Can Facelift Scars Be Successfully Covered with a Permanent Tattoo?

I know you need to wait for at least a year post op. Can front and back of year both be done? can the white small, narrow scars behind ear and next to hairline, be effectively covered with a permanent flesh colored tattoo?

Doctor Answers 17

Can Facelift Scars Be Successfully Covered with a Permanent Tattoo?

Hello! Thank you for the question!  While tattoo is an option, it typically is not necessary.  It is common for scars to fully mature for up to a year. In the meantime, there are a few things that may help to ameliorate your incision/scar. The most proven (as well as cheapest) modality is simple scar massage. Applying pressure and massaging the well-healed scar has been shown to improve the appearance as it breaks up the scar tissue, hopefully producing the finest scar as possible. Other things that have been shown to add some benefit, albeit controversial, are silicone sheets, hydration, and topical steroids. In addition, avoidance of direct sunlight to the incision will significantly help the appearance as they tend to discolor with UV light during the healing process.

If unsightly scars are still present after approximately a year's time, other things that your surgeon may consider are intralesional steroid injections, laser, or just surgical revision of the scar itself.

Hope that this helps! Best wishes!

Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Facelift scars should not require a tattoo for camouflage.

  • the vast majority of facelift scars are practically inconspicuous. If the scar is worthy of coverage by a tattoo is probably also worthy of a scar revision.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Camouflage a facelift scar

Permanent tattooing of a facelift incision can help with color balance in the skin when there is dark pigmented skin and a very white scar. The tattoo only helps with a color balance to camouflage. There are other options such as hair transplantation, and scar revision if there is enough facial laxity to remove the old scars and placed the incisions in and more inconspicuous place without tension

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 146 reviews

Can Facelift Scars Be Successfully Covered with a Permanent Tattoo?

It should not be necessary to tattoo the scars.  Give them at least a year to a year and a half.   the majority of face lift scars heal well.  Continue to massage the scars and your results should improve.   It may be possible for a scar revision to be done, so discuss this with your surgeon.. Good luck

Constance M. Barone, MD
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
3.8 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Tattooing face lift scars should not be necessary after a facelift.

Tattooing face lift scars should not be necessary after a facelift. See  a very experienced facelift surgeon to remove and close the incision in such a way that there's no need for tattooing.

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

How to hide facelift scars?

You shouldn't need to hide facelift scars if the procedure was done well. Of course, as everything in medicine, there are always exceptions. In my experience, tattoos to hide scars usually make the scars more apparent. I have had great results in repairing facelift scars for other surgeons using scar revision and hair transplantation to cover the scars.

Frank Agullo, MD
El Paso Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 141 reviews


If a facelift is done properly no treatment of the scars are needed.  If the scar is wide a scar revision generally will give a very good cosmetic result.   I have not heard of anyone doing a tattoo on a facelift scar.  Donald R. Nunn MD  Atlanta Plastic Surgeon. 

Donald Nunn, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Covering Facelift Scars with tatoo

Unless you are trying to hide the scars with an obvious tattoo (ala Mike Tyson) it is very difficult to "hide" a scar in this way. I would be very concerned about making things worse, or more visible. A lot would depend on your current skin tone and shade (keep in mind that if you spend time in the sun, that will change seasonally, while the tattoos will not). Make sure that you see a bunch of 'before and after' images of similar patients that also had tattoos, by whoever you are contemplating have do this. Scar revision (especially if not attempted yet) might be a better option. Good luck!

Matthew Concannon, MD
Columbia Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Correction of Facelift Scars

There are many reasons that facelift scars can be visible. Most of these have to do with a poorly done procedure or a post operative complication or wound healing problem. Tattoo is never indicated. The main reason for considering tattoo is color, either red or brown. Color can be treated with an IPL. Redness from an early scar (up to 6 months) can be treated with a little camouflage make-up. Another option is scar revision. Hypertrophic scars are treated with steroid injection. 

Robert T. Buchanan, MD
Highlands Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Facelift scars

Depending on the time since your surgery, facelift scars may improve for a year and sometimes longer.  If the scar is very wide, then revision or excision may be the answer.  Deep fractional carbon dioxide laser resurfacing has been used to improve the appearance of scars including older facelift incisions.  By injuring the scar with a laser, two things happen.  First a portion of the scar is removed and secondly, local cells are recruited to help re-populate the scar with normal tissue

J. Kevin Duplechain, MD, FACS
Lafayette Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 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.