When Can I Wash My Face After a Facelift?
Skincare should be an important aspect of every woman’s beauty routine, especially those considering plastic surgery. As I get older, the idea of having a facelift has crossed my mind. Like most women, I want to age gracefully. I look at my face in the mirror and think that if I could just have this lifted, this nipped, or this smoothed out, then I would feel more confident about my looks. I know that aging comes with its own set of hurdles, like wrinkles and droopy jowls. Some women want a little help in maintaining a youthful appearance.
Today’s guest post is from Farlyn Lucas, with New York Facial Plastic Surgery, and she has some great advice about how to care for your face after a facelift.
As you get older, your body is going to change. Your skin will become less elastic as collagen production decreases. You may have bulges where you never did before. Lines and wrinkles are bound to appear. The changes are most noticeable when it comes to your face. As your skin begins to droop and creases appear, it can add years to your appearance. A facelift can help you to turn back the hands on the clock of time. The process begins when incisions are made in key areas on your face. Your plastic surgeon will typically target the area on your temples that is behind your hairline in order to conceal scars. Incisions may be made in the creases in front of your ear as well.
The main goal is to make sure that any incisions will be discreet in order to keep scarring from being noticeable. Once the incisions are made, your plastic surgeon will remove any excess skin and sculpt your tissues in order to tighten your face. Your surgeon will effectively lift your face and tighten it. It can also target the skin on your neck and around your jaw to address any sagging in these areas. When all is said and done, you will look like you reclaimed your youth.
Can You Wash Your Face After Your Facelift?
You’re sure to have many questions and concerns about how to take care of yourself after a facelift. Washing your face is an important part of your daily routine, but you don’t want to do anything that will affect your recovery. When you first leave your plastic surgeon’s office, you will have bandages covering your incisions. Leave your bandages alone until the following day. Once the initial 24 have passed, you can wash your incisions. You should use warm water and a mild soap without any perfumes. You should be extremely gentle as you wash your incisions. Be sure to pat the area dry, rather than wipe at it when you are done washing. As an added precaution, you can make a solution of equal parts water and Hydrogen Peroxide to dab on your incisions with a cotton swab. You can also wash your hair on the day following your procedure. A baby shampoo is the best type of shampoo to use. Make sure you are gentle as you wash your hair to avoid pulling on any of your incisions.
How to Take Care of Yourself After a Facelift
In the first few days following your procedure, you can expect swelling. It’s a normal side effect after surgery as your body reacts to your procedure. The swelling will gradually go down on its own after the third day, but you can help the process by applying ice to your neck and your face. You can crush ice and put it in a plastic bag before you wrap it in a towel. You can place the ice on the areas where you had incisions to get the best results for three days after your procedure. After that point, you can alternate with warm compresses to relieve any discomfort. You should sleep with your head elevated for at least two weeks after your facelift. If you can’t raise the head of your bed, you can pile up pillows. You’ll need to sleep on your back in order to avoid rolling on to your face. You might find it easier to sleep in a reclining chair to ensure that you stay on your back.
Take Precautions to Protect Your Face
You might think that your procedure is minor and you can jump right into your normal routine, but you want to avoid anything that could damage your incisions. You shouldn’t do any type of heavy lifting for the first week following your facelift. You shouldn’t bend over in that initial healing period either. Bending and lifting actually put strain on your face as tension is placed on the muscles in your neck. Be sure to wear the elastic wrap supplied by your surgeon at all times for one week. In the second week, you can wear it while you sleep. This wrap provides support to the tissues of your face while they are healing. It will also help to bring down the swelling. Your incisions are going to be painful for two to three days after your facelift. You can take acetaminophen on a three to four hour basis to relieve your discomfort. Avoid ibuprofen or aspirin to steer clear of problems with bleeding. If you have severe pain, your plastic surgeon can prescribe stronger medication for you. You may also be given a prescription for an antibiotic as a precaution against infection. If you are given a prescription, be sure to follow your doctor’s recommendations. When you go out, be sure to cover your neck and head if it is cold. If it is a warm time of year, remember to protect your face with sunscreen. Sunscreen is a plus at all times. You can maintain the results of your facelift by avoiding sun damage. Using a moisturizer that includes sunscreen will provide you with added benefits as you give your skin vital nourishment. With proper care, you will have a smooth recovery and will be able to enjoy the results of your procedure.
Dr. Andrew Jacono, MD, FACS, is the founder and director of New York Facial Plastic Surgery. As one of the rare few surgeons who has earned Dual Board Certification in both Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and Head and Neck Surgery, Dr. Jacono possesses both the training and the experience to look at aesthetic improvements from a “whole person” health as well as appearance perspective. For more information, click here.
Whatever you decide to do to age gracefully, I wish you well!