Why Have The Scars From My Facelift Turned Red?

Q: Having recently had a mini-facelift7 and eyelift, I found your sit7e very useful and explicit. I had my surgery 5 weeks ago and the scars around the ears are more pronounced that say 2 weeks ago. I was quite alarmed and decided to search the internet for answers. I came across your site and have to say it was the only one that gave me the specific answers I needed for peace of mind. Thank you so much.

A: Undoubtably you are referring to the inevitable change in the appearance of most incisions that occur several weeks after surgery. This is the typical change from what appeared as an initially great looking incision to now a more red scar. Many patients understandbly think that something is wrong or that they have an infecion. In reality this is  a normal biologic process and is part of the typical cascade of events that lead to wound healing.

While incisions make look fantastic during the first week after surgry, that is largely because little to no wound healing has actually occurred. The wound is only being held together by the stitches and the fibrin glue that the body naturally makes between the skin edges. It requires before the blood vessels grow into the tissues to supply the necessary elements that cause complete wound healing. It is the ingrowth of blood vessels into the scar that makes it turn red. Think of it as soldiers being amassed before an attack can occur. Once the wound is more fully healed, there is no purpose for the extra blood vessels and they go away…leading to the fading of the redness of the scar. This scar maturation process takes many months and can last up to a year after surgery. Although in the face it occurs much faster due to the already good supply which exists in the tissues. This is also why scar revision are often not recommended to be performed until all of the redness of the scar has subsided.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis Indiana