Facelift 1 month ago. Chin incision doing well. Big hard crusty leaky scabs formed behind ears. Why did this happen? (Photo)

They are down in size but have left a big ugly scar. I'm worried I can't ever wear my hear up and going to Europe in July. They are about the size between a quarter and a dime now, down from a half-dollar but still sore sometimes leaky. Fluid is clear with a little blood. What treatment would you ask me to do if I was your patient? Vaseline? Dry them out? Cover them? Take them off? Different topical cream? Why did this happen?

Doctor Answers 9

1 Month Post Op Facelift

Follow up with your Plastic Surgeon so that he can guide you through the healing process.  You should be washing the area with soap and water.  It is very important to keep the area clean, so that it will heal.  At this point, you should not have scabs and drainage.  See your surgeon to discuss wound healing as soon as possible.  Best wishes!

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Slow healing behind the ears after facelift

This can happen and is distressing. 
I recommend daily gentle washing with water and a mild soap.
Then a layer of Aquaphor, leaving the area open without a bandage.

Elizabeth Morgan, MD, PhD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Scabs behind the ears

I'm sorry to hear about your scabs after your face lift.  As difficult as it may be to realize, I'll bet that your scabs continue to shrink and will likely leave minimal scarring in the end.  Try not to worry, allow your body to continue to heal, and I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

Adam David Lowenstein, MD, FACS
Santa Barbara Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Facelift 1 month ago

Dear josh, thank you for your question.Swelling after a facelift may persists from weeks to months, causing bumps or asymmetries to appear. In San Diego, we monitor our patients closely for one year to address any issues. Follow up with your surgeon to check if this is swelling versus something else and if treatment is indicated. Best of Luck.

Roy A. David, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Too much tension in the wound

is likely to have caused this. The scab is at the margin of the incision and likely to represent necrosis of the flap periphery. Keep it clean and use bactoban, bacitracin or fucidin ointment. It will heal and may not be noticable. It is possible however that the scar may need resurfacing should it be problematic. This is a simple local anaesthetic procedure. Your PS will have a preferred laser. I would use fractional CO2.

Dominic Bray, MBBS, FRCS
London Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 169 reviews

Necrosis behind ears after facelift.

You have had some skin die off behind the ears.  This can occur due to the tension on the wound - the skin is too stretched - and the blood flow is not adequate to keep it all alive.  The skin will turn dark and then fall off leaving you with a scab.  The scab will often start out dark, and then become yellow and moist as it heals.  You should keep it moist with antibiotic ointment.  It will heal, and often you can't see any residual scar.  If you do get scarring there are lasers that can be  used to improve the scars.     

John J. Martin, Jr., MD
Coral Gables Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

The skin behind the ear can suffer after a facelift.

The area behind the ear of the facelift is commonly understood tension and has relatively poor blood supply. Difficulty healing is not uncommon. Fortunately most the time the results are quite good with just good care of the one. I only assist the patient's keep the skin clean and covered with a good emollient.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Wounds after Facelift

Thank you for your picture.  It appears that you have had some skin loss.  This is a result of too much tension in that area.  The wound needs to be cleaned and it can be treated a variety of ways to allow it to heal.  Your operating plastic surgery will guide you concerning that.

Best wishes

Earl Stephenson,Jr, MD, DDS,FACS

Facelift one month ago. Big hard crusty leaky scabs formed behind ears. Why?

The incisions may have been closed under tension and are not healing ideally. However, with proper wound care, they may be ok in the end. Seek the advise of your surgeon in this matter. If worst comes to worst, you may require a scar revision after the healing is complete.

Suzanne Kim Doud Galli, MD, PhD, FACS
Washington Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 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.