Will Your Facelift Produce Visible Scars?

preventing scarring after a face lift

Any time the skin is cut, a scar can occur. Most of our patients aren’t too worried about a small scar on the breasts or body, but the face is a whole different story. Our facial plastic surgery patients worry about scars. We’ve got good news for you. When a facelift is performed by a skilled plastic surgeon, like Dr. Clinton, scarring is minimal, and once the incisions fade, is often imperceptible.

Get answers to all of your facelift questions, including scarring concerns, at a consultation with Dr. Clinton. Call our Birmingham, AL plastic surgery office to schedule your one-on-one visit with our board-certified plastic surgeon. Discover how a facelift can renew your appearance.

Facelift Incision Locations

Dr. Clinton believes in a customized approach to each surgery he performs. There are many variables to facelift surgery including incision location and length, how deeply the incisions are made, and how the incisions are closed. Traditionally, facelift incisions are placed in the hairline and behind the ears. Some patients will require an additional incision under the chin.

Incisions are always placed in discreet, hard to spot areas. The natural contours of the ear and chin easily hide incisions. Hair covers the incisions placed in the hairline. Dr. Clinton may modify incision placement for male patients, especially those with shorter hair or balding, to ensure that incisions are barely visible after healing. He plans incision placement in the locations that will work best for each patient.

Incisions After Facelift Surgery- What to Expect During Healing

Facelift incisions are most visible immediately after surgery. For the first couple of weeks, the incisions will be dark, tender, and highly visible. There is often swelling in the area and bruising may be present. Stitches are used to hold the skin together after surgery and are usually removed or dissolve after the first week.

Incisions heal quickly and within 1-2 weeks, the incision will be smoother, flatter, and less visible. After a few weeks, most patients are comfortable returning to work and social engagements as the incision has faded significantly. Healing will continue to progress as the incision continues to soften, flatten, smooth, and fade.

The scar will continue to mature and fade for about a year after surgery. Any residual pinkness will continue to fade, and the final scar will be thin, white, and flat. Most patients have a difficult time spotting their fully matured incisions, even with careful examination.

Our Best Tips for Successful Incision Healing After Surgery

Dr. Clinton is a board-certified plastic surgeon and has performed many facelift surgeries. He uses special incision closing techniques to ensure that scars fade and mature properly. As a patient, you play an active role in taking care of your incisions. These tips will help facilitate healing and minimize scarring after facelift surgery.

  • Don’t Smoke – Smoking slows healing and can lead to post-surgical complications and increased scarring. We recommend that patients stop smoking several weeks before surgery and do not smoke at all during healing. All tobacco and nicotine products should be avoided including e-cigarettes, vaping, chewing tobacco, cigars, and nicotine patches/gum.
  • Resume Activities Slowly and Carefully – Your activity will be limited during healing. At first, patients must rest extensively and will be unable to do many daily activities. After a few weeks, most activities are allowed, except for strenuous exercises. Resume activities carefully and wait until Dr. Clinton clears you to resume vigorous exercise.
  • Stay Out of the Sun – The sun is very damaging to new scars. Cover up when you’ll be outside. We recommend investing in a wide-brimmed hat and lightweight scarf for early in the healing process. Sunscreen should be used extensively on incisions for the first year.

Hiding Incisions After Facelift Surgery

Some patients choose to hide their incisions with makeup during the healing process. You’ll need to wait a few weeks, as new incisions are at risk for infection if makeup products are used too soon. Dr. Clinton will let you know when you can resume makeup use. Properly applied foundation and concealer help incisions to disappear, until they have healed sufficiently to do so on their own.

Most of our patients are pleasantly surprised by the lack of visible scarring after their procedure. Call Clinton Plastic Surgery to schedule your consultation with our board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Michael Clinton.