Your facelift is like a journey towards recapturing your youthful appearance, and like any journey, it’s important to know which steps to take and which pitfalls to avoid in order to reach your destination.
With the right approach, your healing time will be relatively painless and you’ll be well on your way to feeling confident about your beauty.
It is important to remember that this is a surgical procedure and it will take time for your body to heal and for the results of your facelift to become apparent.
In order to speed the healing process, there are six specific things you must avoid.
It’s only natural after surgery to want to rest and relax – in fact your body is going to need plenty of rest to recover properly. However, remaining recumbent or lying flat for too long can actually have an adverse effect on your recovery, by causing more facial swelling.
It is best to recline with your head in an elevated position, this will help the swelling to drain naturally, and will reduce the amount of pressure or discomfort surrounding your surgical scars.
Your doctor will recommend that you sleep with at least two pillows under your head to help minimize swelling for up to six weeks following your surgery.
Strenuous activity, heavy lifting and over-doing it can delay the healing process and increase your swelling and discomfort. In addition, this type of activity can raise your blood pressure, which in turn can increase your risk for bleeding.
Give yourself a pass to take it easy for a few weeks and keep your activity levels light.
After your procedure, there is some moderate discomfort that is entirely normal.
However, you’re going to want to avoid using ice directly on the skin because this may damage the skin. It is fine to use cool compresses or ice packs over a gauze pad but avoid placing this close to the sutures on the side of the face because it will delay healing by reducing blood flow to the skin.
It’s extremely important that you shower and gently wash your hair, face and body until all staples and sutures are removed. This will reduce the risk of infection and keep the incisions around your ears clean. If you have had eyelid surgery it is ok to wet the eyelids and sutures, being careful to not let the force of the shower beat directly on them. Washing also moistens any scabbing and minimizes any chance of scarring.
Additionally, do not use a hot hair dryer and avoid curling irons for the first few weeks following surgery. Curling Irons and blow dryers will cause incisions around the ears to get irritated and pull the hair which may cause irritation and loosening of sutures.
Two weeks before you have your facelift and two weeks after it is complete, you’ll want to avoid taking any medication that contains anti-inflammatories such as aspirin and ibuprofen. Always check with your doctor before taking any medication. These medicines contain components that can cause bleeding and may actually delay your healing time.
It is vital to avoid excess sun exposure for up to two months following your surgery. Not only is it possible to sunburn, but you could also develop areas of dark pigmentation on your face.
If you do need to be outside for longer periods, make sure you wear a sunblock with at least an SPF of 30 and wear sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat. This will help minimize your skin’s exposure.
For the first 48 hours following your facelift, it is perfectly normal to see some drainage around your surgical scars. If it seems excessive or is a strange color, contact your physician.
If you feel any discomfort your doctor will be able to recommend some medications that are safe to take.
The scars from your procedure will remain red for up to six weeks as they heal. Within one year, they will be virtually unnoticeable.
Numbness and tingling is also normal and can take up to six months to completely go away.
It is important to avoid wearing make-up until your doctor gives you permission.
By following the proper steps after your procedure and making sure that you keep your regularly scheduled appointments with your doctor, you’ll be able to speed up your recovery time.
Remember, if you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your doctor immediately.