The average age women are going under the knife has dropped to below 40 for the first time, an expert claims.

Women are now opting for cosmetic surgery by the age of 39 – down three years since 2012 when the average age was 42.

The Instagram culture is being blamed for the swift increase in younger women choosing plastic surgery for the first time.

But it is not just women who are opting to surgically alter their looks.

The average age of men seeking cosmetic surgery has also dropped in the last five years from 47 to 45.

The rise of “selfies” and photo filtering is one of the reasons for the boom in surgery amongst young patients.

It’s believed that patients see how their appearance is improved by a filter on their smartphones and come to the conclusion that surgery may be able to replicate that look.

There is also a desire to look better on social media – particularly Facebook and Instagram where so many personal pictures are shared.