Tips for Preventing Scars After Your Facelift

Like any traditional plastic surgery, a facelift requires incisions to be made during the procedure. Incisions allow a plastic surgeon access to the skin, soft tissue, muscles, and fat that must be manipulated, tightened, or removed during facelift surgery. While he will make every effort to place the incisions in hidden areas along the hairline and around the ears, some of these might be visible once healed. If you’d like to minimize your risks for excessive scarring after your own facelift surgery, follow these tips for healthy and complete healing of the skin tissue.

Start Healthy to Heal Healthfully

The lifestyle you lead prior to your facelift surgery can definitely influence the way you heal after. Patients eating a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals have bodies that are better equipped to heal completely. Likewise, an adequate intake of water each day will boost the elastin and collagen produced by the skin, making it more flexible, resilient, hydrated, and prepared for healing. Finally, regular exercise is another way that skin remains healthy, since activity also boosts the elasticity of the skin. If your skin is healthy in the first place, it makes sense that it would be ready and able to heal more quickly and more thoroughly after a facelift.

Discuss Your Past History and Genetics

Believe it or not, your and your family’s medical history could play a major role in how well you will heal after your facelift. By considering your previous surgeries or injuries, such as a knee surgery or sliced hand, you can predict the way the rest of your surgical incisions might heal. Your healing can be influenced by your genetics as well, so if a parent is known for scarring, you might be at risk. By discussing these factors with your facial plastic surgeon, he can help you to make a plan that will reduce these scars as much as possible. Keep in mind that darker skin tones are at a greater risk for scarring than lighter tissue, as the scars heal lighter, creating a contrast with darker skin tones.

Consider Scar Coloring Treatments

Once your incisions have fully healed, you may notice that the pigment of your scar tissue is different from that of the surrounding skin. This effect can make scars stand out even more, but skin color re-pigmentation can help. This treatment is best for those whose scars are at least nine to 12 months old, have a smooth and flat appearance, and are free of dark edges. You scars will need to be evaluated to determine if you are a good candidate for scar coloring, so talk about this possibility with your surgeon. If you are a good candidate, then your skin can be tattooed with a different flesh tone pigment that closely matches your natural color. It is a medical procedure considered to be specialized for permanent cosmetics and can offer a lifetime of scar camouflage to patients.

Post-Surgical Microdermabrasion

It may seem extreme to scrub away your scar tissue, but treating these areas with micro sandblasting techniques like microdermabrasion can help to reduce their appearance. Using very fine crystals to remove dead skin cells from the top layers of the skin, this treatment can be repeated as necessary over a period of time to produce great results on any scars. Obviously, microdermabrasion cannot be performed on skin that is healing or too newly healed. Plan ahead for these procedures if you’re concerned about scarring, but give yourself enough time to fully recover. Discuss the timeline of your facelift recovery with your doctor to be sure.

Massage Your Scars

Everyone loves a good massage to relieve stress and tension now and again, but not many consider the benefits it can have on the body’s physical healing. Massages are becoming a very popular treatment for various health ailments and some think it may help to reduce the formation and appearance of scar tissue as well. Massage increases circulation throughout the body, including the areas that are forming new tissue and collagen. This technique may help reduce scarring in various areas of the body, possibly even the incisions from a facelift procedure. Save this approach for after the major healing is finished, however, to avoid damaging or opening any incisions that aren’t fully closed. Avoid early post-operative facial massages and only have them with your surgeons approval.

Treat Scars With Silicone

Silicone gel or patches are popular to help soften lumpy scars. They can be used starting 4-6 weeks after surgery if the scars are becoming firm or raised. They are applied at night and may have some value in helping the scars become softer and flatter with time.

Cortisone Therapy

Certain skin types have a tendency to develop excessively lumpy scars or keloid scars. If treated early in their development with injectable corticosteroids, such as Triamcinolone, they can be made to flatten out. People of color or red headed Caucasians are more likely to develop these types of scars with facelifting especially if they have a past history of keloid scarring.

Choose Your Surgeon Wisely

The success of your entire procedure, scarring and all, depends heavily on your choice of plastic surgeon. Your scar treatment begins with the incisions, specifically how and where they are made. An experienced surgeon knows how to handle this piece of the procedure, setting you up for the least visible scars possible. Discuss your surgeon’s incision techniques at your facelift consultation if the risk of excessive scarring is one of your concerns.

Get the best results from a facelift procedure with minimal scarring when you plan your surgery with the reputable facial plastic surgeon Dr. Sheldon S. Kabaker. He is an Aesthetic Facial Plastic Surgeon and Hair Transplant Specialist who also offers nonsurgical skincare treatments at his practice. He received his medical degree from the University of Illinois, College of Medicine in 1964, before serving in the US Army Medical Corps and seeking active duty in Vietnam.

Dr. Kabaker has studied and taught facial plastic surgery internationally, including in France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Israel, Mexico, Argentina, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Today, he continues to modernize his practice while delivering satisfactory results to his patients. To book a consultation with Dr. Kabaker, contact his office located at 3324 Webster Street in Oakland, California, by calling (415) 379-9015.

  • Share: