Facelift Scars: What to Expect after Surgery

Facelift scars are a necessary part of facial rejuvenation surgery. Usually, scars will be hidden within the hairline and the natural creases of the face. However, if you have very thin skin or are not a good candidate for surgery, they may be visible.

While there are steps that can be taken, the most important thing is that you take care of your health leading up to and after surgery.

Facelift Surgery

A facelift is a cosmetic surgery people have in order to look younger and combat the visible signs of aging. The goal of this surgery is to fix aging signs on the face, like sagging skin, wrinkles, and drooping. It can also help with wrinkles that show up in the:

  • Nose / nasolabial lines
  • Mid cheeks
  • Jowls

Facelift Scarring – Where Are The Scars Located?


The incisions for this surgery are made near the temples, in front of and behind the ears. They hug the earlobe and extend behind the ear into the hairline. Most surgeons hide the incisions in the hairline to ensure scars are discreet. Your scar placement may vary depending on the type of procedure you have:

Short Scar Facelift

If you have a short scar facelift ( Mini Facelift), your scars will be shorter than average and hidden in the crease in front of your ears.

What is a short scar facelift? It’s a less invasive procedure that is typically used to correct minor facial imperfections. This is best suited for younger patients with less loose or sagging skin.

Deep Plane Facelift Scars

If you have a deep plane facelift, your scars will be longer because they are located along your hairline, in front of your ears. However this surgery extends treatment down to the deeper tissues of the face, less tension is placed on the scar. This means the scar is usually able to fade into a thin, barely noticeable line. This is the same for mid face lift scars.

SMAS Facelift Scars

This type of facial rejuvenation surgery is best for patients with significant skin laxity. S lift scars or lower facelift scars are along the hairline, in front of and behind the ears. However, with a SMAS lift, the surgeon may also make an incision under your chin. This is necessary to access and tighten the deeper tissues of your face and neck.

As you can see, the location of your scars depends on the type of surgery you have. But no matter what, with time and proper care, in good facelift results, scars will fade and become barely noticeable.

Scar Maturation – How Long For Facelift Scars to Fade?


All scars go through three phases of healing. In the beginning, there is redness followed by later rebuilding and maturation of the scar. To reach full maturity, most scars take about a year.

While 12 months is the average amount of time it takes for scars to fade, it is important to keep in mind that this can vary depending on the individual.

Rapid Recovery

What to Expect After Face Lift Surgery

No matter what type of surgery you undergo, there will be some degree of face lift scarring. In most cases, the scars will be hidden behind the ears or along the hairline. Scars from facelift fade over time, and they can often be hidden with makeup or clothing.

Immediately after your surgery, you can expect your face lift scars to be red and raised. They are still healing so it’s a good idea to keep them clean and avoid touching them. Within a few weeks, they should fade to a soft pink colour. Please be patient with this as it can take up to a year for the scars to completely fade.

Facelift Recovery


For most people, facelift recovery time is about 4 weeks, with one week off work. Recovery from face and neck lift may look something like this:

Week 1

The first week after surgery you will have some swelling and bruising on the face, particularly around the eyes. This is normal and will subside. You should avoid strenuous activity, sun exposure, and hot showers during this time as they can irritate the skin.

After the first week, most people feel presentable enough to go out in public. However, every person heals differently so please listen to your surgeon’s advice.

Week 2

Generally, two weeks after surgery, you should be feeling well enough to return to work or do light activities such as walking.

Week 3 & 4

By weeks 3 and 4, the majority of your swelling and tightness will have disappeared, leaving you close to the final appearance. This is often when patients first start to see real changes in their facial contour.

By 30 days, you should have healed from your procedure and can return to your exercise regimen (with permission from your surgeon). Your scars may still appear pinkish-red, but this will eventually fade.

