Is there any way I can improve a scar from a facelift?

Dr. Dean Kane Q & A shutterstock_7859413 Q. Is there any way I can improve a scar from a facelift? I asked specifically about placement scars prior to my surgery and was unpleasantly surprised with the result. It has been six months now and despite using recommended creams and avoiding sun exposure this the outcome. I avoid putting my hair back because of how unsightly the scar is. A. ​With any skin excision there will be a tail or triangular excess of skin to either side of the primary vector or advancement. Often called a “dog ear”, the experienced surgeon will attempt to hide the scar within creases, folds or hairline. The contemporary facelift rotates and advances the skin excess toward the temple rejuvenating the facial appearance upwardly rather than backward (as in decades past creating a “wind-swept” appearance). This advances the “dog ear” toward the side-burn and along the temple hairline. ​ ​For many patients, this scar is reasonably imperceptible. Since scar does not take on the same texture and pigmentation of the surrounding skin, new options have become available to treat the off-color, thickened, ropey, red, white or other texture disappointing result. These may include:
  • ​Retinoids and hydroquinone skin improvements; find a ZO Obagi Skin Health Certified physician
  • ​IPL, CO2/erbium laser-abrasion, microdermabrasion
  • ​I recommend AGAINST tattooing due to the short to long term pigmentation discoloration and uneven penetration of the tattoo ink.
  • ​Scar revision but this may increase the scar length, may elevate the side-burn and not necessarily hide the scar itself. This will require a artsy understanding of various scar revision techniques in this area.
  • ​Hair grafting has been provided the most consistent and pleasing results for my patients. Seek a very well experienced surgeon who understands the art of hair-grafting.
Return to your surgeon for his or her recommendations and / or see a second opinion from a well experienced Board Certified Plastic or ENT facelift surgeon to review your options. ​ ​I hope this is helpful! All the best!
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