Teens Turning to DIY Plastic Surgery (Part 2)
In our last blog, we gave you a look into South Korea’s not-so-underground DIY plastic surgery, which is becoming increasingly popular with the teens. South Korea has the largest number of cosmetically-altered residents in the world, and many of the patients looking to undergo treatments are teens – some as young as 13 years old!
Here in the U.S., any kind of plastic surgery procedure – unless sought because of an accident-related injury or birth-related disfiguration – is not performed on patients less than 18 years of age. The reason? Because not only are teens’ bodies still growing and changing, but when a decision as serious as surgery is made at such a young age, the patient may end up regretting the choice or may embark on a path of excessive cosmetic treatments.
Though we understand these risks here at Shafer Plastic Surgery in New York, South Korean patients are not in agreement.
Last time, we met Na, a 17-year old Korean plastic surgery enthusiast in our last blog, who doesn’t fully believe that the risks associated with DIY plastic surgery procedures will come back to haunt her. Along with her friend Choi, the teens decided to buy their own at-home surgery gadgets from online sites and have already experienced a few facial injuries. Still, the teens are determined to “look pretty”. But where do they draw the line? Apparently, they don’t.
When interviewed by the GlobalPost about their DIY treatments, the pair talked about their many contraptions, one of which is a pair of glasses that forces their eyes to stay open – a cheap version of double blepharoplasty (double eye-lid surgery), one of the most popular plastic surgery procedures in Asia. The seller promises those who buy the glasses will get the “Hollywood Look”, but it sounds to us that at $5 to $20 a pair, these glasses will cause more damage to the eyes that will then cause the users to have no choice but to undergo corrective surgery.
The teens also talked about another popular gadget, a $6 jaw-squeezing roller device that allegedly pushes the jaw line to create a more oval-shaped face. The pair have spent hours using this device and, in the process, have spent hours suffering in pain. Choi added that she’s also used a $2 contraption that promises a raised nose bridge after applying a few hours of pressure to the nose each day.
It seems the quick fix these teens are looking for will just end up costing them more in the long run. Many DIY treatments – even something relatively minor like microdermabrasion – can have drastic side effects if not performed by an experienced professional. Surgeons in South Korea are already reporting an increasing number of side effects, including eye damage and infections, and are concerned that the DIY trend is hindering the natural development of the teens’ bodies. Many patients are fortunate that the damage can be reversed, but some aren’t as lucky.
One eager South Korean woman decided to inject cooking oil into her face after her surgeon refused to perform any more treatments. Hopefully this dangerous craze will pass and teens will, for one, wait until they are older to undergo plastic surgery and if they do make the decision, turn to an accredited surgeon to avoid irreparable damage.