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Plastic Surgery Risks for People of Color

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons estimates there were 3.2 million cosmetic procedures performed on people of color in 2013, a 240% increase since 2000. Data showed that 25% of all cosmetic surgery patients were black, Asian, or Hispanic. This surpassed the number of men who had plastic surgery procedures in 2010. 

More information on procedures by minorities: 

  • Hispanics: This group had almost 1.7 million plastic surgeries in 2013 and were 11% of all 13.1 million procedures done. The most common procedures were San Antonio breast augmentation, nose reshaping, and liposuction. 
  • African Americans: This group had about 1.2 million procedures in 2014 and were 8% of all procedures in 2013. The most common procedures were San Antonio rhinoplasty, breast reduction, and San Antonio liposuction
  • Asian Americans: This group had 990,000 plastic surgery procedures in 2013. They made up about 7% of all plastic surgeries that year. The most common procedures were rhinoplasty, San Antonio eyelid surgery, and breast augmentation. 

If you are a person of color thinking about plastic surgery, there are unique things to consider, including risks that are unique to specific ethnicities. 

Why Asians, Blacks, And Hispanics Are Choosing Plastic Surgery

Plastic surgery is becoming more mainstream every year. Ethnic patients are more aware of the cosmetic procedure options available to people with their facial features and skin types. With the increase in procedures and publicity, more minorities see surgical results in ethnic patients in society. 

The mainstreaming of these procedures in ethnic patients may have helped eliminate some of the stigma associated with cosmetic surgeries. Better technology, advances in procedures, and lower costs also are boosting demand. 

Ethnic patients want the same things out of plastic surgery as other patients. They’re driven to reduce the signs of aging, look younger, and may wish to create more symmetry or balance in their bodies or faces. 

Most Want To Retain Their Ethnic Identity

Most patients want to alter something about themselves, but not their ethnic identity. Most don’t want to lose vital face features that make them ethnically distinctive. For example, many Asian patients want eyelid lift surgery to provide a wider eye that looks natural to the Asian face. 

A black patient who wants rhinoplasty may want to make their nose smaller to make it more symmetrical with their facial features. However, they don’t want a ‘European’ thin nose that might look unnatural on the African American face. 

Plastic Surgery Risks

All plastic surgeries have risks that affect all patients. However, there are some higher risks specific to some ethnic groups. They are: 

Adverse Scarring

Some Asian, African American and Hispanic patients may have more problems with adverse scarring because of the melanin in their skin. 

Hypertrophic scars and keloids are common in people of Asian and African ethnicity. Scars on some people in these groups can look like raised, thickened tissue along the incision. However, not all patients may have this problem. 

To reduce scarring, patients may want to try less invasive procedures, which produce minor damage to tissues and lower the amount of scarring. Your surgeon can place incisions carefully where the scars aren’t visible. 

After the surgery, scars can be made less visible by using various medications, pressure therapy, or even surgical removal. 

More information about keloids and hypertrophic scars: 

  • These problems are most common in people of color, but not all patients have the same risk. 
  • Both can show anywhere on the body, but they’re most common on the shoulders, ears, breasts, and chest. 
  • The chances of these problems developing are higher if you have a family history. 
  • The odds of recurrence rise if you’ve had them before. 
  • The risk of developing severe scars decreases as you age. 

Pigment Irregularities

Another risk for some ethnic patients is hyperpigmentation, which is a darkening blotchiness of the skin. Another issue is hypopigmentation, which is lightning of darker ethnic skin. 

Pigment irregularities occur in procedures such as dermabrasion, chemical peels, and laser skin resurfacing. People of color may need to be careful when using minimally invasive procedures that involve chemicals, lasers, or exfoliants. 

Hyperpigmentation can be reversed in several months in many patients using various methods. But hypopigmentation is tougher to treat; it could be irreversible. You can ask your plastic surgeon to do a skin test before selecting a procedure to see if there’s a risk. 

When choosing your plastic surgeon, he or she must have extensive experience performing procedures on various ethnic skin types and ethnically sensitive regions. It’s wise to ask your plastic surgeon for before and after photos of ethnic patients when considering a procedure. 

Request A Plastic Surgery Consultation 

Interested in San Antonio plastic surgery? Dr. Scott J Farber or Dr. Amita Shah of Hill Country Plastic Surgery can help. They will consult with you for your San Antonio cosmetic procedure today. They’ll go over the options, goals, and more to determine if you’re an ideal candidate for a variety of plastic surgery procedures. 

References

Plastic Surgery For Ethnica Patients. (n.d.). Accessed at https://www.plasticsurgery.org/news/briefing-papers/briefing-paper-plastic-surgery-for-ethnic-patients

Cosmetic Surgery Impacts in Ethnic Populations. (2009). Accessed at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2884924/


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