How should I care for behind ear incisions after face and neck lift? They feel itchy and irritated.

Just a little over two weeks post opt, very itchy and irritated feeling? Using perioxide and antibiotic ointment 2 times a day.

Doctor Answers 22

How should I care for behind ear incisions after face and neck lift? They feel itchy and irritated

The post-op instructions should be always given by your operating Surgeon. Without pics- it is impossible to say. The quality of the neck lift is directly related to the position and length of the incision behind the ear. Often, when a large amount of skin from this area is removed - the neck will look much improved. 

Care of wounds after facelift

Of course,  you should do what your surgeon suggests.   The phenomena you describe sounds like allergy to the topical antibiotics.   I prefer  patients do a gentle shower and baby shampoo around suture lines as a care regimen.  I ask patients to do this once or twice a day for the first 2 weeks.  Unless there is an actual open wound topical antibiotics are unnecessary I feel.   This has worked for me  and my patients for many years.  Rarely, if ever, have I seen allergy to baby shampoo.   Incidentally, for the hair itself, any shampoo a person is used to is fine.   The baby shampoo is just for the incision area itself.   In addition avoid peroxide.  Peroxide is harsh and will kill healing cells  My Best,  Dr C

If its not working stop it!

It sounds like your regimen is not working for you. Consult with your physician and stop the current regimen.

Some things to keep in mind when trying to aid in wound healing;
  1. Moist wounds do better than dry ones. The dry ones crack, bleed and delay the healing.
  2. Some antibiotic ointments have a high risk of localized allergic reaction, like bacitracin. This will be itchy and blotchy red.
  3. Cleaning with soap and water is great. Hydrogen peroxide on a healing or opened wound is not advisable because it is toxic to tissue.
For more advice on recovery after cosmetic surgery, please read my book, "A More Beautiful You - reverse aging through skincare, plastic surgery and lifestyle solutions".

Robert M. Freund, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Itching After Facelift

Itching is a normal part of the healing response. It usually goes away on its own but there are definitely things that make it better or worse.  The incisions should be kept moist until they are healed. At 2 weeks, they should be healed and you can stop the ointment.  You may try Benadryl creme or 1% hydrocortisone to relieve the itching.  If the incision is not healed, you should make an appointment with your surgeon to determine what is wrong. Yeast infection along the incision line is very itchy and the antibiotic ointment will only make it worse. #facelift

Joseph Campanelli, MD
Portland Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Caring for Your Face + Neck Lift Incisions

Your surgeon will give you detailed instructions on the specifics of caring for your face and neck lift incisions as part of your post-op recovery. Some rules that you should be sure to implement, still, are keeping the incisions regularly clean, avoid direct exposure to sunlight and frequently applying a sunblock with an SPF of at least 30 before going outdoors, and incorporating foods high in protein and anti-oxidants. Try your best to be as patient as possible with your healing incisions and be sure to schedule regular visits with your surgeon to ensure that your recovery is proceeding as planned. 

Facelift Care post-operatively

During tour pre-operative visit your plastic surgeon should have provided you instructions verbally along with written instructions for post operative care. These instructions should have been shared again with you and your caregiver the morning after our surgery when you were released for the surgical facility. I see my patients often in the days and weeks after surgery. We understand that although we take a lot of time with instructions that you may need more guidance. However, the only plastic surgeon who should give you direction about managing incisions post-operatively is your own plastic surgeon. Call the office right away and I'm sure they will be happy to see you.

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 110 reviews

How to care for itchy incisions behind the year after neck lift in facelift.

I agree your plastic surgeon should give you specific instructions rather than following Internet advice.

That said at 2 weeks your incisions are still healing.  My concern is that I did an proximal side may be irritating the incisions further.  Mild itching can be a sign of wound healing.

You need to have your plastic surgeon examine your incisions and advise you accordingly.  Generally speaking I like the incisions to dry and avoid wet treatments.

If at 3-4 weeks your incisions have closed but become red, raised, itchy, and the lumpy you may be developing hypertrophic scars.  Often topical applications of steroids can improve this process.  In some cases were hypertrophic scars are extreme the non-ablative 1540 fractional erbium laser can be helpful.  In rare cases steroid injections are used.  However it need not worry about these things at your early stage in recovery.

Incision care

Incision care protocols differ among surgeons. I am a minimalist. I prefer just showers and ointment. The less "handling" of the wounds, the better in my opinion. Your surgeon know what he/she did for you and what care works best in his/her patients, so I would follow those instructions.Most scars will do fine pretty much no matter what.

Robert H. Hunsaker, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 71 reviews

Facelift incision should be Cleaned and lubricated.

Specific one instructions should come from your own surgeon. In general incision should be kept clean and lubricate. Avoid rubbing are scratching

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Itchy incisions

Facelift incision care differs among surgeons. If this itching is tremendously bothersome then ask your surgeon to recommend or prescribe something to combat this. 

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.