If you’ve spent any time on TikTok, you’ve most likely come across hundreds of videos about cosmetic surgeries.
As a result, cosmetic surgeries among young people have soared in recent years. According to the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS), which releases an annual survey on the rates of such procedures, there was a significant increase in demand for facial plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures in 2022 – similar to the rise in 2021.
That same survey found 75% of facial plastic surgeons reported a rise in the number of patients under the age of 30 who are seeking injections and cosmetic procedures. Indeed, trends like lip flips, nose jobs, blepharoplasties and “Brotox” are incredibly popular on the site.
However, experts have raised concerns not only about the damaging effects of this rise on mental health and self-esteem, but also about the physical dangers of certain surgeries.
Brazilian butt lifts, or BBLs, are well-known to be harmful and sometimes fatal. Yet, the procedure has still seen a rise in popularity in recent years despite those dangers.
“Non-invasive or minimally invasive treatments with… natural-looking results enhance self-esteem, confidence and sociability,” Cynthia Elliot, owner of Skinspirations, an aesthetic and regenerative surgery office, said in a statement.
She added that younger patients must ensure the procedures are administered by licensed medical professionals using FDA-approved substances.
Dr. Anthony Youn, perhaps the most popular plastic surgeon influencer on TikTok with more than 8 million followers, is also known for raising concerns about what procedures are unnecessary and even dangerous for young patients.
In one video, he describes how scarring from lip lifts should deter younger people from getting the procedure done.
In another video with more than 120,000 likes, Youn lists the three worst plastic surgeries for teenagers, aiming to prevent young people from mindlessly attempting them without being aware of the risks.
He notes that liposuction can lead to permanent scarring; the BBL has the highest death rate; and breast implants can lead to more surgeries in the future.
“Plastic surgery is serious shi*,” he writes in the caption.
Dr. Catherine Chang, another plastic surgeon influencer on TikTok with 45,000 followers, explains why BBLs are indeed the most dangerous procedure.
It’s likely the rise in cosmetic surgeries won’t go away anytime soon, as TikTok and Instagram “selfie face” continues to influence younger generations.
Ultimately, experts emphasize that if young people are going to get the procedures done regardless, that it’s imperative to find a qualified surgeon.
“Finding the right, most qualified physician to perform any procedure is priority number one,” AAFPRS CEO Steve Jurich said in a statement. “Always select a surgeon specifically trained in procedures of the face, head and neck and make sure the physician is qualified, experienced and board-certified in the procedure you want.”