Increase in youngsters seeking cosmetic surgery in UAE

14 September 2018

Young person UAE by Marc Deriaz (unsplash)An increasing pressure to look perfect is pushing a growing number of teenagers in the United Arab Emirates towards cosmetic surgery, according to some expert professionals.

Cosmetic surgeons across Dubai and other emirates have noted that there has been an increase in the number of young people, often between the ages of 16 – 19, enquiring about cosmetic surgery procedures. In many other cases involving children who are even younger it is parents who are making enquiries on behalf of their children, usually for cosmetic surgeries such as lesion removals or ear pinning/reshaping (otoplasty).

Range of cosmetic procedures are popular with youngsters

Some of the most common cosmetic procedures in Dubai requested by under 18-year olds include ear reshaping, nose jobs (rhinoplasty), breast asymmetry correction, and breast reduction. A popular procedure among young males is gynaecomastia, which is chest reduction surgery to improve the appearance of excessive breast development.

A lack of regulation within the industry means there are currently no rules or laws preventing teens over the age of 18 from undergoing cosmetic surgery, therefore they are not breaking any laws when opting for a procedure. If the person is under the age of 18, then parental or guardian consent is required.

It’s unlikely that many of these young people have reached their physical and emotional maturity, therefore they may not fully understand the reasons for the surgery and the expectations they can hope to achieve as a result. Unless there are compelling medical indications as to why the cosmetic procedure should be performed on someone so young, then most would agree that performing it would be unethical and irresponsible.

Bullying is the cause for many teens who turn to surgery

There are cases whereby this could be challenged, such as when a young child faces bullying, low self-esteem and social issues due to their physical appearance. Protruding ears are a prime example, with many young people feeling as though they are below the norm of beauty that is set by social media and the society that is surrounding them. This unfortunately leaves them feeling as though they have no other alternative but to undergo cosmetic surgery to prevent them from being bullied.

Of course, in an ideal world it is the root cause of the problem that is addressed and corrected – and in this case, it is usually the bullying or underlying self-confidence issues – as opposed to seeking drastic ways to make physical changes to their appearance.

Where cosmetic surgery is involved, it’s vital that we plastic surgeons determine just how suitable and necessary the procedure is for the patient, especially when it comes to young adults and children.

A thorough consultation must be conducted with the young patient accompanied by their parents or guardians so that the reasons for seeking cosmetic surgery can be explored and discussed in detail. It also allows the surgeon, the patient and their family to determine the expectations of the requested procedure to ensure they are realistic.

If you’re one of many youngsters considering cosmetic surgery or happen to be the parent or guardian of someone that has expressed an interest, then do get in touch with a reputable cosmetic surgeon to discuss things in more detail so that every option can be explored.


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