Continuous Itching and Numbness After Lifestyle Lift

15 months ago, I had a Lifestyle Lift, thinking it was a "breakthrough procedure" and not a face lift. How shocked was I? So here it is, 15 months later and my face and skin surrounding the ears is still numb and is continually itchy. Is this nerve damage? The skin is sagging again and the itching drives me crazy. Is there anything I can do? Someone on here mentioned Tree tea oil. Would that help? Thanks.

Doctor Answers 5

Itching and numbness after a lifestyle lift

Unfortunately, lifestyle lift marketing techniques are not the most transparent. They market a revolutionary facial rejuvination procedure that will make you look 10-15 years younger that takes about an hour and requires only a few days of downtime.

As you now know, it is a facelift procedure that takes at least a couple of hours and should require a minimum of one week of down time. The deceptive marketing techniques lead to patient expectations that are far from realistic. The ultimate result is that, regardless of the outcome, the experience can be bad. 

The numbness that you are experiencing is not uncommon following a face lift and can take many months to return and you may never have complete return of sensation. The itchiness could be from a hypertrophic scar or a keloid. Often times a steroid injection or topical steroid cream may help.

If the skin is still sagging you may need a revision procedure. I would visit with a board certified, experienced, qualified surgeon to discuss your concerns.

Newport Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Treating scars with a Lifestyle Lift

A facelift or lifestyle lift can induce scar tissue in front of and behind the ear. Patients should be followed closely after surgery to minimize secondary deformity. If you have had a Lifestyle Lift and you complain of itching, burning, and thickened scars, you may be a candidate for non-invasive scar treatments to decrease the inflammatory aspects of scar formation and to improve the scar.

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

It may be a hypertrophic scar or keloid: consider triamcinolone

It looks as if you may have a hypertophic scar or early keloid which are frequently associated with itching or pins & needles sensation. This typically responds within a few days to an injection of triamcinolone. This can be performed by your dermatologist.

You may eventually require a scar revision.


Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

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Continuos itching and numbness after lifestyle lift?

Hello! Thank you for your question! Numbness after any surgical procedure is expected for several weeks to months following. As the nerves to the area are traumatized and will then experience a temporary neuropraxia, a transient loss of nerve conduction. This usually resolves over the next 6-12 weeks, but depending on the procedure performed, sometimes much longer. Typically this should resolve by 1 year. As it goes past this date, the likelihood of the sensation returning is small. However, it can take up to 2 years. If no return from there, it is unlikely to return. It should be discussed that persistent sensory changes may develop following any surgical procedure.

The usual signs of the nerves regenerating and neuropraxia resolving is itching, followed by a burning sensation and then occasional sharp, shock-like pains. These will be normal to experience, and actually a promising sign. Usually, normal sensation returns, but is is also possible to have decreased sensation or even increased sensation to the areas affected. Re-educating nerves postoperatively is often helpful and will allow proper instruction for the affected sensory nerves - methods include using different textures to the affected areas when showering, bathing, applying lotion, etc. If bothersome, there are some medications that may be helpful, including Neurontin for pain for hypersensitivity. You can try various textures such as washcloths, loofahs, cotton sheets, etc. Massaging the areas is also beneficial for the incision to make the finest scar possible. The last place to regain the sensation will be directly adjacent to the incision/scar as the nerves will make its way from the periphery to this location. If continual pain arises, evaluation is warranted. After ruling out other causes, one rare explanation may be that a neuroma has developed and may require surgical excision. This is very unlikely unless a large sensory nerve has been transected inadvertently during the procedure. Hope that this helps! Best wishes!

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Itching after facelift

What you'er experiencing is related to the incision lines/scars in the back of your ear. Visit your doctor or another plastic surgeon for possible injection to reduce the itching and discomfort. 

Kevin Sadati, DO
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 204 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.