Facelift Scar Information


For a full facelift procedure that addresses the lower face and neck, there is an incision in the hairline that goes down the front of the ear, up and around the back part of the ear, and then into the hairline in the back. There is also a much smaller incision under the chin. It’s important to note the the incision in front of the ear goes behind what is called the tragus, which is the bumpy part of the ear, so those incisions are not noticeable.

During Facelift surgery, Dr. Thompson carefully closes the incisions in a precise way to ensure minimal scarring post surgery. He takes his time with each and every procedures and the sutures are removed in stages. Dr. Thompson visits each patient the day after surgery and shows them proper wound care instructions to follow at home. Three days later patients come back to have the incisions in the most noticeable areas removed first. Steri-strips are glued to continue holding the incision together for another 3-4 days. At that time, they can get wet and will fall off naturally. Patients also come back again at that time for additional sutures to be removed and steri-stripped. Only a few sutures remain at that time that are removed around day 10 following surgery. On day 14 when the steri-strips come off, patients are instructed to use their Scar Recovery Gel from SkinMedica and are able to cover the incisions with their camouflage makeup that is also included in their facelift package. Here’s a more simplified example of the suture removal schedule:

  • Day 1: Dr. Thompson examines wounds and shows patient how to clean with half hydrogen peroxide and half water, then apply NeoSporin/PolySporin
  • Day 3/4: In-office suture removal, steri-strips are glued on and need to remain dry for 3-4 days (stop wound care where steri-strips have been applied only)
  • Day 7: In-office suture removal, steri-strips applied where sutures are removed
  • Day 10: Remaining suture are removed and steri-strips are applied, need to keep them dry for 3-4 days
  • Day 13/14: All steri-strips are off, wound care is discontinued, Scar Recovery gel needs to be applied morning and night and camouflage makeup can be applied to incisions for coverage
  • Sunscreen will be important to apply to incisions for up to a year following surgery when outdoors for longer than 30 minutes; daily sunscreen use is suggested and sunscreen is given in facelift care package

At that point, the incisions are closed but slightly red, which continues to fade overtime until they become almost impossible to see. The redness goes down a great deal within 3-4 weeks and continues for 6-12 months. It’s important to where sunscreen on those incisions as sun can cause those scars to become noticeable.

Article by
Salt Lake City Facial Plastic Surgeon