Does scar tissue develop under the skin after face lift surgery? If so, where, and will it eventually soften? Thank you.

Doctor Answers 19

Scar tissue after facelift.

Scar tissue will form anywhere where surgery is performed. It will form underneath the facelift flap, but it should not affect the final result. Scar tissue softens over a period of months.  Abnormal scar tissue can form if there was a hematoma in the area that was not drained at the time it formed.

Santa Rosa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

There should be minimal scarring under the skin after a facelift.

The development of the flaps for the proper execution of the facelift should be done gently. This should result in scarring that is completely imperceptible.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Facelift scars

Yes, scarring and swelling can occur after undergoing a Facelift.  Swelling alone may give your skin the feel of scar tissue. It can take up to 3 months for all the swelling to resolved to not only see your final cosmetic result but see what is swelling or scar.  

Khashayar Mohebali, MD, FACS
Bay Area Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Facelift Scar Below The Skin

Any time we make an incision or develop a surgical plane of dissection scar tissue will form.  A facelift is no different, however, the scar that forms under the skin is very soft and pliable.  The only person who will ever notice it is the plastic surgeon who does the second facelift.
Of course there are some incisions through the skin behind the ear and such that can be noticed, but we try to hide those using strategic surgical planning.
Hope this answers your question.

Thomas P. Sterry, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Does scar tissue develop under the skin after face lift surgery? If so, where, and will it eventually soften? Thank you.

Normally visible or palpable scars do not occur after facelift. If there is bleeding, called a hematoma, it can leave a lumpy scar which usually goes away with massage.

Healing of the skin on the face does produce normal scar tissue but this should not usually be visible.

Scar tissue with face lifts

Yes scar tissue does form under the skin in a face lift.  Any time an incision is made in or under the skin, the body heals by making scar tissue.  Scar tissue is usually thick and firm for 3 months or so before it tends to soften and become more pliable.  The scar remodeling process can take a year or two to get as good as it is going to get.

Todd C. Case, MD
Tucson Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

Scar tissue below the skin after a facelift

there is always some level or degree of scar tissue. It can form anywhere where the skin was separated from the tissues below. It can be stiff for a while but in time it gets softer and pliable so that in most cases you cannot see a difference when moving your face. That whole process can take up to one year though

Julio Garcia, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Scar tissue after facelift

Yes, scar tissue will for after facelift. Whenever I perform a secondary or revision facelift, I encountered a thin sheet of scar under the skin. This normal aspect of healing is not concerning and represents the remnant signs of the body's recovery after the lift. initial firmness routinely softens leaving these areas normal appearing with a natural feel after about 6 months.

Frank P. Fechner, MD
Worcester Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Scar remoldeling

Dear Seajay:

Please read the prior reply and link. 

Following scar formation, scars along the incision AND under between the layers of tissue lifted (called a flap) will undergo 9 months and more of remodeling. This phase in scar healing changes the scar molecule from a weaved and bundled collagen lattice to a smoother,softer, thinner and less bulky but stronger molecule. It reduces the swelling, tightness and allows for greater nerve growth through the tissues. 

Good luck with this. Be patient and return to your surgeon.

Dean P. Kane, MD, FACS
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 68 reviews

Scar tissue formation completely normal.

All surgery produces scars, and facelifts are no exception.  The scars are where the facelift skin flap has healed to the underlying facial structures.  The scars help support the final result.  All scars go through different phases where they may feel firm and tight, but time and patience, usually 4-6 months will see the scars soften as they 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.