Can a Face Lift Scar That Was Cut Horizontally, Below the Temple, Be Fixed? (photo)

I had a face lift 10 months ago. Because my plastic surgeon knew I was concerned about losing my hair (it is very thin) - rather than extending the cut vertically from the top of my ear into my hairline, he extended the cut horizontally out onto my face on both sides. He told me the scars would not show, but they do. They dent inward, and the skin puffs at the end near my eyes. The face lift looks great, but I am self conscious about these scars. Can anything be done to make them look better?

Doctor Answers 18

Horizontal scar fix

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Thank you for your question and the picture. From the photo, there is scar indentation and skin puckering close to the lateral canthus. You are 10 months out and the question would be to what longer, try a non surgical modality or surgically revise the scar. I think you should wait longer to give more time for the scar settle. You could try fillers like juviderm. to see if the depression will improve. but, even with that, I would caution you as you may not like the results of the filler. In general, scars take longer than a year to settle and it may take up to two years,

San Diego Plastic Surgeon

The scars can be improved.

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This is a difficult problem to improve, but we have treated simular scars with improvement.

The system we use is as follows:

  • The area is injected to fill the zone of depression with Juviderm
  • The depressed area and surrounding area is treated with a fractional laser blending the edges. Several passes and a relatively high energy are used over the area of depressed scar.
  • The key is that this is all done at the same session to get the best results.

This can be repeated after several months for further blending

(We treat deep acne scars also in the same fashion with improvement.

Also, even though you are at 10 months, these scars will improve with further time but you are likely to get the most improvement if you add the above technique.

Dr. Mayl

Nathan Mayl, MD (retired)
Fort Lauderdale Plastic Surgeon

Can a Face Lift Scar That Was Cut Horizontally, Below the Temple, Be Fixed?

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Hello! Thank you for the question! 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!

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

10 Months After Facelift and Scar

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   Fillers could help the depression.  Laser may help as well.   The scar could be reexcised and closed in a more linear fashion without depression.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Scar revision for the temple incision for a facelift

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This can be improved. But you might have to have it opened and reclosed. The other option is to break up the tissue below it and add some tissue in there.

Philip Young, MD
Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon

Facelift Scar between the Temple and Eye

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The scar between your hair and eye can be revised. The tuft of hair above your ear which  you lost as part of the surgery should also be replaced because this will limit your hair styles.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Scars post facelift

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I would go back to your plastic surgeon. I think they can be revised to your satisfaction. It may require excisoin or dermabrasion or a combination.

Robert Brueck, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

Scar on the face after face lift

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I have not seen such an approach for a face lift. 

That said, techniques vary from region to region.

Such facial scars are permanently visible but can be improved as follows:

  • Meticulous scar revision done under magnification with early suture removal,
  • Can be done in the office.
  • Tape the scar for at least six weeks afterwards
  • If your surgeon is not Board Certified in Plastic Surgery, consider having such a surgeon do your revision.

Best of luck.

Bad facelift scar.

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You need to have the excess skin removed with a scar revision and reconstruction of your sideburns.  This should be done by someone very experienced in this type of surgery which we escribed in our textbook. 

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Facelift Temporal Scar Revision

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An incision and resultant scar that extends beyond the temporal hairline can be treated by  variety of approaches from re-excision to fractional laser resurfacing. They can be difficult to improve because the scar lies in an unnatural area where wrinkle lines do not normally exist. Which treatment approach is best is debatable and no one can say for sure which one will provide improvement for you. The good news is that they are all easy to do in the office. Because the scars re indented with a small dogear, I would opt for open scar revision followed by laser resurfacing shortly thereafter.

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.