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Caring for Your Skin After a Facelift: 8 Important Tips
Mar 26, 2018

You finally took the plunge and opted to renew your youthful appearance through a cosmetic facelift! According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, approximately one quarter of a million people in the United States had facelifts last year.

But you aren’t free and clear as soon as the plastic surgery is complete. Proper skin care helps expedite the healing process and will allow you to maintain your results as long as possible. Let’s review eight tips for post-facelift skincare.

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1. Cleansing and moisturizing

Your skin will most likely feel tender with moderate amount of pain near the incisions, but that doesn’t mean you can skimp on washing your face. Bacteria can easily build up, causing infections if not cleansed away properly.

Gently wash and moisturize your skin after a facelift, using a soft cloth or gauze in conjunction with a mild antibacterial cleanser. Following with a moisturizer will help reduce scars and keep your skin in tip top shape.

2. Minimizing swelling and bruising

Your face goes through a significant amount of trauma during a facelift procedure in Paramus. Swelling and bruising tends to get worse before it gets better, and typically peaks a few days following the surgery.

Keeping your head elevated is important, and can be attained by placing multiple pillows on your bed to help prop you up during rest and sleep. Cold compresses are great for keeping swelling to a minimum. There are also supplements that can minimize bruising, such as arnica and bromelain.

3. Wearing makeup after a facelift

For the makeup professionals out there who don’t leave the house without their favorite mascara or foundation on, fear not! You most likely will not be leaving your home for one to two weeks anyways.

After about a week, you can start wearing makeup again, although mineral choices that are more lightweight and less irritating are preferred by surgeons.

Concealing the discoloration caused by bruising may be tough at first. Yellow based concealers can hide the bruising, while green variants are the best at covering redness.

4. Avoiding harmful sun rays

Protecting your skin from the sun is just as important before your facelift as it is after the procedure. Exposing your incisions to the sun during the healing period can cause them to become darker and prolong your recovery. In the weeks following your facelift, avoid overexposure to the sun at all costs.

Both sunscreen and sunblock are great ways to protect your skin from harmful rays. Apply a minimum SPF of 30 daily, but be sure not to use too high of a rating as it can clog pores that need to remain clear during the healing process.

Sunscreen should be used in conjunction with a hat and sunglasses.

chin fat

RELATED: Double Chin Removal – Surgical and Non-Invasive Options

5. Staying hydrated

Staying hydrated is an important part of overall skin health, but it also prevents nausea and vomiting. Furthermore, it can help patients feel better and heal faster. The sudden decrease in overall activity also has the ability to promote constipation, so increasing fluid intake can make the recovery process flow more easily.

While water is the best option, fluids containing vitamins and minerals that are low in sugar are also beneficial. Aim for at least six glasses of water a day to help remove toxins from the body and keep skin elastic.

6. Scar prevention

Surgeons try their best to reduce and hide incision site scars, but a lot of this relies on the patient. After cleansing, incisions should be cleaned with a hydrogen peroxide and water solution applied via Q-tip.

Antibiotic ointment or Vaseline should subsequently be applied to prevent drying, which can cause more prominent scars.

Six weeks following the surgery, vitamin E and scar gels such as Mederma can help with scarring. Scar massage is another option that involves frequent, vigorous massage of the affected area, followed by silicone sheeting to reduce redness, pain, and itching.

facelift before and after

7. Facial treatments

You can begin getting facials approximately four weeks after your facelift, although the recommended time frame is three months in order to gain full benefits after swelling has completely subsided. Various factors including your age, skin type, and lifestyle can determine what facials are right for your needs.

Be sure to inform your esthetician of your facelift and any potential irritants around the incisions. Plan to target the same areas that were a concern prior to your surgery, as gravity and the aging process will most likely have the same impact over time.

8. Skin maintenance

One of the greatest misconceptions about a facelift procedure is that it will achieve instant and permanent results. While results last many year, it does not stop the aging process. Maintain your skin through limiting exposure to UV rays, environmental pollutants, and poor lifestyle choices such as smoking.

Chemical peels, laser skin treatments, and facial injectable treatments can all extend the life of your facelift. Working in conjunction with your surgeon to devise a long-term maintenance plan that’s customized to your needs is the best option.

After your surgery, you will want to show off your results and look your absolute best. Taking proper care of your skin and overall health is the best way to ensure optimal results.

» Request a consultation with our New Jersey plastic surgeon and medical spa team to find out more about post-facelift skin care.

About the Author

Dr. Gary Breslow, MD, FACS

Dr. Gary Breslow, MD, FACS

Is a highly regarded plastic surgeon in Paramus New Jersey, known by both patients and peers as a problem-solver with a warm, engaging personality, and an instinctive ability to identify and truly understand the goals of his patients and the patients, themselves. Dr. Breslow has dedicated his efforts to providing results of only the most unsurpassed quality, continually staying abreast of the most advanced techniques in cosmetic surgery for the benefit of his patients. Dr. Breslow is Board-Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, and is licensed to practice plastic & reconstructive surgery in both New Jersey and New York.

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