The incisions used during a facelift vary depending on what type of facelift you are getting. Some variations of the surgery require incisions that are hidden behind the hairline. Some require incisions hidden in the contours of face, just outside the ear. If you are getting work done on the lower portion of your face, there may be an incision at the chin.
Since you are getting the procedure in order to improve your appearance, having noticeable, visible scars is certainly not part of the desired outcome! There are several things you can do to help minimize the appearance of the incisions and the scars, starting from the moment you are out of surgery.
The first, and most important, step is to select a board-certified plastic surgeon who will handle the tissues in such a way as to hide the scars along the natural contours of your face. As the incisions heal and the scars begin to fade, they will blend into your skin and the natural shape of your face. A skilled surgeon is your number one tool against visible scarring after a facelift.
There are also a few steps you can take before surgery to help hide the incisions as you heal. Grow your hair longer than you usually wear it, to cover the incision site. Start a good skin care regimen at least two months before the surgery, so your skin is healthy and in an optimal condition for recovery. If you smoke, go ahead and quit. Smoking will make recovery harder for your body.
As soon as you begin your recovery, it is essential to treat the incisions gently to minimize scarring. Avoid any activity that will tug on the scars for as long as your surgeon recommends. This includes pulling on your hair (if you have hairline or ear incisions). Dont exercise until you are cleared by the doctor. Wear button-down shirts instead of pullovers.
Have ice compresses on-hand after surgery, to keep the swelling down. Watch your body position-keep your head elevated, even while sleeping, to reduce swelling. Swelling can strain your incisions, which may make the scars more visible later.
Ask your surgeon to recommend a good camouflaging makeup for you to use as the incisions heal (and dont start using it until youve been given the go ahead). If you have healed completely and are past the time when your scars will have faded as much as they are going to, and youre still unhappy with their appearance, talk to your surgeon about scar-reducing options like microdermabrasion or scar creams.