What is normal scarring in front and behind you ear after a mini facelift?

What is a normal amount of scarring in front of the ears from a mini facelift? How long should it take to heal? Are lumpy scars behind the ear lobe normal? Should you be able to feel a raised scar in front of your ears? How do you approach your surgeon with concerns about scars?

Doctor Answers 10

Scars: Pre/Post-Auricular

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It is difficult to define a normal amount of scarring after a facelift as people heal differently.  It is typical for the preauricular (in front of the ear) scar to heal smoothly as a thin line that changes color from deep red to pink and then tan or slightly lighter than the surrounding skin.  I agree with the other surgeons above who answered regarding the postauricular scars occasionally being bumpy or irregular.  These will flatten-out and soften with time.  Time being 6-8 months.  Hypertrophic scarring is rare in front of the ear, though can occasionally happen behind the ear.  Keloid scarring is when the thickened, raised scar extends beyond the area of the incision.  Keloid scarring has a genetic component and is less common than hypertrophic scarring.  

With regards to a mini-lift, it is hard to know if there is an increased or decreased risk of abnormal scarring as it would be related, at least in part, to the amount of tension on the skin.  The amount of tension on the incision line is directly proportional to the risk of developing a hypertrophic scar.  If by mini-lift, you mean a skin only lift, then perhaps there is slightly more risk of hypertrophic scarring than in a SMAS or full lift where the underlying muscle is tightened as well as the skin.  

Steroid injection can help soften hypertrophic scars.

Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon

Facelift scars, full or mini, should be almost invisible.

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Generally a mini or upper facelift requires an incision in front of the ear possible extending a bit behind the ear.  It should be closed with no tension and should yield a scar that is almost invisible.

Scarring after facelift

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Scarring after any facelift should be minimal and well-hidden. Consult with an experienced board certified facial plastic surgeon. Good Luck!

Roy A. David, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon

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Scarring after a mini-lift

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  • The mini face lift uses a scar in front of the ear, down to the ear lobe or a little behind.
  • After surgery, for 6 weeks, scars start to thicken and may become raised. 
  • They feel thicker than they look.
  • Scars should flatten and fade in time - it can take 6 months or longer.
  • Tape or silicone sheets over scars can help.
  • Go to your surgeon and say, "I can see and feel my scars are thick and raised. How should they be treated?"
  • If surgery was less than 6 weeks ago and even up to 6 months, the correct answer may be "Wait."

Facelift Healing and Scars

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Thank you for the question. As others have said, there is some variability in healing.  This is related to patient factors (skin thickness, pigmentation, history of keloids, etc.) and also the surgical technique (tension on the wound, direction of the lift, placement of the sutures).  In the great majority of cases, the incisions heal well and are nearly imperceptible after 6 months. In order to help with this, I plan all my incisions in natural creases or in the hairline.  In the rare event that an incision becomes thick or spread, revision is typically straightforward and can be done in the office. Best of luck moving forward!

#San Francisco Facelift

Mini Facelift Scars

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Thank you for your question. The scars in front of and behind the ear are the same for "mini-facelift" as well as the regular facelift. The scars in front of the ear tend to do very well, and in many patients become almost imperceptible. On occasion the scars behind the ear or on the neck along the hairline can become thickened or widened or deeply pigmented. In those cases a scar revision can be easily performed. Most of us do not charge for scar revision surgery, and there is no down time.

William McClure, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon

Am I healing from my mini facelift normally?

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The face has relatively thin skin and is well vascularized. As a result, the incisions, especially in front of the ear, typically heal very well with very little surgical stigma. The incision behind the ear can take a bit longer to heal and may have a bit more scar tissue that takes time to resolve. 

I would follow up with your surgeon and ask him or her to make sure that your scars are healing properly. If they aren't, what can be done to address the issue and get the best outcome possible.

Todd C. Miller, MD
Newport Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon

The appearacne of facelift scars can be quite variable.

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The scars in front of the ear usually heal nicely.  Behind the ear will sometimes be a little irregular and bumpy.  With massage this may help to flatten it out.  Some patients will also develop a hypertrophic scar behind the ear, or at the ear lobe.  This will be a raised red firm scar.  There are medicines that can be injected to help soften this type of scar, which can develop at anytime from 2 -12 months after the surgery.  There are also lasers which can help improve the scars.  If you have any issues with your scar, just ask your surgeon as there are things that they can do to help.

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

Scars After Facelift May Be Raised and Bumpy For A While

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It is normal for scars to become raised and bumpy for a period of time after surgery.
Scars mature over a period of about 18 months: first, they thicken; later they flatten, soften get thinner and blend.

Hopefully, you chose your surgeon in part because you communicate well: just ask! 
Your surgeon wants to hear your concerns and address them for you.
That's important for your surgeon to make recommendations or intervene, if there is something that needs to be addressed, and to provide you reassurance if things are normal.

It's important to have your surgical team shepherd you through a smooth and successful recovery.

Paul C. Zwiebel, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Mini Facelift Scars

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You should create an open discussion with your surgeon about all possible outcomes of the procedure, including scarring. If you’re concerned about any specific scars, your surgeon should be able to address your questions. Scars are typically normal within the first year after a mini facelift, and it takes about 1-2 years for scars to mature.

Babak Azizzadeh, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 9 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.