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Koreans show love with face lifts

South Koreans traditionally used to say it with flowers or money, but now more are showing love and respect to their parents by giving mum and dad coupons for cosmetic surgery.

Local media has reported a boom in orders this year for botox treatments, face lifts and hair transplants to mark Parents' Day on Monday.

Cosmetic surgery clinics in Seoul said they have been booked solid for weeks with appointments made by children for their parents.

Using surgery to enhance looks is common in South Korea, with few stigmas attached to having procedures done to make eyes rounder, noses more shapely and even calves slimmer.

Many parents pay for cosmetic surgery for their children as a graduation gift and it has become more common in recent years for children to return the favour.

"Appointments for procedures for Parents' Day have increased by over 50 percent from five years ago," said Lim Ee-seok, the president of the Theme Dermatology Clinic, a large cosmetic surgery facility in Seoul.

The most sought-after procedures at the clinic are botox injections, which range from 300,000 won (NZ$504) to 600,000 won (NZ$1,008) and surgery to remove wrinkles.

"Parents who have always sacrificed for their children are now more bold in asking for what they want," the Herald Business newspaper said in a story it carried on the subject.

Lee Shin-ja's children gave her a coupon for laser surgery to remove liver spots from her face.

"I never thought my children would do this," Lee, 62, said by telephone. "I am really happy they did because I look much younger now."