Taking Care of Scars During the Healing Process


As you heal from surgery, you may be wondering what to do about your scars. Here are some tips for face lift recovery:

  • Keep your incisions clean and dry. This will help them heal quickly and reduce the risk of infection
  • Apply a silicone gel to your incisions. This will help to soften and flatten the scars
  • Avoid strenuous activity for at least two weeks. This will give your incisions time to heal properly
  • Protect your skin from the sun. Exposure to sunlight can cause scars to darken and become more visible
  • Eat well before and after your surgery. Good nutrition is essential for the proper healing of wounds. A healthy wound-healing diet provides your body with the calories, proteins, vitamins, and minerals that your body needs to regenerate quickly.

If you follow these tips, your facelift scars should fade over time and become barely noticeable. And remember, if you’re not happy with the appearance of your scars, there are options for revision surgery. So don’t hesitate to talk to your surgeon about your concerns.

How to Fade Facelift Scars Faster

If your scars are healing slowly or you’re impatient to get rid of them, there are a few things you can do to speed up the process.

Use Silicone Gel Sheets

These are available without a prescription and can be found at most drugstores. They work by hydrating the skin and helping to flatten the scars.

Get Injections of Corticosteroids

These can help to reduce inflammation and improve the appearance of scars.

If you’re interested in these options, talk to your surgeon. They can give you more information and help you decide if they’re right for you. In the meantime, continue following the tips for care listed above. This will help your scars to heal properly.

When to See a Doctor


Scars can be a source of embarrassment and insecurity for many people. While some scars fade with time, others can remain visible for years. If you’re concerned about the appearance of your scars, you may be wondering when to see a doctor.

In general, it’s a good idea to seek medical attention if your scars are keloid scars, which are raised and swollen, or if they cause pain or other symptoms. Your doctor can evaluate your scars and recommend treatments to improve their appearance. Additionally, there are over-the-counter products that can help to reduce the appearance of scars. So, don’t hesitate to seek treatment if you’re unhappy with the way your scars look.

Scar Revision Surgery

If you’re unhappy with the appearance of your scars and have tried the above methods of reducing them, you may consider scar revision surgery. This is a surgical procedure that is typically performed 6-12 months after the initial surgery.

During scar revision surgery, the surgeon will make incisions along the existing scar tissue and create a new scar. The new scar is typically thinner and less visible than the old one.

If you’re considering face lift scar revision surgery, talk to your original surgeon. They can help you determine if it’s the right option for you.

How Long Does a Facelift Last?

Results from facelift surgery can last for 10-20 years, but the results will vary from person to person. In general, a facelift will not stop the aging process. However, it can help to temporarily rejuvenate the appearance of your face.

Book a Consultation

If you would like more information or want to book a consultation with Dr. Doyle, please contact our office today. We look forward to helping you achieve beautiful, natural-looking results.

About Dr Mark Doyle FRACS (Plast) – Specialist Plastic Surgeon

Dr Mark Doyle is a Specialist Plastic Surgeon with over thirty years of experience. He specialises in face lift surgery in Gold Coast and Brisbane, and also offers a range of body and breast procedures.

Dr Doyle is a fully qualified Doctor and surgeon. He has completed all required training to be a Specialist Plastic Surgeon and is driven by an committed to providing excellent standards of care.


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  • Get a Referral from your GP or specialist – this is required to book a consultation with Dr. Doyle.
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Please contact us to arrange to book a consultation with our Specialist Plastic Surgeon or to speak with our Patient Care Advisor.

Send an enquiry form today or phone 07 5598 0988 during Clinic Hours.

*DISCLAIMER: All information on Dr Mark Doyle website is general and is not intended to be medical advice nor does it constitute a doctor-patient relationship. Results can vary significantly and depend on individual patient circumstances. All images on this website, unless specified as real patient images, are stock images used for illustrative purposes only. Surgery risks and complications will be covered in detail during a consultation with your surgeon. Book a consult for details regarding your cosmetic surgery procedure.

Dr. Mark Doyle AHPRA Registration: Dr Mark Doyle MED0001375519 Specialist Plastic Surgery – MBBS FRACS FRCS

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