you DIDN'T let
your kid lead a normal life without taunts and teasing by giving them the
corrective surgery, YOU are unfit and cruel.
Have you ever been made fun of because you
had no lower jaw to speak of or huge, protruding and crooked teeth? Have
you ever been called pizza face or been made fun of because you had a huge port
wine stain across your face? If you have then you have no room to talk, you
know it hurt when you heard it and why would you subject your children to
that? If you have not, you still have no room to talk. I am NOT talking liposuction,
huge lips and perfect breasts for highschoolers -- take a look at the procedures
and the kids around you. Maybe your children are very blessed by your genes and
good luck, but not all children are. Do you religiously apply sunblock to
your children's bodies when they go to the beach or pool? You'd better or they
will be removing lesions from their bodies and suffering from major sun damage
in the future.
Do you condone braces? Have you ever had
them? Most children don't ask for braces but millions are forced into years of
pain and great expense to have a smile that society deems acceptable and that
YOU want them to have for their own good. Key word: YEARS of pain
for gradual dental alignment and training. There are less invasive ways to
attain a properly aligned smile (newer, more expensive, materials). Plastic Surgery -- a few hours
of surgery and a few weeks of healing, a life time of a difference. And
the cost is usually less than years of orthodonture.
This isn't an ideal and perfect world, nor am
I trying to promote that way of thinking, but I am also a realist and perhaps
you need to wake up, smell the coffee and look into the REAL reasons behind teen
depression, poor grades or a dislike of school. This isn't the Ozzie
and Harriet generation anymore. If you have ever been made fun of or even HAD a
feature to be insecure about, you'd have more compassion. 'Kids can
be cruel' is how the saying goes. They can be intentionally cruel or
just say what they think without thinking -- I
didn't make them that way. Kids call it like they see it, there's no denying
that. You see, when we grow up we don't say outloud, "Wow
he has a HUGE nose" or "Geez, that dress makes you look FAT!"
keep our mouths shut, usually, and no one is hurt, but you go around THINKING it
don't you? Kids say what they think even if their opinion is
negative. One comment from a kid isn't bad, but when you have classrooms
kids poking fun at your own child for having cystic acne I'd hope to goodness you'd
do something about it. Besides the ensuing emotional scars will be horrendous and
detrimental to their self image.
I didn't make the world the way it is.
like that when I got here. If one denies a child a chance of *acceptance*
or at least normalcy in a world where appearance or fitting in DOES
matter, it is
they who are cruel. Even something so simple as clothing matters to children and
teens. I had hand me down clothes when I was a kid (i.e. high waters,
patched up clothing, etc.), I was made fun of more
than you will ever know just for that simple matter -- now imagine a physical 'defect.' Sheltering and purposely holding someone back are two
different ballgames, learn the difference, have your children work for
something, but don't deny them happiness.
This email is in response to the
above email from a very happy young woman who finally was given a chance to have
I am writing this in response to the email you
posted on your website. The woman couldn't believe that you would make
this information public, and personally the woman is crazy for many reasons;
mainly because this information is everywhere on the internet. However, I am
20 years old and I have disliked my profile for as long as I can remember.
Ever since I was 14 I have begged my mother for a nose job and she also
answered with, "It'll never happen". I was constantly aware
of the presence of my nose and would purposely position my face, even if I
was just sitting in class, so that no one could look at me from the side.
I lived like this until I was 18. Has high school graduation neared,
my mother and father offered me cosmetic surgery as my graduation gift and I
gladly accepted. After consultations, and after July 19, 2002, I had a
new nose and chin. I entered college a confident woman. I
believe that I was attractive before but it's nice to not have to worry if
someone is talking about your profile or not. I have a lot more
self-esteem and would recommend it to anyone. My question to the woman
who emailed you before, If you are so against it, and not interested...what
were you doing on the website?
Don't think for a minute that if you are attractive the world will fall at your
feet. The shallow and ignorant may, but truly there is much more to life than
looks. So keep this in mind. Although your priorities will
change as you mature (I never thought they would, but alas they did), don't feel
guilty about looking your best. As long as you continue to improve
yourself on the inside, improving your outside is perfectly fine.
Least You Need To Know
Cosmetic surgery will not make you a
different person, you will still be you no matter what.
Cosmetic surgery also won't make people like
you and it won't make you popular in school.
Although, aesthetics can play a significant
role in society it will only get you so far. Stay in school, strive to
learn and better yourself from within -- beauty can be bought later.
Your parents may not understand your concerns
so let them know either by taking them aside and confiding in them or
lightly by dropping hints and then running it by their attention fully.
There are downsides to everything so be aware
of the complications and risks regarding cosmetic surgery or other
treatments like Accutane.
If someone truly judges you by your looks or
clothes, they are truly not worth knowing and they will get theirs one day.
Every dog has its day.
Realize also that high school isn't
forever, it certainly feels like it but it isn't. When you look back
although there may be some painful memories do know that you will move on,
you will be able to make your own decisions and you will be respected one
day for what you do, not what you look like. Besides adults have this secret
weapon they use called harassment law suits.
Knowledge is power, after
researching you may realize you don't need a procedure but may need a few pointers on wardrobe colors or other types of image
Parents! Listen to your
teens! - listen to what may be bothering them. Ask them why they wish to
have a particular procedure. If you notice your child/pre-teen/teen having a
bad day after school or seem to cover certain areas of their body with the
way they stand or hide behind their hair; ask them why? And please don't
close your mind to technology. Put yourself in their shoes and realize that
their peers may be giving them a very difficult time regarding a particular
feature. Sometimes that is where the insecurity begins. You accept them with
open arms, why not listen to them with them with open ears.
Jacobson WE, et al. Psychiatric
evaluation of male patients seeking cosmetic surgery. Plast Reconstr
Surg, 26:356, 1990
Phillips KA, et al. body dysmorphic disorder. Am J Psychiatry 148:1,
Pertschuk M. Psychosocial considerations in plastic surgery. Clin
Plast Surg 18:11, 1991
Tardy, ME. Rhinoplasty: The Art and Science, Volume II, Saunders
Goin M, Rees T, Plast Surgery, 27:3, 1991
Constantian, MB: Identify BDD
patients prior to rhinoplasty; Cosmetic Surgery Times, pp21-22, June 2001
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (also known as
Ralph S. Albertini, M.D. and Katharine A. Phillips, M.D.; The Broken Mirror - Brown University Medical
Harrison G. Pope Jr., MD; Katharine A. Phillips, MD; Roberto Olivardia, PhD; The
Adonis Complex : The Secret Crisis of Male Body Obsession
Joni E. Johnston; Appearance
Obsession : Learning to Love the Way You Look
Excerpts from this page published in
Teen Decisions: Body Image (The Gale Group; Thomson-Gale, Greenhaven