6 months later, what improvement can I expect? (photos)

After full thickness skin necrosis after facelift, my skin has improved. However, I am not sure how much more I can expect? Or if there is any remedy to reduce or better treat/hide the scarring?

Doctor Answers 14

Facelift Scars

I'm sorry to hear about your difficulties. If your scar has some firmness to it, injections of dilute steroid can help soften them. Once those are gone, if there are still some textural abnormalities to that skin, a fractionated laser can be used to improve the appearance. I prefer the Halo laser for things like this, but any fractionated laser can help.

Andrew Campbell, M.D.
Facial Plastic Specialist

Milwaukee Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Skin necrosis after facelift

I'm sorry to hear about your complication after a facelift.  In general, patients heal great from these issues and you seem to be as well.  I would recommend Fraxel laser, CO2 laser, or microneedling to help resurface the skin.  Talk to your surgeon about skin resurfacing.  Best of luck!

Elbert T. Cheng, MD
San Jose Facial Plastic Surgeon

Healing after skin necrosis

You have healed very well so far, and your scars look as though they are healing along an appropriate timeline after 6 months.

Scars continue to undergo changes and refinement over 12 to 18 months.  During that time you will see slow improvement to the area.  An easy thing to try is gentle massage over the thickened scar area a couple of times per day.  Some massage can help smooth out those areas.  Also, be sure to put sunscreen on the area daily to prevent any new pigment changes.

Another treatment you can consider to refine the scar is fractional CO2 laser.  This stimulates the collagen to regrow and rearrange itself in a smoother pattern.  It can also even out some pigment changes.  Some hair grafting can also be considered after the scar has completely healed.  Scarred skin, however, does not grow hair as well as healthy skin.

Even if you did not do any further treatment that this point, you should see some more improvement over the next 6 to 12 months. 

Best of luck with the healing process.

Kyle T. Yamamoto, MD
Reno Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Skin loss after a facelift

can be very distressing and make the recovery very long.  Time is the best treatment for scars but as mentioned, fractional resufacing or microneedling can help with the unevenness of the scar.  Camouflage make-up can help with the day to day social situations or hair growth would help too.  Protect your scars from the sun and stay in contact with your surgeon for simple fixes in the office.  Most surgeons facing this situation would bend over backwards to help you through this.  Hope the rest turned out well as the scarring will improve with time.

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Skin flap necrosis

You have come a long way so far, but I would probably wait another six months to allow the area to further mature before doing any significant interventions. Perhaps some conservative steroid or laser treatments could help to soften the scar tissue. In the future you could consider tattooing, hair grafting or scar excision for improved aesthetics. Hang in there! 

Mark Been, MD
Barrington Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Scar after facelift

YOu have healed up pretty well.  What you can see mostly is some loss of hair and pigment.  Lasers are good if the scar is firm or irregular as they can help to flatten it out.  After a year you can add some tattoo if there is still a big color difference.  Growing the hair a little may help to hide it as well.  Hair grafts might be an option but may not do well in scar tissue. 

John J. Martin, Jr., MD
Coral Gables Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

How to improve scar from skin necrosis after facelift?

The scar in front of your ear following skin necrosis after your facelift should continue to improve over more time.  It normally can take a scar at least 6-12 months to heal and sometimes improvement can continue after this time.  I would recommend waiting at least another 6 months to allow the scar to heal further.  It may be possible, at a later time, to perform serial excisions to gradually remove some of the remaining scar.  

Michael I. Echavez, MD
San Francisco Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Treatment of skin necrosis scars following facelift...

I know this has been a distressing time for you in regards to your recovery with this complication, but I'm sure you can appreciate the huge strides that you have made.  Your scar can be improved non-surgically with steroid injections and resurfacing procedures, such as microneedling or lasers.  It's best to discuss these concerns with your surgeon.  If he or she doesn't have the modalities needed to improve your scar appearance, you may want to seek another opinion.  Good luck and hang in there!

Parker A. Velargo, MD
New Orleans Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Scar Camouflage

I would definitely recommend sun avoidance for the area along the scar line.  What makes this more noticeable is the areas of normo-pigmentation, surrounded by hyperpigmentation in the scar.  There are a variety of scar revision techniques that could be utilized including serial partial excision to make the scar smaller, dermabrasion to blend the scar, non-ablative fractionated laser resurfacing (1540 nm), or ablative CO2 fractionated laser resurfacing.  See a Facial Plastic Surgeon experienced in facelifts and scar revision techniques.

Stephen Prendiville, MD
Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 93 reviews

Facelifting #woundhealing #cosmeticsurgery #BOTOX

Dear Prylett

Thank you very much for your question and photos! Sometimes wounds can be improved with fat grafting ( the stem cell concentrate) along with PRP.  Softening of the scar with IPL and 5FU can help as well.

With Warm Regards

Trevor M Born MD

Trevor M. Born, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 115 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.