Is It Normal to Have the Skin in Front of the Ears to Be Hard and a Discolored (But Not Very Swollen ) 3 Days Aftert a Facelift?

I had a facelift 3 days ago. The doctor made my incision in front of the ears. So far everything is perfect except the skin in front of both ears is really hard when I touch it. The skin is also a little discolored (the color of a bruise that is just starting). The entire side of my cheek, (temple down to jowl) is equally hard when I push on it (no lumps). The front of my cheeks is soft, it is just the sides of my cheeks that are hard. Have very little swelling, but do have pain. Is this normal?

Doctor Answers 14

Hardness, swelling and bruising are normal after surgery.


Hardness, swelling and or bruising are all normal responses of the body at an incision site. Be sure to follow your post op instructions carefully and watch for any change in colour or size of the area.


My patients are all provided with a fact sheet of post op instructions and what to expect after surgery. It is important to be just as prepared for the healing time as you were for the actual surgical procedure. Should anything unusual occur, or if you are just unsure, call your surgeon’s office for advice and/or an appointment.


3 Days after Facelift and Discolored Skin

    This may be a normal variant, but you should be examined to determine if blood flow is compromised or if there is a hematoma.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Hardness in front of ears

sounds ok to me...this is related to the work done under the skin and sounds perfectly normal

Richard Ellenbogen, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Firmness right after facelift expected.

Depending on the technique, what you described can be perfectly normal following a facelift 3 days ago. Most important is to have regular check-ups with your plastic surgeon to make sure you are on course with the expected healing from your procedure.

Is It Normal to Have the Skin in Front of the Ears to Be Hard and a Discolored (But Not Very Swollen ) 3 Days Aftert a Facelift?

After three days you are still experiencing swelling and bruising.  It takes about two weeks for facelift recovery although everyone is different in their healing process.  Swelling can last for several months after any type of surgery. 

Stuart B. Kincaid, MD, FACS (in memoriam)
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
3.3 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Face lift hard skin and dark bruise in front of the ears

Things sound like they are going okay. You should check with your doctor to make sure that everything is okay. I would rule out blood collection and also skin blood flow issues. Each of those things require some additional treatments but early detection is key.

Philip Young, MD
Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 66 reviews

Hard, Discolored Skin in Front of Ears 3 Days after Facelift

It is probably normal post-op swelling but check with your surgeon to make sure this is not a hematoma or compromise circulation in the skin. Both of these problems are very unlikely but cannot be diagnosed on this website.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Have your surgeon examine the area

You need to be examined. This is most likely postoperative edema and nothing to be concerned about but I'm sure your surgeon would much rather have you come in for an exam than worry about you until your next scheduled visit. If you have a small hematoma or are starting to have an infection it's best to start treatment right away.

Thomas Buonassisi, MD
Vancouver Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 102 reviews

Hard swelling after facelift

The swelling is normal however, I assume that you have seen your plastic surgeon to make sure it is not a hematoma (blood collection). If it is not, then the tissue will soften over time.

Is It Normal to Have the Skin in Front of the Ears to Be Hard and a Discolored (But Not Very Swollen ) 3 Days Aftert a Facelift?

 Slight swelling in front of the ears is not unusual 3 days after a Face Lift.  The tissue can feel firm and hard as long as it's not turning dark purple or black which is an indication of healing problems within the skin.  

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 24 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.