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Are facelift scars visible?

Facelift/rhytidectomy is a cosmetic procedure whose focus is to improve visible signs of aging in the face and the neck. Facelifts involve the lifting and tightening of facial tissues. Facelift addresses the following concerns;

  • Reduce wrinkles
  • Improve facial contours
  • Restore the youthful appearance

As one of the leading facelift plastic surgeons in Houston and The Woodlands, Dr. Chaowen Wu has fielded many questions regarding the appearance of facial plastic surgery scars.

Factors Affecting Your Facelift Scarring

First things first, it is important to understand that there are many factors that may affect the appearance of your facelift scars:

  • Type of facelift surgery – the type of rhytidectomy surgery you had in Houston will have a direct impact on how your facial plastic surgery scars look like. This is because each type of facelift has varying degrees of incision length and placement. Mini facelifts, for example, typically result in shorter scars than traditional facelifts.
  • Surgical technique used – the skills and the techniques used by the surgeon will determine the visibility of the scars after the procedure. To minimize scarring, highly qualified facelift plastic surgeons like Dr. Wu will place the incisions in inconspicuous locations, such as around the temples, hairline, and behind the ears. Dr. Wu also applies painstaking suturing techniques to minimize tension on the incision and promote optimal healing.
  • Skin type and color—Individuals with thicker and oilier skin may be discouraged from undergoing facelifts because they tend to scar more easily than those with thin and dry skin.
  • Age – younger patients heal faster and have less noticeable scars than older patients.
  • Sun exposure – UV rays from the sun may darken the scar making it more pronounced. Avoiding direct sunlight and using SPF sunscreen are often helpful.
  • Healing process – after your facelift procedure in Houston, TX  it is important to adhere to the post-op instructions provided by the team at Revel You Facial Plastic Surgery. Attending scheduled follow-up visits with your plastic surgeon also helps ensure smooth healing. 

How long do facelift scars take to disappear

A typical facelift scar might take some time to fade. It goes through several stages:

  • Inflammatory phase – during this initial phase, the incision will appear red and swollen before it begins to heal. This is usually 1-2 weeks after the procedure.
  • Proliferative phase – this is the second phase that happens within weeks 3 to 6. New collagen is formed and the scar starts to become firm and raised. 
  • Remodeling phase – this is the long-term phase and final phase starting from the 6th month up to 2 years after your facelift plastic surgery. Assuming everything goes well, the sar will progressively fade in color until it is hardly noticeable. 

Practical Tips to Minimize Facelift Scars

Below are some good tips to help make sure that your facelift scars heal optimally and fade well with time. 

  • Choose the right surgeon to increase your chance of a positive procedure outcome. Go for a board-certified plastic surgeon who is highly trained in facial plastic surgery and has performed successful facelifts on numerous other patients. Working with a cosmetic surgeon specializing exclusively in facelifts (such as Dr. Chaowen Wu) can also help. 
  • Attend consultation visits to ensure that you are comfortable with the surgeon you have selected. This is also an important step to ensure that you ask any questions you may have regarding the procedure and learn more about where the surgery will be performed. 
  • Diligently follow post and pre-care recommendations exactly as provided by your plastic surgeon. Dr. Wu’s office at Revel You Facial Plastic Surgery is available throughout the recovery duration to provide any guidance or support you may need. 
  • You’ll be asked to quit smoking a few weeks before and after the surgery. This is absolutely important because smoking can impair healing and thus negatively impact the appearance of your facelift scars. 
  • In the weeks before and after the surgery, focus on a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and essential nutrients. This will ensure that your body has what it takes to heal. It’s also important to stay hydrated to ensure optimal healing. 
  • Avoid taking anti-inflammatory drugs (since they can increase bleeding) and anticoagulants (prevent blood clotting).
  • Avoid tanning beds and sunbathing.
  • Wear sunscreen more often on the exposed areas to avoid ultra-violet (UV) radiation damage.
  • Apply cold compresses to reduce swelling and inflammations’.
  • Maintain general cleanliness around the surgical site.

Disclaimer: While doing the best you can to make your facelift scars as unnoticeable as possible, keep in mind that scars might never actually disappear. But their visibility reduces over time.