Do Red Heads Scar Differently Than Others?

I'm having a BL and TT late December and I've been told that since I'm a red head I have the potential for my scars to be redder longer than normal. Is this because typically red heads have pale or is it something else? I've never had the idea even suggested to me that I may heal differently. I've been told red heads are bleeders but never that wound healing is different than normal.

Doctor Answers 15

Red head

Patients with your complexion tend to scar the best of all skin types. You should have a pale scar with the passage of time

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Redheads Having Red Scars and More Bleeding

     Redheads may have reddened scars initially, but people with lighter complexions tend to scar better than people with darker complexions.

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 496 reviews

Scarring in Red Heads

Actually most plastic surgeons would agree that red heads, blondes, fair eyed (green, blue, hazel) tend to have superior scars that eventually are pale, fine and flat. Though not true for all, your complexion and hair color are in your favor.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 159 reviews

Do Red Heads Scar Differently Than Others?

It is widely held that redheads bleed more and get worse scars. I know of none of my colleagues that believe that based upon experience. Best wishes on your upcoming surgery.

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Red heads, fair skin and wound healing...scars better or worse? Ask Dr Ellen

Hello SValentine,

As a fair skinned woman, with freckles and light hair...I can tell you that your fair complexion may be your biggest asset to great wound healing!

Our skin may be a little thinner and the arteries and veins may appear to be a little more superficial but neither of those issues should contribute to more bleeding, longer scars or thicker scars.


1.  The technical aspects of the surgeon will have a significant impact on the quality of the scars

2.  Massaging the incisions after the surgery will assist in remodeling the scars and smoothing them out

3.  Since you have 'light' skin with little pigment, your scars are likely to leave just a white line

4.  Avoid aspirin and aspirin containing products (alleve, advil, motrin) for 2 week before surgery as these can contribute to more bleeding and bruising with surgery

Thanks for asking!  Dr Ellen


Ellen A. Mahony, MD
Westport Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Red heads and scars

It is generally believed that red heads do  have more intense scars.   In my experience they do subside after several months.  They will look bad for a while.  Eventually they should look normal and thin white lines.  Be patient.

Talmage J. Raine, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Do redheads heal differently?

Rumors have it that redheads heal differently. They are supposed to have a higher risk of bleeding after surgery. I have not seen this to be true. I do think that scars in redheads heal particularly well. In my experience the scars are very difficult to see after they finish healing. That's a good thing. Good luck.

Ronald Schuster, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Red hair and scarring

I think it is a fairy tale regarding scars and bleeding. Sure, if you have a bleeding disorder then yes you would bleed more.  Scarring will take one year or longer to improve.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Red heads and scars

Thank you for the question. Generally speaking scars can take up to 18 months to settle.  One to find out about how you scar is to look at an old scar in your body. People differ in the way the scars heal but most will have favorable scars. You should discuss with your plastic surgeon how to take care of your wounds and scars postoperatively. Post op scar managements is important to optimize your healing and usually ensures better outcome. Best wishes.

Moneer Jaibaji, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Scar format

The type of scars patients get does vary considerably.  If you are fair skinned, your scars will probably heal just fine, although it can take up to a year or more for scars to fade with the operations you are having.  Having red hair should not make difference.  Good luck!

Ronald J. Edelson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 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.