What is the white area on my ear and why isn't it healing after my Facelift? (photos)

I had a SMAS facelift a little over 3 months ago, and although I am healing well overall, I feel like I am devensome scar tissue behind my left earlobe and my tragus continues to be inflamed and has a white spot on it that will not go away. What is the white spot and is there anything I can do to hasten the healing?

Doctor Answers 5

White area on tragus of the ear after Facelift

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Hi and thank you for your question.

I cannot absolutely tell from the photgraph but a white area over the tragus suggests to me that the skin healing at that site is thin and if tight then you may be able to see the white colour of the cartilage under the skin. Alternatively there can be  infection related to a suture but that would be unlikely at this portion of your facelift scar. If the cartilage is indeed tenting the skin and is tight then it would be a simple matter to improve by chamfering the cartilage down by a millimetre or so but I would wait so that there has been sufficient time for scarring to mature and soften as it may subside and resolve naturally with time anyway. Discuss this with your surgeon. 

I hope that was helpful.

best wishes

Cambridge Plastic Surgeon

Tragal appearance after facelift

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Hello dreamer 7079 and thank you for your question. I would recommend following up with your surgeon to see if anything can be done regarding the scars around your earlobe and the tragus that still seems to be healing. The skin above the tragus is thinner than skin on other parts of your cheek, so it is important to be very cautious with the area. You may want to consider covering the area for 2 weeks with a bandaid to avoid any iadvertant trauma or scratching of the area, which may help to speed up healing. If that does not help, your surgeon can discuss the next steps.

White spot on tragus

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They may be related to some hypopigmentatiojn perhaps from some delayed healing. Hard to say without being your surgeon and following your progress.

Ear scar

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Hi, thanks for your question. From the picture it is difficult to tell if the white spot is from a healing scar, a suture that hasn't dissolved yet, or exposed cartilage. Each of these issues are straightforward to deal with and will respond to either conservative management or a minor local procedure (depending on the cause). My suggestion would be to follow-up with your plastic surgeon to find their recommendation for the best possible solution. All the best.

Ian MacArthur, MD, FRCSC
Ottawa Plastic Surgeon

SMAS face lift - white spot over tragus

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Thank you for asking about your SMAS face lift.
  • Thick scars behind the ears are not uncommon aftter a face lift -
  • Silicone strips may help - they often subside with time or at 6 months need a steroid injection.
  • However te white spot over your tragus may be a suture or even exposed cartilage.
  • One can't tell from the photo - I suggest you see your plastic surgeon to have the area examined.
Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes  - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

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.