A mature woman examining her face for facelift scars

Facelift Scars: What to Expect

A facelift is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures to treat loose skin and other signs of aging. However, some people may hesitate to seek treatment because they are worried about scarring. Although you should expect some scarring with any cosmetic surgery, a skilled surgeon will make your results as natural-looking as possible. Read on to learn answers to some of the most asked questions about facelift scars. 

Will There Be Obvious Scarring After a Facelift?

Facelift scars are often the biggest concern for potential patients. Any cut can produce a scar, but cosmetic surgery incisions are much less likely to leave a visible one. A facelift is a minimally invasive surgery, and when done correctly, it is nearly impossible to see any signs of surgery once the openings heal. Cosmetic surgeons make an effort to ensure that facial scars are as discreet as possible through thin, precise incisions and specialized techniques that speed wound healing and reduce scarring. They also camouflage scars with placement and educate patients on post-surgical care, giving your incision the best chance to fade quickly or disappear completely. 

Where are Facelift Scars Located?

For any plastic surgery procedure, surgeons strategically place incisions to minimize visible scarring, and facelifts are no exception. Placement is modified and individualized for each patient based on several factors, including the desired area of improvement, hairstyle, hair density, prior facelift incisions, and skin quality. Incision location also varies depending on gender. For women, most incisions begin along the hairline, behind the ears, or along the tragus in front of the ear. For men, they are typically placed along the beard line or around the sideburns behind the ear.

How Long Do Facelift Scars Take to Fade?

Facelift scars tend to heal nicely but will not look perfect immediately. When you remove the bandages after the procedure, your incisions will likely have a dark, raised appearance. This is normal for the first couple of days post-operation because your incisions are fresh and still have a lot of healing to do. In time, they will begin to flatten, lighten, and thin out. Red will fade to dark pink, light pink, and eventually to a color close to your skin tone. Generally, this takes about six months.

How Can I Minimize Scarring During Recovery?

While your plastic surgeon’s expertise is a key element in reducing scars after facelift surgery, you need to do your part as well. If you follow the detailed recovery instructions from your surgeon, you are more likely have a smooth recovery that results in minimal scarring. 


A few tips to help minimize scarring post-operation are:

Get Lots of Rest

One of the most important aspects of recovery is to take it easy, so set aside several weeks to heal after your facelift surgery. Overexerting yourself can reopen facelift incisions and complicate the healing process. 

Avoid the Sun

Another crucial part of facelift aftercare is avoiding excessive sun exposure by covering up the incision area or using sunscreen. These measures help prevent noticeable scars from developing. 

Avoid Smoking

Nicotine is known to slow the healing process, and scars are smoother and less visible when healing occurs rapidly. Avoiding tobacco and other nicotine products before and after surgery will help promote a safe recovery with minimal scarring. 

Facelift Surgery in Tucson

Facelift scars are a small tradeoff for a new, rejuvenated facial appearance. One key factor in the success of a facelift is the surgeon in charge of the procedure. At Hess & Sandeen, our skilled plastic surgeons have extensive experience performing facelift treatments and produce natural-looking, beautiful results. 

If you are interested in learning more about facelift surgery, contact us today.