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How Long Does It Take for Facelift Scars to Mostly Disappear?

Doctor Answers 13

Facelift Scars

The facelift performed by the surgeon with the most expertise, training, experience and patience will leave you with the best results. 
 The facelift procedure involves incisions that skirt the contour of the ears, using the anatomy of the ear to help conceal them. For a full facelift, the incision starts in the sideburn area, follows the contours of the junction of the ear with the face, curves behind the earlobe into the recess between the posterior ear and the neck/scalp, and then extends into the hairline posteriorly at the top of the ear. When I make these incisions, I design them so that, once fully healed, they may be difficult for even a hairdresser to detect. That goal can often be achieved, and it requires meticulous attention to every centimeter of the closure.
Following surgery, many surgeons, myself included will offer complimentary V-Beam laser treatments to help speed healing and minimize scarring.  Most plastic surgeons also make  topical silicone gel treatments available to help minimize scarring. Close monitoring following surgery is imperative. If scars start start to thicken, they can be treated with steroid injection. But early treatment is key.  You don't want to wait until a scar is a problem before you begin receiving treatment  

Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 57 reviews

Most Facelift Incisions Heal Nicely

Scarring following facelift surgery varies from patient to patient and is dependent upon a multitudes of variables. These include the type of facelift performed, the wound healing characteristics of the patient and the technical skill of the surgeon.
The surgeon can influence several of these variables, but unfortunately has no control over the patients’ wound healing biology. For these reasons, plastic surgeons make every effort to place scars where they’re well hidden when performing facelifts.
In vast majority of patients these wounds heal nicely and the scars are difficult to see.When wound healing is complicated the scars are often well hidden by incision placement. After surgery scars are often extremely red and raised.With the passage of time these scars usually flatten and lose their redness. This improvement becomes noticeable in about six to eight weeks, but takes 12 to 18 months to reach completion.
Massage and topical agents can sometimes facilitate wound healing and are often recommended in the post-operative period. With these maneuvers most patients are happy with their results, but occasionally a rare patient will require a scar revision.

Scar after facelift surgery

A well performed facelift surgery with minimal tension on skin will leave minimally noticeable incision lines. It takes about 8 weeks to see a smooth incision lines. It should be mentioned that individuals with history of keloid formation or darker skin tend to have more noticeable incision lines. 

Kevin Sadati, DO
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Facelift Incision

Normally it takes about 6-8 weeks for scars to be inconspicuous if they are designed well pre-operatively.

Rod J. Rohrich, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Healing time of facelift scars

The healing process is quite variable depending upon the patient’s skin type present. Darker and oilier skin tends to take longer to heal and stays red for a longer period of time. Fitzpatrick I and II type skin tends to heal much quicker, usually within a two to three month period of time following a facelift.  

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Facelift Surgery

It is an important goal in my practice to have your facial scars from facelift surgery well hidden in your hairline. Most clients wear their normal hairstyle and return to our office in 6 days ready to get stitches removed.  I have you start a cream named ScarGuard to avoid having any healing issues.  Most clients return to work within a week. The only restriction you will have is no heavy lifting and aerobic exercise for a least 4-6 weeks.  Facelift surgery is a very common procedure in my practice and I do not have clients who are unhappy with the incisions. I believe the placement of the incision to be one of most important signs of quality of your surgeon.

John Ward, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

Facelift Scars

Redness of the scars is present in varying degrees for about 3 months and wound appearance continues to improve for 6-12 months. Careful placement of incisions in natural creases in front of the ears, in the skin on the back of the ears, and in the hairline around the ears will camouflage the scars. Make-up can be used about one week post-op. Although scars are always present, ultimately they will barely be visible with the use of careful, meticulous technique.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Disappearance of Facelift scars

Scars on the face fade much quicker than scars elsewhere. Even so, they will remain somewhat red for up to 2-3 months. You can, however, camouflage this redness rather easily beginning the day after the sutures are removed. This is usually about post-op day 3-5 and almost never later than day 8. We usually provide camouflage make-up to hide the redness of the scars and the bruising so you can return to normal activities within 3-8 days.

Robert T. Buchanan, MD
Highlands Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Face Lift Scar Healing

Face lift incisions are placed in strategic locations to hide & camouflage the final results, to avoid visible scarring. All facial incisions for plastic surgery slowly improve and mature with time. Initially, face lift incisions will appear red and swollen. The incisions gradually become less noticeable with good postoperative care, such as avoiding the sun & smoking. Most face lift healing occurs within the first couple months, but the incisions continue to improve up to a year. The facial incisions will never completely disappear, but should be less visible. Facial scarring may occur for many reasons. Speak to a face lift plastic surgeon for your facelift surgery. Best of luck.

Houtan Chaboki, MD
Washington DC Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

Facelift scars- time to fading

Scars generally are considered mature at 6 months, but in actuality continue to mature for another 1 1/2 years, becoming less visible over time.

Anchored facelift scars will appear to fade more quickly than scars that are not buried around the earlobe and inside the tragus. 

When reviewing before and after pictures, the astute patient will want to study ears very carefully for signs of pulling down of earlobes and pulling forward of the tragus, as well as hairline alterations.  Hair worn down or large earrings covering the after results make it difficult for patients to assess a surgeon's work.

For these reasons, the skill of the facelift surgeon is immediately obvious and therefore highly prized.

Brent Moelleken, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 106 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.