Dark, suspicious areas of skin following Facelift. Any suggestions? (photos)
Doctor Answers 31
Skin Loss Following Facelift
The changes to your skin are consistent with vascular compromise. Such injuries can be partial thickness in nature (top layers of the skin only) or full thickness. Partial thickness injuries often heal with little or no scarring, while full thickness injuries usually lead to skin loss and scar formation. The darkest area at the top of the ear is of most concern because it may represent a more full thickness injury. However, there is no immediate course of action needed at this time. Topical and oral medications to improve blood flow are of uncertain value in these situations and it is beyond the timeline for them to be effective. I would consider taking a daily aspirin and keeping the compromised skin covered with ointment to minimize trans-epidermal water loss. Treatment is variable and can include a period of wound healing, injections with steroids and/or 5FU, pulse dye laser, fractional resurfacing lasers and revision surgery. I would keep in close contact with my surgeon so that you can act to minimize the injury and to achieve the most favorable outcome.
Skin Loss Following Facelift
You might also like...
Concerned about healing after face lift
- I am sorry this has happened -
- It is of concern but things will heal better if left alone.
- If you smoke or are exposed to smoke, it is important to stop smoking and avoid smoke.
- It may take a month or more for the skin to heal -
- It is likely to leave a less appealing scar but surprising these often end up much much better than expected.
- The only treatment for now is waiting and protecting the skin.
- It is often helpful to see your surgeon frequently, for support and monitoring of your healing.
Hope you find this information helpful. Best wishes
Waiting is the right thing at this time
Skin slough after a facelift
Complication of facelift
At this stage, careful management of the wound is the best plan. Don't rush to surgery - let the tissues slowly recover. Part of the skin may die, leaving an open area. Fortunately, it will gradually heal in - and usually this leaves a much better scar than if you tried something now.
Ask your surgeon about the types of dressings to use for this. See your surgeon frequently for management of this issue.
All the best,
Dark, suspicious areas of skin following Facelift. Any suggestions?
Thanks for your question.
That definitely is some amount of vascular compromise. There are areas of the skin that did not have enough blood supply after being lifted to tolerate it. This is certainly more common in smokers, which doesn't describe you. I have seen in in situations where patients fell asleep with ice packs on the face in close contact with the skin cause frostbite. I have even seen it in patients who took those blue gel packs and heated them in the microwave oven, placed them on the skin, and gave themselves a thermal burn. This can even happen if a facelift wrap is placed too tightly and constricts blood flow.
Wound healing takes time but there are things you can do to help. This is not a common situation but does happen.
A high protein diet, Vitamin C supplementation, and use of Silvadene SSD cream on the affected skin can promote healing.
Unfortunately, you will have a certain amount of scarring and discoloration to the area once new skin forms. Laser treatments, IPL, and scar revision may be necessary to improve the situation.
Work closely with your plastic surgeon and if you are not comfortable with their care, I recommend you seek a second opinion.