Facelift scarring; what would be the best thing for me to do?

I'm getting a face lift in a couple of days... I can't decide if I want the stitches inside the hair or around the temple ... I'm a 43 yrs old male I have a lot of hair and thick... What would be the best thing for me to do ? Thanks a lot !

Doctor Answers 27

Male facelift

It is important to get the incision within the hairline instead of around the temple.  If you start receding hair line down the road and the incision will show.
Dr. J

Bedminster Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 89 reviews

Facelift scar

Thank you so much for your question. Have your board certified plastic surgeon use sutures instead of staples for closure. Since facelifts are one of the most complicated procedures that plastic surgeons perform and an experienced surgeon will likely yield the best results. Discuss with your surgeon where he/she will be placing the incisions. As someone who specializes in facelifts, I usually begin in the hairline at the temples and continue around the ear ending in the lower scalp. Once healed any scaring is typically well-concealed in the hairline and natural contours of the face and ears. The goal of every plastic surgeon is to leave little scaring as possible especially for facelifts. Best of luck to you!Dr. Henry Mentz

Henry Mentz, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 30 reviews


Hello and thank you for your question. If good technique is used, there should usually be almost no visible scarring from a facelift.  Discuss the plan with your surgeon and I am sure you will feel better about it. Best wishes and good luck.

Richard G. Reish, M.D.
Harvard-trained plastic surgeon

Richard G. Reish, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Facelift scarring; what would be the best thing for me to do?

Thank you for your question.The best thing you can do is discuss this with your surgeon. He is the one ultimately who will place the incisions. I am sure he will do his utmost to try and hide the scars as much as possible.Kind regards.

Temple Incisions Probably Unnecessary

It is difficult to make a recommendation without an in-person consultation. In general, for most patients I place the incisions inside the ear at the edge of the tragus, and they come up at the edge of a standard sideburn and stop at the anterior edge. With this placement, they are not visible and no hair is lost. In some patients who have a great deal of skin laxity, I also place an incision inside the hair at the temple level to make a further correction, but at your age, that would not be necessary. Incisions at the hairline in the temple region heal well but are slightly visible, and in my opinion, it's best to avoid them if possible.

Inside the hair, always

Incisions at the hairline around the temple are visible, overtime your hairline with move backwards and expose them, and also such incisions increase the forehead; I always do the incisions WITHIN or inside the hairy scalp of temple, mastoid, parietal, etc.

Alejandro Nogueira, MD
Spain Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Male facelift

thank you for your question and concern. I also wanted to add that to make scars less noticeable, typically an incision is 'beveled' along the hairline so that the hair grows through the scar and less conspicuous. Hope your facelift went well!
Dr. Miguel

George S. Miguel, DO
Troy Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Good question

Male face lift scars are indeed an interesting topic. Essentially the amount of excess skin generated will have a significant bearing on your scar location. A small skin excess will not require too much upward movement of the sideburn and temple hairline and so the scar could be put in or near the lower hairline border. For many men a significant vertical lift with a scar in the hair will create a step which men cannot hide with short hair. It is for this reason that most male face lift scars are best left at the hairs edge rather than deep in the hairline. Hope that helps. Adam Goodwin

Scar Management

Best Scar Management is important to minimize or completely hide from view, the telltale signs of your surgery—namely, scars. Both you and your surgeon want you to have the most minimal scarring possible. There are many possible causes for scars that are enlarged or not healing well. Unsightly scars are most commonly due to genetics, underlying medical conditions, or improper scar/wound care. The last part is very important and patients can make a noticeable difference in their scars’ appearance by following best scar management practices. Here are some simple tips. Scar Management tips:
  1. Minimize tension on the scar. Steri-Strips and/or surgical tape are often placed in non-hair bearing areas at the time of surgery to minimize tension and keep pressure over the scar.  This minimizes the  stress that  can pull the scar apart (dehiscence) creating a wound and  delaying healing time, and can make the scar wider, or more “ropy”. In the first few weeks after surgery, I recommend the use of Embrace Scar Therapy which is an adherent silicone sheeting pre-stretched when applied so as to offload tension on the scar.
  2. Keep your incision site/scar clean to prevent infection. Follow your surgeon’s wound care instructions to the letter with out modification. Never apply different products then recommended without first discussing them with your surgeon. This is especially important during the first few weeks. If there are any signs of infection, contact your surgeon’s office right away and/or see your doctor or his nurse immediately. Typical signs of infection may include redness outside the immediate incision site, asymmetric swelling, and drainage, of pus, fever, chills, and “feeling sick”.
  3. Protect your scars from the sun. Staying out of the sun is the best advice. Minimal exposure to sunlight is prevents hyperpigmentation (permanently turning brown) and other problems that can make the scar more noticeable. Sunscreen, at least 30 SPF and an overlying make camouflage make up additionally protects the scar from the suns harmful rays. This advice is especially important the first year following your surgery.
  4. Use specific scar maturation products recommended by your surgeon. Patients seem to have their own opinions on this touting everything from Pure Vit E, Coco butter, to Aloe Vera, etc but most have minimal benefit other than keeping the scar hydrated. Although hydration is important there are better, scientifically studied products with greater efficacy. Most of the scientific articles written about this subject indicate that topical silicone gel or silicone sheets work the best. The best product available in my opinion is the Embrace Scar Therapy System by Neodyne BioSciences, Inc. available in many surgeons’ offices. Essentially this is an adherent silicone sheeting pre-stretched when applied so as to offload tension on the scar. For areas that are not applicable for this product (e.g. smaller areas or on the face), I prefer BioCorneum or Kelo-Cote products There are a lot of products to choose from, but silicone should be one of the key ingredients. Although Mederma, an onion extract derivative active ingredient rather than mainly silicone based may help, primarily silicone based products are better and many also contain other ingredients that may be synergistic (hydrocortisone or other steroid, Vitamin E, Sunscreen, etc).. If the reader has problems obtaining these they can call my office. Patient compliance is also critical – use often and according to directions or it will not work optimally. NEVER apply products without first discussing them with your surgeon.
  5. Monitor to make sure your scar is progressing optimally. Keep your scheduled follow-up appointments with your surgeon to verify that your scars are maturing as expected.  Occasionally if indicated you may need a topical steroid preparation or even a series of  injections (5-FU and/or Steroids) or laser treatments  to treat or  prevent scar hypertrophy or keloid formation (red raised scars), or other topical medicines to treat post inflammatory hyperpigmentation (brown scars) with prescription creams and possible laser treatments.

Facelift Incisions

Ideally, the incision will be in the hairline. That way it will hide better and if you have hair recession later, the incision will still remain hidden. Otherwise, facelift incisions generally heal really well without much visibility. Best of luck!

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.