Eight Ways to Minimize Facelift Scarring
Every surgery, whether medical or cosmetic, requires incisions to perform. No one wants to have lasting scars from their surgery, but there is no way around cutting the skin. Incisions provide the surgeon with access to the areas that need to be surgically altered, such as skin, soft tissues, muscles, and fat. During a facelift surgery, all of these elements are manipulated in some way to create an overall rejuvenation of the face. Incisions are typically placed along the hairline and around the ears to give the surgeon access to the full scope of the lower face. Since these incisions cannot be avoided, it’s important to understand what measures can be taken to minimize your risk of having noticeable scars after facelift surgery.
1. Make Your Health a Priority
Believe it or not, your physical health is a large factor in determining how well your body will heal following any surgical procedure, even a facelift. The lifestyle choices you make contribute to your health, so it’s important that you establish good habits prior to your surgery and maintain them as you heal. When you are a facelift patient, it will be largely beneficial for you to adopt a healthy diet rich in vitamins and minerals, with a healthy intake of water each day, and a regimen of supplements to boost your health. Skin that is well hydrated and nourished will be better equipped to heal after surgery, thanks to healthy amounts of collagen and elastin. When your skin is more flexible and resilient, it will make only the scar tissue needed to heal your wounds, leaving you with minimally visible scars.
2. Understand Your Genetics
Some people genetically overproduce scar tissue. Perhaps a grandparent or aunt has had experiences with excess scarring in the past. If you don’t know how you heal yet, knowing about your family history can be helpful. If you already know that you tend to produce too much scar tissue, based on previous surgeries or injuries, then you should alert your plastic surgeon. With this information, he can plan the placement of your incisions accordingly to minimize their visibility. He may also choose to take a different approach to your facelift surgery, if possible.
3. Be Proactive About Pigment
After surgery, some patients may be alarmed to see that their scar tissue has a different pigment from the surrounding skin. Even if there isn’t an excess amount of scar tissue, the discrepancies in skin color can make the scar seem more noticeable. Talk to your surgeon beforehand about what treatments are safe to use if this occurs and how long you should wait to use them. A skin color re-pigmentation might help you smooth the scar, remove dark edges, and blend the pigment in with nearby tissue. Patients who use this option to minimize their scar’s visibility must often wait about 9 to 12 months after surgery.
4. Try Microdermabrasion for Scars
The popular skin care treatment microdermabrasion is another smart way to reduce the appearance of scars that have already formed. With this procedure, a licensed aesthetician will use a micro sandblasting technique to remove dead skin cells and smooth out the fresh layer of skin cells. It can improve the tone and texture of the skin, leaving your scars to blend in with the natural skin much better. Be advised that microdermabrasion must only be performed on healthy skin, so you’ll have to wait long enough after surgery for this treatment to be totally safe. Consult with your surgeon for your healing timeline and you can plan ahead for microdermabrasion to minimize the appearance of your scars as soon as possible.
5. Relieve Tension With Paper Tape
Paper tape is a unique medical accessory that can be used to alleviate tension from the skin that surrounds your incisions. As the stitches pull this skin together, overlaying paper tape can actually help to soothe and relieve it enough to reduce the formation of raised scars. Not only does paper tape seem to speed up the healing process for some patients, but it forces any scar tissue to form flat against the skin. Ultimately, scar tissue will form but its appearance will be barely noticeable to those you meet. Without any extra treatments, paper tape can leave your scars smoother and better hidden.
6. Turn to Massage for Scars
Sure, you probably love a good back massage as much as anyone, but have you ever thought about using massage for your post-operative scars? In recent years, massage has grown in popularity as a treatment for the formation and appearance of scar tissue after surgeries and injuries alike. While it does relieve stress and tension from the body, massages will also increase the flow of blood through the body, especially the injured areas that are forming new collagen and scar tissue for healing. With massage, a healthy amount of blood is brought to the key areas and healing happens faster and better. Remember, however, that massage is only recommended for facelift patients who have completed their recovery process. Any open incisions with stitches still in place must absolutely not be touched during a massage session.
7. Make Vitamin E Part of Your Remedy
Much touted for its healing properties, Vitamin E is a new buzz word in the health and skin care industries. It has huge benefits for the body and skin in particular, especially when scarring is involved. Talk to your doctor about applying topical Vitamin E to your scars and when it would be appropriate to start doing so. You might also consider Vitamin E supplements to take orally as an internal healing boost. By designing your own approach to prevent the formation of excess scar tissue, you will definitely create minimally apparent scars.
8. Start With a Talented Plastic Surgeon
From scarring to results, the success of your facelift depends greatly on the talent of your surgeon. Scars begin when the incisions is made, so choosing a surgeon who is skilled at placing well-hidden scars is a good place to start. Minimal scarring starts with the types of incisions that are made for your procedure. When you choose the surgeon to perform your surgery, discuss the tactics he or she will use to ensure your scars are as inconspicuous as possible.
Meet Your Doctor
When the time is right to book your consultation, remember that Dr. Ronald Lohner is an experienced and board certified plastic surgeon based in Philadelphia who offers facelift surgeries and other facial rejuvenating treatments. He completed his undergraduate education at Dartmouth College and medical school at UMDNJ-Rutgers.
Currently, Dr. Lohner is Chief of Plastic Surgery at Bryn Mawr Hospital and holds a faculty appointment at the University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine. His peers have selected him as a Philadelphia area Top Doctor for the last eight years. His office is located at [primary_address] in [primary_city], [primary_statefull], on the Main Line. Please call his office at [primary_phone] to schedule a consultation for your liposuction procedure.