Facelift and Chin Lipo 9 days ago, concerned about wound behind ear not healing, how should I clean it? (photos)

I had facelift and chin lipo 9 days ago. My right ear keeps developing a yellowish ooze and won't heal. My PS recommended warm compresses 2x a day. Should I clean with hydrogen peroxide? Should i apply ointments? I ordered the herb calendula to apply. I'm just worried about infection. Thank you!

Doctor Answers 15

Hyperbaric oxygen

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Hyperbaric oxygen will help the area behind your ear heal.  There are many clinics in California that offer this treatment at a reasonable rate.  While most hyperbaric physicians will recommend two atmospheres, many patients cannot stand the pressure on their ears and sinuses.  In that event, as little as 1.2 atmospheres will help you heal.  We use hyperbaric oxygen for many of our facelifts post op, and have 20 years of experience referring to hyperbaric physicians.   Always see a board certified facial plastic surgeon.

Healing after facelift

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it appears that you are having some delayed healing behind the ear.  This is uncommon, but can happen.  Local wound care should result in uneventful healing.  Be sure to see your surgeon to rule out any infection and instructions on wound care. Generally keeping the area clean and then moist with a petroleum jelly like substance will help this heal quickly. Again, your surgeon should be the one whose instructions you follow. 

Jacob D. Steiger, MD
Boca Raton Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 68 reviews

Infection behind ear

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You need to schedule an appointment to get into to see your surgeon about this. You appear to have a bit of skin necrosis. With proper care, it should heal without incident. 


Kouros Azar

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Skin necrosis behind the ear after facelift

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Dear young4life, the photos suggest there is some skin necrosis behind the ear, which is why it is not healing as well as the rest of the incision. It is best to contact your surgeon and ask for his/ her advice on wound management. The majority of these type of wounds heal without further surgery. Good luck! 

Facelift Incision Wound Care

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Dear young4life, Your surgeon should clean this incision and instruct you on post operative wound care taking into consideration any health issues you may have including allergies. I would follow his/her instructions and also ask your surgeon about hyperbaric oxygen treatments which would be very beneficial as well as possible Vitamin C IV infusions to help stave of infection and boost your immune system. Best regards, Michael V. Elam, M.D.

Michael Elam, MD
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 214 reviews

Post facelift wound care

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Thanks for sharing.  On occasion in this area the skin can break down.  This is usually due to smoking. The skin here is the most sensitive  because the blood carrying  oxygen has the longest way to travel to this area to nourish it. It is important to follow proper wound care and it should heal well. Daily cleaning with soap and water and antibiotic ointment multiple times a day is the most important to apply in my opinion.  Once the skin has healed over then a silicone scar gel may help any resultant scarring.  Again speak with your surgeon.

Raymond E. Lee, MD
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 95 reviews


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If there is any necrotic tissue in the area it needs to be debrided.  Treating the area with antibiotic ointment should allow the wound to contract and reepithelialize.  It may take 6 weeks to heal. 

Follow with your surgeon

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First, its very important to have your surgeon follow this carefully.  I would consider twice daily cleaning with sterile saline solution, then cover it with an antibiotic ointment such as bacitracin, and keep it covered with a dressing.  If you have other underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, make sure everything is controlled.  If you are a smoker, it would be important to stop immediately.  With proper care and diligence, and close follow up with your surgeon, it should heal.

Slow healing postauricular wound

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Thank you for sending your pictures.  I would avoid hydrogen peroxide, as this will delay your healing.  Typically, using soap and water to debride the site and then applying a dressing, such as duoderm, will accelerate the healing in the area.  Follow with your PS often so he/she can watch for signs of infection.  Best of luck!


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Thank you for sending images. It does appear that your would has not fully healed and this is not uncommon behind the ear for the first several weeks after a facelift. With time, this typically heals without sequela. At this point I do not usually use peroxide (which can slow down healing, but prevent infection) unless I am concerned about infection which does not appear to be present. I would consider adding an antibiotic ointment such as Bacitracin or just lubricating ointment such as Vaseline. 

My recommendation would be to keep in close contact with your surgeon and run any recommendations you find here or elsewhere online by your surgeon to get their ok.

Mark Hamilton, MD
Indianapolis Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 49 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.