Realistic Result of Scar from Facelift?

I'm a 54-year-old male who could use a facelift. However, I am afraid that the scars in front of the ears will become too obvious. I'm not a smoker and fair skinned. What is a realistic outcome for the scar in front of the ears?

Doctor Answers 51

Facelift Scars

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Facelift scars can and should be placed so they are vitually imperceptible. With men,in particular,  it is critical to find a plastic surgeon with experience providing both men and women with natural looking results.  You should look closely at surgical scars so you know what to expect, and so you can assess the skill of your plastic surgeon. . You should also look for changes in the hairline ears, and sideburns. You want a natural looking result. A distorted hairline, or "pixie ears" can be a few things that can make surgery look obvious and unnatural.  During a consultation your plastic surgeon can discuss your goals with you and based on what you are hoping to achieve, can help you understand where surgical incisions will be placed and what scarring will look like short term and long term. 


Following surgery, many surgeons, myself included will offer complimentary V-Beam laser treatments to help speed healing and minimize scarring.  Most plastic surgeons also make  topical silicone gel treatments available to help minimize scarring. Close monitoring following surgery is imperative. If scars start start to thicken, they can be treated with steroid injection. But early treatment is key.  You don't want to wait until a scar is a problem before you begin receiving treatment. 


Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 123 reviews

Facelift scar can be hidden in the ear canal and almost invisible with good healing

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Careful surgical technique by an experienced board certified plastic surgeon should create very well healed scars that are not conspicuos.

There is a specific technique for hiding the visible portion of the facelift scar inside the ear canal which can make the visible portion of the facelift scar almost invisible.

Excellent facelift scar in the hands of a good surgeon

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The incision should be placed in little wrinkles in front of the ear for a male. The secret to having minimal to no scarring in the long run is in the technique of the surgery. When a good lift is done the deeper tissues are pulled tightly and skin just comes along with it. This way only the excess skin is excised and the incisions are closed with no tension at all, resulting in very thin lines. When the skin itself is pulled tight and sewn together, the risk of thicker, wider scars is much higher. The placement of the incision is also important so be sure to find someone that does a lot of facelifts and shows you pictures where you can see minimal to no scarring.

Good luck.

Andrew Miller, MD
Edison Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 222 reviews

Facelift scars

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For a male, it is critical to have inconspicuous scars especially in front of the ears. This requires excellent artistry on the part of the surgeon, a proper choice of placing the scar entirely in front o the ear or behind the tragus (the middle portion), absolutely no tension on the skin and with all tension placed on the deper layers of the tissue. Generally the "mini" procedures place more tension on the skin and are not as good for scars as are the proper full facelifts where the tissus are undermined wider and the tension is placed deeper.

Facelift Incisions

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One of the biggest concerns for patients, in particular short haired patients or men, is the appearance of the facial scar.  In men, I still perform a retrotragal incision (which is an incision behind the ear), as I find that the scar is much more difficult to see than a straight lined pretragal incision (incision in front of the ear).  The keys in a male facelift are concealing the scar, avoiding hair loss, and achieving a robust change to the face and neck.

Seek consultation from a surgeon who has experience with male facelifts.

 In the attached video, a male patient with short hair received a full facelift.

Anil R. Shah, MD
Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 177 reviews

Facelift Scarring

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Both men and women are concerned about the facelift scar in front of the ear. That is why we place the incision within the ear. This is especially important in men, who rarely style their hair so it covers the ear.

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

Facelift Scars

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Thank you for your question. In most healthy people without a history of healing irregularities, the surgical scars resulting from a well-performed facelift are rarely an issue. Incisions are designed to result in scars that are concealed within natural curvatures around the ear and the hairline. Most patients consider those scars to be acceptable with makeup within 1-2 weeks although full scar maturation takes many months. Once mature, most scars are imperceptible in normal social interactions, although not entirely invisible upon closer scrutiny.    

Ultimately, the vast majority of patients consider the results of the facelift and appearance of facial rejuvenation to be a very acceptable trade-off for typically inconspicuous scars.

James M. Pearson, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 137 reviews

Male Facelift and Scars

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This is a good question.  Facelifts in men are different than in women.  The planning of this type of facelift is important and each patient is different.  It is possible to do a facelift on a man and not have visible scars.  It is more time consuming but worth the time invested while in surgery.  The male anatomy is different due to several things.  The male face is larger, has a beard, and the hair patterns are different than in females.  Usually due to the lack of hair, and thinning hair, the placement of incisions requires skill and knowledge that is different than with females.  This is an area of specialization that requires a little more skill.  The skin is thicker, and usually the jowls and neck are heavier which requires different surgical maneuvers ti achieve the result.

Good luck with your search.

Walton Montegut, MD
Newport Beach Physician
4.9 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Facelift Incisions

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In general facelift incisions heal very nicely.  Techniques are used to minimize the scar as much as possible with meticulous care to placement and closing of the incision site, the result being the scar should be very hard to detect once fully healed. You can expect small incision lines that border the front and behind the ears ending at the margin of the hairline. You may also have a small inconspicuous incision under your chin if extension neck improvement is needed.

Jason S. Cooper, MD
Jupiter Plastic Surgeon

Facelift Scars

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Hi David Paul

Thanks for your post. Scarring is always a common question and it's very helpful to the RS community when others post similar. If it is done well, the scarring should be minimal and with time, likely to be almost invisable, providing no infection is present, and no complications happen.

Our Concept Facelift is less invasive than a traditional facelift and there is less scarring, bruising and swelling for a significantly quicker recovery period. This innovative procedure combines the latest surgical techniques with the use of local anaesthetic to dramatically reduce the risks associated with traditional facelifts, while significantly reducing the bruising and downtime of your recovery, from months to a matter of days.
This is a combination of a SMAS lift and skin tightening that allows the procedure to have it's longevity without the trauma and invasiveness of a traditional facelift. 

There is minimal bruising and swelling, especially when compared to traditional facelifts
As the procedure is performed under local anaesthetic, you can go straight home following the procedure
Full recovery in a matter of days rather than months
Significantly less risk than Facelifts performed under general anaesthetic
Fresh, youthful and long lasting results

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.