Surgeons make sure their patients receive specific postoperative instructions after any type of cosmetic surgery. After a face lift, postoperative care is essential, especially to ensure proper wound healing. While recovery time can vary from one patient to another, postoperative care can decrease the time needed for the scars to heal.
To take care of your skin during your recovery after a face lift, here are several tips that will most likely be included in your postoperative instructions.
Minimizing swelling and bruising
Bruising and swelling are natural reactions of the body to surgery. To minimize these side effects, face lift patients are advised to sleep or rest with their head elevated. Cold compresses can be used to decrease swelling. Applying ice around on the face around the treatment area also contributes to decrease swelling. It is important to avoid heavy lifting or bending down as it can cause slight bleeding and swelling. A special cream can help swelling go down, which will probably be prescribed by your surgeon.
During the first week following surgery, scars are still covered by bandages, so there is nothing to do at this stage. Once bandages are removed, you will probably feel an increased sensitivity around the incision sites. Gently clean the scars with water and soap twice a day to avoid bacterias and infections. Make sure you clean them delicately and dry your face by tapping your towel on it, not rubbing.
After cleaning, hydrate your skin with the cream your surgeon has prescribed, this will help your scars fade. Keep your skin hydrated, especially around the incisions, to alleviate scars and help your face heal quicker.
Avoid sun exposure
Direct sun exposure can be very harmful to your skin around the incision sites during the recovery. Scars and bruised areas of your face should never be exposed to sunlight during a period of at least six months after surgery. Sun exposure during that time could cause skin discoloration and wound healing complications. Use sunscreen to protect these areas if you have to go out during the day.