Facelift and Laser Peel Recovery

Q: Dr. Eppley, I have a question about my facelift and laser peel recovery. I am two weeks out from a facelift and full laser peel. I have some residual redness on one side of my face that has a clear demarcation from that of the neck. I wonder if I had been burnt during the procedure. Will this heal and how long will it take for the redness to go away.

A: In answer to your facelift and laser peel recovery question:

1)By definition a laser peel is a burn…a controlled burn but a burn injury nonetheless. So healing is all about recovery from a burn injury.

2) The trickiest part of doing any skin resurfacing in a facelift patient is performing it over where the skin flaps are raised for the facelift. (side of the face in front of the ear and along the jawline) This skin area is treated the least with the peel because it already has a limited blood supply from being undermined from the raising of the skin flaps. Despite being treated with the least amount of peel, it is the most sensitive and will retain redness far longer than any other areas of the face as it is skin that is healing both from below (facelift) as well as on top. (chemical peel) 

3) Complete resolution of the redness can take 6 to 8 weeks or even a bit longer in these areas as the skin responds by an intense erythematous reaction which becomes most apparent by 2 to 3 weeks after surgery…and is part of the normal healing process.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana