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Minimize facelift scars

Posted: 9:58 a.m. Friday, Aug. 16, 2013

By Anita Mandal, M.D.
Question: I had a facelift one year ago and I have thick scars in front and behind my ears. Is there anything that can improve their unsightly appearance so that I can wear my hair pulled back?

Answer: Most facelift scars are unnoticeable if the surgical incisions are placed into specific areas that camouflage the scar and the wound is closed without tension. Patients who have darker skin tone or certain diseases can be predisposed to thicker, wider, more visible scars. Those patients should be advised in advance about the increased risk.

After surgery, there are certain ways to reduce the appearance of scars if their formation is recognized early. Silicone gels, sprays and sheeting can be applied to the scar to help minimize thickening and widening of the scar. It is important to purchase a silicone product that contains the proper dosage in order for it to be effective. Over-the-counter silicone products are not necessarily the same as prescription-strength products one can purchase in a doctor’s office.

In addition to silicone, Kenalog injections placed in small amounts can dissolve scar and thickened tissues. Often, serial injections are needed four to six weeks apart.
In certain cases, the best option for a visible scar is surgery. There are various excisional and incisional techniques that can be used to make a scar less noticeable. Scars are usually revised sooner than six months after surgery.

Careful consultation with your facial plastic surgeon to assess the scar to determine the best treatment approach should be the first step.


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