DRY or apply VASELINE to scabs on tragus after Facelift?

I am 3 weeks post facelift surgery. I am confused about how to best treat the scabs that remain on the tragus. I have short hair so they are apparent and the sooner they heal the more comfortable I will be. It would appear that medical opinions vary on realself. One school of thought suggests vaseline whilst the other opinion is after bathing, pat dry and leave. Just want to do the right thing. I am currently self conscious when I am out. Thank you in anticipation.

Doctor Answers 16

Scabs and healing after a facelift

It is usually best to follow the advice your plastic surgeon has given you. At 3 weeks post-surgery and assuming you have healed properly and all incisions have nicely closed I would leave it alone. If you have extremely dry skin you can apply a small amount of Aquaphor  to the areas. This can be bought over the counter at most drugstores.

Jupiter Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Facelifting #woundhealing #cosmeticsurgery #BOTOX #tmbcosmeticsurgery

Dear Madelaine
Thank you for your question!  It is best to follow your surgeons advice.  A delay of healing at the tragus is not a problem and generally looks very good in the long term.
With Warm Regards
Trevor M Born MD

Trevor M. Born, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 102 reviews

Face lift - care of scabs after 3 weeks.

Thank you for asking about your face lift.
  • Since your surgeon is the one who has seen the problem, it is always smart to ask your own surgeon.
  • In general, a dry scab healds faster if it is kept moist - so covering it with Vaseline or Aquaphor often speeds up the healing of any scab.
  • There is nothing wrong with just bathing and leave it open - it will heal but often more slowly.
  • Both are acceptable - it isn't a question of right or wrong but two reasonable choices.
  • Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes  - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

Facelift scabs

You should follow your plastic surgeon's advice about this. In general, allowing scabs to separate on their own is best,, in other words don't pick aggressively at them. Vaseline can ease the separation

Ross Rudolph, MD
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Scabs on tragus 3 weeks post op

Both approaches to scabs is correct.The basic idea is to wait until the wound underneath heals by secondary intention.Aggressively removing scabs can lead to scarring over the tragus which is visible.Regular visits to your surgeon are suggested and he might also add an antibiotic ointment such as Bactroban to treat a low grade infection under the scab.


Hello, opinions will continue to vary... basic recommendation is to default to your PS recommendations. I typically keep a small amount of ointment neosporin, bacitracin, on any evolving area's. It depends on the look, area, and my expectations of the wound. Good Luck.

Dry or Wet

Thank you for your question. I don't believe there is  definite answer and surgeon preference usually dictates course of postoperative treatment. I would follow your surgeon s advice. IN my practice it depends on the location and size of the scab. Very small superficial areas I usually recommend swabbing with alcohol and allowing a small scab to perform. The tissue beneath will usually heal and the scab will separate naturally over a week or so. This seems to heal more quickly and less fussy. The scar tends to be minimal.The important point is to not pick so that you minimize trauma and don't create a chronic wound. For larger more complicated areas Aquaphor or Polysporin may be more appropriate. Best of LuckDrG

Lee A. Gibstein, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon

Facelift Wound care

The answer really depends on the nature of the scabs.  Some patients develop seborrheic changes in areas of the facelift flap that can be addressed with a moisturizer. If what you are describing as a scab represents necrotic skin or eschar, other forms of therapy would be more appropriate. If this is eschar, the main factor is patience to allow the would to heal and sun avoidance to minimize pigmentary changes. 

Stephen Prendiville, MD
Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Crusting of tragus after facelift.

No photos.  Crusting, scabbing or even eschar after facelift is almost always a circulatory issue.  Frequently the subdermal tissue is thinned in this area in order to make a natural looking "trough" in the pre-tragal area.  These small areas will usually heal without excessive scar and look very good.  Larger areas may require revision.  As for interim care there are a number of good scar creams, many that have "healing" components such as growth factors that can be applied. 

Richard O. Gregory, MD
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Scabs on tragus

I prefer the wet approach.  So I would recommend some vaseline.  When they are moist they will cause less contraction of the underlying tissue which can cause a scar.  It also keeps them more pliable and usually less itchy.  

John J. Martin, Jr., MD
Coral Gables Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 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.