Infected incision behind ear? (photo)

two weeks post op facelift and neck lift. Is it possible I may have a mild infection in this incision, and will washing with hibiclens and applying neosporin help? I have another appointment with my PS next week.

Doctor Answers 12

Post ear wound separation

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This area behind the ear is a prime spot for wound separation because of higher tension.  I think you have this separation and not an infection.  Hibiclens and neosporin are just fine.  The area weill heal.  My Best,  Dr C

Red incison behind ear

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This area is a high tension area during a face lift and because of this the wound may have separated a bit. It is red because the inflammatory reaction that is helping to mend the tissues is working overtime. It does not look like you have any surround cellulitis or frank infection. You should see your plastic surgeon, but I would guess that he/she will tell you that it looks ok and will heal up just fine on its own. You should keep it clean with soap and water and perhaps apply bacitracin ointment. Have your surgeon make sure that you are not having any reaction to sutures.

I think that this will heal up just fine. It is important that you see your surgeon a bit more frequently so that it continues to go in the right direction and the redness doesn't worsen....which would in that case certainly make you worry about infection.

Beth Collins, MD
New Haven Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Consider adding an oral antibiotic as well

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These small areas behind the ear rarely but can have healing issues. Often because of the tension placed behind the ear. I would consider your treatment along with an oral antibiotic. It seems contrary but the chin up position will reduce the amount of tension behind the ear. Best of luck to you. 

Henry Mentz, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

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Infected incision behind ear?

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Contact your plastic surgeon as soon as possible for an exam.  You may have a reaction to sutures.The ointment could make the area worse.  While in the shower, clean the area at least twice daily with a mild soap.

Robert E. Zaworski, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

It looks like you have some inflammation around the scar after your facelift.

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It does not look infected, but that is difficult to judge from a photo. It may just be some inflammation in the scar as it is healing, with slow healing.  You should ask to see your  PS this week as they can help you get this healing better.

John J. Martin, Jr., MD
Coral Gables Oculoplastic Surgeon
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Always contact your surgeon with concerns of infection

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If you are concerned about anything, it is always best to contact your surgeon or surgeon's representative (nurse, assistant) as soon as possible.  Although you may not have an infection, if you do, catching it early on is of great importance and will allow your surgeon to manage it quickly and effectively. 

Trang Vo-Nguyen, MD
Chantilly Facial Plastic Surgeon

Infection behind ear after face lift

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  • The picture suggests you have delayed healing, perhaps a suture reaction behind your ear,
  • it does not look like infection,
  • hibiclens and any ointment are likely to make it worse,
  • call your Plastic Surgeon to be seen earlier,
  • In   the meantime, clean it gently with water and cover with a moist gauze twice a day. Dry skin takes longer to heal.

Facekift infection

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Fortunately acelift infections usually rapidily. On review of your photo occasionally the neosporin can cause an allergic redeness that looks worse. Swithcing to dilute betdine would fix that.

Mark Prysi, MD
Naples Plastic Surgeon

Infection after a facelift

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Infection after a facelift
It is extremely uncommon to develop an infection after a facelift. From your photo it appears that you have some superficial desquamation, mild skin loss. This should heal uneventfully. See your plastic surgeon for proper care.

Boris M. Ackerman, MD
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Facelift incision infection

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It is hard to tell if that is an infection or a separation.  Either way your surgeon should be able to address that.  See if you can get in earlier.

Adam Bryce Weinfeld, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 63 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.