Can Facelift Affect Skin Tone?

Will a deep tissue lift or SMAS resection plication affect the skin color or tone and is there any skin bunching around incision site?

Doctor Answers 16

Facelift and skin tone

Dear Shayla,

Several questions which need to be answered individually.

1."Will a deep tissue lift or SMAS resection plication affect the skin color?" - Bruising under the skin may lead to skin darkening. In most people this resolves readily. Some Black patients who respond with Hyperpigmentation to all injuries, may have long lasting darkening of their scars. This is also related to sun exposure (which must be limited with a good sunblock).

2. "Will a deep tissue lift or SMAS resection plication affect the tone?" - No. The inherent skin tone remains the same. It cannot be changed. But, the slack, the droopiness and jowls are smoothed out by the procedures.

3. " there any skin bunching around incision site?" - Depending on the technique, the surgeon and the patient there may be some skin gathering. This usually resolves and smooths out in a few months.

Hope this answered your questions.

Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 108 reviews

It is possible to have skin color or skin tone changes after a facelift.

It is possible to have skin color or skin tone changes after a facelift. This is would be very rare. Normally, a properly performed SMAS lift will give the appearance of better skin tone due to the tightening of the skin and underlying muscle layer, but skin tone itself is not affected. Skin tone can be improved through other means such as laser resurfacing, a good skin care regimen, proper use of sunscreen, and a good diet. As for bunching around the incision site, this should not happen if the skin was draped properly. I hope this helps.

Jonathan Kulbersh, MD
Charlotte Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 66 reviews

Can Facelift Affect Skin Tone?

A facelift procedure should not affect the skin tone or color. Bruising after a facelift is common and typically lasts two weeks. Excess skin is removed from the face during a facelift procedure by using an incision placed in front, and behind, the ear. There is no visible bunching of the skin after a facelift procedure.

Austin Hayes, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Facelift should not affect skin color or tone

The SMAS component of the facelift is performed deep underneath the skin and really has no bearing on the skin itself other than to tighten the skin after the facial layers are tightened.  It will tighten the skin, but should not give any differential color tone to the skin itself.  Manipulating the skin can cause telangiectasias, bruising, and hemosiderin deposits that can give a slightly darkening color to the skin.  Necrotic areas of the skin can result in hypopigmented areas along the incision site if the skin is pulled too tight.  For results of SMAS facelifts, please see our facelift photo gallery located on our web site.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 143 reviews

Effects of a SMAS Facelift on Skin Tone and Color

Performing a facelift will remove some loose skin and that will improve the tone of the skin somewhat.  If the skin is made too tight it will result in distortion of the face, scar widening, and possibly skin necrosis.  The elevation of the skin flap should not cause any significant change in the skin color.  The incisions and operation is designed so that there should not be any bunching of the skin around the incision sites.

Michael Sundine, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Skin tone and facelift

Skin bunching should not occur around the incision sites except if there is a dogear at the end of the incision which should settle down. A face lift should have no effect on skin tone or color.

Robert L. Kraft, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

SMAS Facelift

The skin tone and color will not change after your face lift surgery has been performed and you have completed the healing process.  Bunching should absolutely not be an issue if the skin is properly re draped and trimmed. 

If you are looking to improve you skin tone and color, you may want to consider:  laser resurfacing, chemical peels and/or medical grade skin care products.  The Obagi skin care system combined with Tretinoin cream is wonderful way to improve texture and tone without downtime or major expense. 

Jenifer L. Henderson, MD
Silverdale Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Facelift and Skin Tone

A facelift will not generally affect skin tone. Most facelift approaches will not result in bunching around the incision but I would certainly bring this concern up with your physician.

D.J. Verret, MD
Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

A facelift will modestly improve skin tone.

A properly executed facelift will improve skin tone.  There should not be excessive tightening which makes the results unnatural.  Sun damage will not be improved and might benefit from auxiliary treatment (laser, peel, etc.)

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

SMAS facelift does not change skin tone and there should be no bunching

Skin tone depends on your genetics and lifestyle.  Good genes, no smoking, good nutrition, sun avoidance will all maximize your skin tone.  A SMAS plication/resection facelift will elevate and tighten the deep tissues of your face so the skin can be smooth over the top of  the improved contour and rejuvente your appearance.  This smoothing of the skin will make your skin tone appear better but the true quality has not changed.  Improved skin tone can be helped with a good skin care program, chemical peels, laser treatments or Retin - A cream. Done correctly, with proper tailoring of the skin, there should be no bunching of the skin where the incisions are.  This may occur if one tries to do a short scar lift on a patient needing more skin resection.

Jeffrey M. Darrow, MD
Boston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 98 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.