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Breast size can affect mental health in teens, study suggests


Beyond just being a cosmetic concern, breast size can actually have a significant impact on mental health in adolescent girls, according to new research published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

Both breast asymmetry, having one breast larger than the other, and macromastia (large breasts), appeared to be associated with lower scores for emotional well-being and self-esteem in young women.

The study is one of the first to focus on the mental health impacts of breast size.

"The observed impaired psychological well-being of adolescents with breast asymmetry may indicate the need for early intervention to minimize negative outcomes," the authors wrote.

Weight control and counseling

Treatment for breast asymmetry or breast reduction surgery are usually not covered by insurance companies, the authors noted.

While some young women can "outgrow" breast asymmetry, other interventions like weight control and counseling should be implemented to avoid lasting emotional consequences.

"Though substantial barriers to care exist, early evaluation and intervention for these patients may be beneficial," the researchers concluded.

Source: Wolterns Kluwer