How long do red marks after Facelift surgery last? (photo)

I have some red marks on my neck, nearly six weeks after a face/necklift. One comes down from behind my left ear and extends onto the neck, and the other is in the center of the neck/throat. I have been using BioCorneum on these marks. How long can I expect these to last before they fade? (see attached photo) Thank you.

Doctor Answers 8

Linear red mark on the neck following facelift

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The pattern and location of the linear red mark is consistent with pressure from a constrictive bandage. I would avoid any further pressure or rubbing on the skin until it is healed. Occasionally you can see a similar pattern that corresponds to a flexion crease, where thin skin was formerly attached to the underlying muscle (platysma). For now, I would continue to keep the skin covered with a bland ointment or silicone gel such as BioCorneum.  If the skin is thick or raised, which can be a sign of incipient (early stage) scar, I would treat with IPL or a vascular laser (Vbeam).  Best wishes.

Saint Louis Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 126 reviews

How Long Do Red Marks After Facelift Surgery Last

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The healing process in general can take up to one month for the majority of swelling to subside, incisions to close, sutures to come out, and for bruising to completely go away. #Recovery time from a #facelift varies from person to person, but patients can generally expect to be presentable within three weeks from surgery. Patients should expect swelling, bruising, and discoloration of the skin during this phase of recovery (swelling normally goes down after 48 hours; most bruising will go away within two weeks). When the skin is separated from the underlying tissues during surgery, small sensory #nerves are cut. Varying degrees of numbness will be present after surgery and will improve gradually as the nerves reconnect to the skin. This process can take from 2-6 months for face, neck and cheeks, and to 9-12 months for the forehead and scalp. Muscle weakness may also be present around the mouth especially if liposuction is used. This typically recovers fully in the months after surgery. 

As the nerves regenerate, the itching, burning, tingling and shooting #sensations will occur. Ice, moisturizers and gentle #massaging are helpful during this phase of the #healing process. Frequently there is a tight feeling in the neck, jawline and cheek after a facelift. During surgery, not only the skin but the underlying muscles are tightened to create a better and longer lasting result. Additionally, the #swelling will move downward in the first week and the neck will feel even tighter. Do not be alarmed: the sensation will decrease during the first month. 

Some degree of firmness or lumpiness under the skin is normal after surgery and will resolve with time. Local #massage of the areas may accelerate the resolution of this problem, which normally takes 2-4 months to disappear completely.
The marks from a facelift can easily hidden with “camouflage” make-up which you can learn how to apply. The scars from a facelift mature within six to twelve months from the surgery date. It is during this time that the rejuvenating effects of the facelift will become apparent and the real result will be seen. If you have certain concerns about the procedures and #healing process, it is recommended to call your board-certified surgeon or their medical staff and discuss those #concerns.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Red marks may be due to the dressing.

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The red marks are most likely the result of a tight facelift dressing. It would be unusual for this problem to persist longer than a few days and is certainly something you should discuss with your surgeon.

Brian Harmych, MD
Cleveland Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Red marks on skin after face lift

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Based on your photo, it looks like the mark may have been made by a tight post-op dressing, or from a drain. I would be concerned about the possibility of some long-term discoloration of that area (post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation). I would address this with your surgeon to follow up and see if some intervention is necessary.

Sean Maguire, MD
Louisville Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Red areas after face lift

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These look almost like you may have had some slight skin slough in this area.  Did you get a scab here?  When that happens it takes longer for the redness to fade.   Also wonder if you wore a garment that may have been rubbing in this area.  IT will all face.  May want to try some IPL to help speed up the resolution.   

John J. Martin, Jr., MD
Coral Gables Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Red marks after face lift

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Thank you for your question about your face lift.

The fading depends on the cause of the redness:
  1. from general effects of surgery - they should be fading by 6 weeks.
  2. If skin was especially thin around these lines - fading may take longer
  3. If there is a permanent Giampappa suture under your skin, redness may persist until the suture is removed.
  4. If the irritation if from Biocorneum or any other skin product - they stay red until the product is stopped.
  5. If the irritation is from a garment - they stay red until the garment is stopped.
Ask your surgeon which seems the most likely problem for you - and ask her/his advice on its management.

Always consult a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.
Hope you find this information helpful. Best wishes.

Persistent red mark should be shown to your surgeon.

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If you are six weeks postop these areas should have substantially resolved. If you're wearing some sort of compressive garment it may be irritating the skin. Regardless you should show this to your surgeon.

Red marks after facelift

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Wow, those are pretty red.  I wonder if this line is along where your drains were running.  Rest assured that this will fade in time.  A vascular IPL treatment may be a good idea to speed the process along, so ask your surgeon about that.  Best of luck!

Nicholas Husni, MD, PhD, FACS
Cleveland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 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.