The demand for aesthetic treatments among young people is increasing, both in Italy and in the rest of the world. This trend is due to several factors, including the increasing attention to social media, which exposes young people to images of idealized beauty, and the increase in attention to psychophysical well-being.
According to official estimates released by Sicpre (Italian Society of Reconstructive-Regenerative and Aesthetic Plastic Surgery), medical and cosmetic surgery treatments have increased by at least 20% in the last year (+67% compared to 2019 and +130% compared to 2020).
A study carried out in 2018  found that 73% of Italian adolescents said they had used aesthetic treatments to correct the most common defects, such as acne, stretch marks, and scars. But there are also increasing requests for treatments to improve the appearance of the face, such as lip fillers and the rhino.
At a time when personal image is fundamental and has taken on a central role in everyday life, leading young people to seek solutions to improve it, this increased demand for aesthetic treatments among adolescents raises some ethical concerns, requiring the aesthetic medicine professional to be carefully and consciously assessed.
Psychological and emotional evaluation
The psychological well-being of young people is a key element. It is necessary to thoroughly assess the emotional and psychological state of patients, as well as their motivations.
An effective tool for this purpose is the DAS-59 (Derriford Appearance Scale), which evaluates psychological difficulties and discomfort related to appearance, which consists in subjecting the patient to adequate counseling, divided into several sessions and involving, in some specific cases, even family members. This multidisciplinary approach is necessary considering the complex issues of risk-benefit assessment and decision-making of young patients.
The importance of ethics
From an ethical point of view, aesthetic interventions should not be overly invasive and distortive. Aesthetic medicine treatments should aim to improve the lives of patients, reducing the discomfort related to appearance and improving their psychological balance, favoring social, affective, and work integration.
Psychological and psychopathological aspects
Reflection on psychophysical well-being is of primary importance, especially in an age when appearance is often emphasized in social media. Aesthetic psychological disorders are increasingly common among young people, with a significant impact on their self-esteem and well-being. Therefore, the assessment of the patient’s for beauty treatments is essential to ensure their peaceful social interaction.
In conclusion, while the relationship between young people and aesthetic medicine is changing significantly, aesthetic medicine professionals must approach it in a multidisciplinary manner, carefully assessing the motivations of patients and orienting themselves to improve their psychophysical well-being, rather than pursuing unrealistic beauty ideals.
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