Why Is My Incision Not Healing After My Forehead Reduction?

Q:  Dr. Eppley, I have a question about the postop healing process for a forehead reduction/hairline advancement. It has been just about 2 months since my surgery and my scalp is still not healed. I have some large areas of scabbing over the incision sites and don’t know but it seems like they should be healed by now. I don’t know if I am doing something or taking some medication that would slow this healing process. Please just let me know if this is normal I can also send you some pictures if you would like.

A:  It is certainly not common to have a forehead incision that is not completely healed after two months. The scalp is such a well vascularized tissue that it is hard for any portion of it to not heal unless there is a good reason. Most likely, these non-healing areas represent spitting sutures. If you look close at them after removing the scabs, you may see little white threads which are dissolveable sutures sticking out. Many times along the hairline the body will spit them out long before they will ever dissolve. There presence at the incision lines now serves as a chronic source of infection which appears like a pimple or small draining sinus. This is a common problem in many body areas and the hairline is no exception. If you can pick out those white sutures you will remove the source of irritation and the areas will go on to complete healing. I have seen this wound occurrence many times after pretrichial browlifts and forehead reductions.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana