What Can Be Done With The Scars Behind My Ears After My Facelift?

Q : Last year I had a facelift which made my sagging neck and jowls look so much better. I love the result but have developed some raised and mildly painful scars behind my ear. My plastic surgeon said they would eventually go away but I am not so sure. They have not changed in size and they feel like small ropes along the backside of my ears. What do you suggest?

A: Nearly one-half of the incisions that are used in a facelift are behind the ears. Going along the grooves where the ear connects to the side of the head, these scars run along this groove where they go back into the scalp near the top of the ear. The skin behind these scars is used to pull up loose skin from the neck where it is trimmed off.

These skin flaps behind the ears are very thin and often are the slowest to heal after a facelift…even though they are not easily seen. Because these incisions behind the ears are stitched back together under some tension, a few patients can develop hypertrophic or raised scars because of it. Once the scar thickens it will become and stay sensitive.

Sometimes these raised behind the ear scars will settle down on their own with just time and scar maturation. If these raised scars persist beyond a few months, I recommend steroid injections. I repeat these injections every month for up to three injection sessions. They will usually cause the raised scars to settle. If they have not gone away by then, cutting out the scars is needed.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana