Q: Dr. Eppley, I am considering a chin implant and I also like to grow facial hair… My question is can or will a person lose hair follicles on the chin due to the incision/scar of to a chin implant? I am seriously considering a chin implant, but I do not want to have a spot on my chin where hair cannot grow any longer.
A: You are expressing an understandable concern that is fortunately not usually an issue. One of the unique aspects of chin implants in men is that the submental approach goes through skin with beard hair. If not properly handled, it is possible that one could be left with a more visible scar due to surrounding hair loss. Avoiding that submental male scar problem is done by the technique used. The initial incision in the skin is made with a scalpel and not cautery to avoid burning the skin and any hair follicle bulbs. The incision is made parallel to the direction of the hair growth as they emerge from the skin. This is why I wear loupe magnification to see this hair direction very carefully. Once through the skin a scalpel, not cautery, is used cut through the tissue all the way down to just above the chin bone. This is because the hair bulbs, which can clearly be seen, are on the very underside of the skin and are still subject to injury During skin closure, small bites are taken through the skin to avoid entrapment and any strangulation of the hair bulb in the loop of the suture being tied down. With these techniques, my experience has been that submental scars from chin implants in males do not develop beard skin hair loss.
Dr. Barry Eppley