Facelift for Patient Prone to Keloids?

Can you have a Facelift if you are prone to keloid scarring? Can I have a Eye lift, too?

Doctor Answers 13

Facelift scarring

Far and away the best way to prevent keloids is meticulous, expert technique. Not too much tension on the closure, clever suturing.

Minilifts are notorious for producing keloid scars. There is simply too much tension placed on the incisions and they stretch out, causing bad scarring.

Facelift surgery is definitely an artform as well as a surgical procedure.

That being said, different skin types scar differently. There are special measures that need to be taken with patients with black skin, Asian skin, etc. to prevent keloid formation above and beyond excellent surgical technique.

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 127 reviews

Keloids after facelifts

Keloids occasionally appear in facelifts, and rarely in eyelid surgery.  It really depends on what other scars on your body look like and whether they are truly keloids.  Fortunately, the face heals so much nicer than skin on other parts of the body and keloids are rarely a problem.

Ronald J. Edelson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Face lift and kelods

Yes -- because most 'keloids' are hypertrophic scars. What does this mean?

  • a keloid is an unsightly, large scar tumor often from minor injury. It is hard to treat - and can require radiation treatment. They are uncommon.
  • a hypertrophic scar is a thick, itchy raised scar - certain body areas, chest and back especially, are prone to these scars.  They are common.
  • a well done face lift can usually avoid hypertrophic scars and they are very rare after eyelid surgery.
  • So chances are excellent that you can have a face lift, eye surgery and a great result.

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Facelifts and Keloids

Keloids and hypertrophic scars ( a similar but distinct raised scar) can occur in some patients after a facelift.  It is not possible to predict which patients will develop a keloid or raised scar after the procedure.  Surgeons should avoid tension on the skin, meticulous close the incisions, and have long term follow up with the patients to ensure scar formation is minimized.  

In patients with a higher likelihood of keloids, consideration can be made to a limited incision lift versus an alternative to a facelift. 

Anil R. Shah, MD
Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 118 reviews

Hypertrophic and keloid scars with a facelift

These procedures have a low rate of hypertrophic or keloid scar occurence, in my opinion.  Treatment should focus on minimizing tension and proper wound healing postoperatively.  I would recommend surgery. 

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 85 reviews


I would approach the facelift cautiously in a patient prone to keloids.  Deciding whether to perform the surgery or not.  If the patient understands the downside of the cosmetic result then facelift may be done and steroid injections and/or silicone sheeting performed to minimize keloid formation.

Concerning the eyelids, keloids rarely if ever form from an incision in the delicate eyelid skin.

Dr. ES

Patient prone to keloids can still have facelift

Indeed you can have a facelift if prone to keloids, however, both the patient and the surgeon must understand that there is a very small risk that you can get a keloid from a facelift. Only dark-skinned and Asian patients are susceptible to this. It is important that cortisone shots are placed in the incisions at the time of the surgery and very close following and monitoring postoperatively for occurrence of these keloids can be done. Sequential injections of steroids at a month and three months along the incision site will help prevent them from occurring.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 107 reviews

Keloid after facelift is possible, but unlikely\

I would agree with most of the comments. Keloid type scarring is possible but usually does not occur even with a history of keloids elsewhere on the body. Exacting surgical technique is extremely important. Unfortunately, no one could give you a 100% guarantee that a keloid would not occur. It may be worthwhile doing a small facial procedure at first just to see how you feel.

Michael Vincent, MD
Rockville Plastic Surgeon

Neither should have a keloid problem.

 In 30 years I have never seen keloids of the eyes or facelift. I have seen wide scars due to too much tension on the skin. Going to an experienced facelift surgeon should give you what you want without keloids.

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Keloids are site dependent

If you developed a keloid after a burn or cut on the chest or back, it means little because almost everyone will keloid there.

Keloids on the face are infrequent in most patients unless they are black or of very dark genitic background.

Eyelids almost never keloid unless it is the result of a burn.

Facelift scars can keloid, but usually can be managed by injection of cortisone.

The way the incision is located in a facelift greatly influences its ability to form a keloid.

Good Luck.

Nathan Mayl, MD
Fort Lauderdale Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 7 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.