Is there always a scar in front of the ears after lower facelift? And how long does it takes for scars to fade?

Doctor Answers 21


Most facelift approaches do require some incision in front of the ear. Fortunately we can camouflage this by bringing it behind the tragus (cartilage flap in front  of the ear canal) and into the opening of the ear canal. In addition, this is an area that heals very well- even without make-up, this incision, when well placed and executed, is hard to detect.

Healing will take a full year to see the final result. By two weeks, however, most patients should be able to camouflage all incisions with make up.

Indianapolis Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Scar Placement and Healing

Yes, the scars are typically placed both in front of and behind the ear and while every patient heals differently, I am always impressed by how discreet the scars wind up being. In general, no one is going to know that they are there. It is important to see a board certified plastic surgeon for your facelift as you want someone with the expertise and training to deliver exemplary results. Hope this helps.


Kouros Azar

Kouros Azar, MD
Thousand Oaks Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Facelift incisions

A lower facelift can be done through a posterior ear incision in some cases. It maybe best to do an anterior incision to hide the scar, any bulging and for the SMAS which lifts the fascia nd muscle for a longer lasting result. See a board certified ASAPS plastic surgeon in consultation. Good luck...

Larry Weinstein, MD
Morristown Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Facelift scars

Believe it or not, plastic surgeons have little control over your wound healing biology. It is important to close the wound with as little tension as possible, but other than that, your scar healing is largely determined by your genetics. Nevertheless, I am always impressed at how well most facelift incisions eventually heal. Although there is initially some redness to the incision while healing, in most people it is very will hidden.

Ben Lee, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Facelift scars

The typical facelift requires an incision in front of the ear, around the earlobe and behind the ear. This allows the effective exposure of the muscles that need to be re-suspended, as well as for the removal of excess skin that most patients require. Because there is very little tension on these scars, they typically heal very well with most incisions not being visible after a few months. Makeup can be used for the first several weeks after the procedure to camouflage the incisions that are pink during the first phase of healing. 

Brett E. Stompro, MD
Bay Area Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Facelift scars...

In a typical facelift, the incision comes down in front of the ear, but behind the tragus so it is broken up nicely. Just like with any incision, a little redness can be evident for a few weeks but makeup can cover it up. Just be sure to see a facelift specialist because he/she will be the most experienced at obtaining scars that are well hidden and difficult to detect.

Andrew Miller, MD
Edison Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 182 reviews


In regards to facelift surgery, traditionally the incisions are made in front of the ears. For lower facelift sometimes the incisions are made under the chin. There will be some type of scar because of the incisions made however, the incisions should be small and should be hidden well. I highly recommend consulting with an experienced Board Certified Plastic Surgeon .Fading of scars and how pigmented scars are, are dependent on the patient and how they heal individually. For my patients, I usually offer scar revision post-surgery, if necessary. Thank you for your question and have a great day!

Sam Speron, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Scars after face lift

Thank you for asking about your face lift.

There is always some kind of scar in front of the ear after a face lift - but it is usually broken up by putting part of it behind the tragus (the cartilage notch in the front of the ear, so it is barely visible. On average, scars begin to fade after six months.

Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes  - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

Incision for Facelift

Thank you for your question.  Facelift incisions are typically placed in front of and behind the ear.  This is necessary in order to have adequate access to the deep tissues of the face, and to allow redraping of the excess skin.  The incision in front of the ear can be placed in front of or behind the tragus of the ear, and usually fades until it is nearly unnoticeable. This can take several months to completely fade away.  Be sure to consult with a board certified facial plastic surgeon or plastic surgeon who specializes in facelifts.  Also ask to see Before and After pictures.  I usually take a close-up of all incisions in my patients to show how they are healing. 

I hope that this helps!

-David Gilpin

David Gilpin, MD
Nashville Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Facelift Incisions

The incision in front of the ear in a facelift is often placed in a retrotragal fashion, meaning a portion of the incision is 'hidden'. Facelift scars fade fairly quickly particularly in the front of the ear. The scars behind the ear usually take much longer and can take up to six months to fully mature.

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.