Everyone interested in plastic surgery likely has many questions about the long-term results and the appearance of any incisions that must be made to achieve their goals. Since incisions result in scars, many people are concerned that they’ll be visible forever and counteract the positive results of their chosen procedure. Here we’ll talk about ways to minimize scarring from facelifts as well as alternatives to a traditional facelift.
Avoid Excessive Scarring With Pre-Surgery Care
Believe it or not, the healing process is influenced not just by what you do after surgery, but how you prepare for it. Certain habits like smoking can impair skin health and affect how the body heals, leading to an increased risk of more scarring. Practicing these behaviors can help you heal more quickly after surgery, leading to an improvement in the appearance of scars:
- Quit smoking at least 6 weeks prior to surgery
- Eat foods high in Vitamins A, C, and E, as well as iron- and zinc-rich foods like leafy greens
- Follow all of Dr. Gilpin’s pre-procedure recommendations
Unfortunately, not all factors that contribute to the appearance of scars can be addressed. Things like the color of your skin and your genetics also influence how the skin heals, but these things can’t be changed. People with darker skin are more likely to experience more scarring than lighter skin.
Avoid Damaging UV Rays
Dr. Gilpin will tell you to avoid direct sunlight for a few weeks after facelift procedures to allow your skin to heal without dealing with radiation from the sun. Too much sun exposure can lead to hyperpigmentation or discoloration to the sensitive incision areas. If sunlight is unavoidable, use a good broad-spectrum sunscreen or wear a hat to protect your incision sites specifically.
Encourage Good Circulation
Part of your post-operative recovery instructions will include getting up and walking around for brief periods of time almost immediately after your surgery. This is to encourage good blood flow, as the treated areas require a good amount of oxygen to repair and generate new tissue. Some patients can benefit from scar massage, where you or a professional physically rub your healed scars to stimulate circulation.
How do You Treat Facelift Scars?
There are a few things Dr. Gilpin may recommend you do after surgery to help improve the long-term appearance of facelift scars. One is the use of a topical antibiotic, which not only helps prevent infection in the wounds but also aids in allowing the skin to heal in a safe, moist environment. There are specific creams for facelift incisions that you may be able to find over the counter, but check with Dr. Gilpin before applying any substance to the incision sites.
Another proven way to give skin the support and protection it needs is with patented silicone sheets or gel. These products lock in moisture in the incision areas while blocking environmental factors and bacteria, giving the skin an ideal microenvironment in which to repair itself. Some of these products also come with UV protection, which as we mentioned earlier, is another factor in the healing process.
Alternatives to Facelift
A full facelift isn’t necessarily in everyone’s plan for those who desire facial rejuvenation. First of all, there are multiple types of facelifts that Dr. Gilpin performs, including deep plane facelift and mini facelift. Mini facelifts result in shorter, fewer scars while still improving the lower third of the face.
Additionally, Dr. Gilpin also offers non-surgical facelift treatments in what’s frequently called the “liquid facelift.” Rather than incisions and sutures, a liquid facelift uses Botox and dermal fillers of various types to re-define the contours of the face and nose. This treatment leaves no scars, but is temporary, and can’t achieve the more robust rejuvenation you can expect with a surgical facelift.
Facelifts in Nashville
There’s a lot to understand about facelifts before committing to one. Regardless of which type you’re seeking, facelifts are versatile plastic surgery procedures that can help turn back the clock on an aging appearance. To learn more about the options available to you with a surgical facelift, including how your scars will look long term, don’t hesitate to contact board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. David Gilpin today by calling our office or contacting us online today.