How old do I have to be to have a nose job?

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It is difficult to say categorically how old someone needs to be to have a Rhinoplasty, or ‘nose job’.  It very much depends on the individual circumstances.  Generally speaking, most reputable cosmetic surgeons will not perform such a procedure on a teenager – certainly not before their facial growth has finished and the structure of their face is set into its adult appearance.

For this reason it is relatively rare for a teenager under the age of 18 to be considered suitable for a Rhinoplasty, and almost certainly not without the consent of a parent or guardian.   

There are several reasons for this.  Firstly, until the face has reached maturity, it is difficult to judge whether any one ‘unattractive’ or ‘outsized’ feature is simply out of balance due to the developmental process of growing up.  Often a nose which the individual considers oversized will come into balance within a few years of reaching adulthood.  For this reason, invasive cosmetic surgery at a young age can actually result in an undesirable appearance when the individual reaches their early twenties and their natural features are thrown out of balance again. 

Secondly, as the body is still growing, unnecessary cosmetic surgery could cause additional or unforeseen negative side-effects; detrimental effects on the skin, for example, or in men an unfortunate impact on the patterns of facial hair.  Bone structure could appear distorted. 

Thirdly, it is difficult to make a fully informed decision on such a major undertaking as cosmetic surgery if the psychological reasons behind it are not sound.  While an individual at any age can suffer anxiety about their appearance, during the formative teenage years with profound changes in body appearance and hormonal surges, the pressure to conform to a certain stereotype can be a harmful and unsuitable reason to pursue cosmetic surgery.  This is in no way to belittle negative body image or individual concerns and anxieties about appearance.  It is simply stating that if it really necessary to undergo such surgery, then the individual needs to be sure that it is not simply a transitional phase and that the perceived imperfection will not pass or develop pleasingly over time.  Additionally, if surgery is carried out unnecessarily to combat psychological issues, which it does not then suitably resolve, then it may lead to unhealthy and unnecessary obsession over other cosmetic procedures in the impossible pursuit of perfection.

One main exception to these rules is in the event of severe facial trauma or specific damage to the nose, or a medical condition which could be improved by surgery.

It is important to remember that the psychological concerns addressed above can apply to a prospective patient at any age.  That is why it is important to have sound medical advice to arrive at an informed and responsible decision regarding cosmetic surgery, no matter what your age or gender. 

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