You might be considering taking the plunge to renew your youthful appearance through a cosmetic facelift, and with approximately one quarter of a million people in the United States having facelifts each year, you are not alone!
A facelift, also known as a rhytidectomy, performed by the team of professionals at Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg, can improve many of the visible signs of aging caused by the effects of gravity, stress, and sun exposure.
While the procedure removes excess skin and fat, tightens underlying muscles, and re-drapes the skin of your face and neck, keep in mind that plastic surgeons are doctors, not magicians. There are specific follow-up actions you will need to follow in caring for your skin after your facelift.
Proper skin care helps not only to expedite the healing process but will also help you maintain your results as long as possible. You will have received written instructions from your plastic surgeon for your post-operative care and activity. In addition to these, here are seven additional tips for you to follow with your post-facelift skincare.
1. Cleanse and Moisturize
Your skin most likely will feel tender with a moderate amount of pain and tenderness around the incisions, but that doesn’t mean you should hold back on washing your face. Bacteria easily builds up, causing infections if your skin is not cleansed properly. Gently wash your incisions with soap and water three times a day using a soft cloth and a mild antibacterial cleanser. Using a moisturizer afterward will help reduce scars and keep your skin in the best possible condition.
2. Minimize Swelling and Bleeding
Your face goes through a substantial amount of trauma during a facelift, which means that the swelling and bruising that follows tends to get worse before the healing begins.
Keeping your head elevated is essential. You can do this by placing multiple pillows to prop you up on your bed during rest and sleep. Supplements such as arnica and bromelain can minimize bruising, and these can be taken with your doctor’s approval. On the other hand, drugs such as aspirin and herbs such as garlic, ginseng, and ginkgo can cause bleeding and should be avoided.
3. Wearing Makeup
While it is normal to have some swelling and feel tempted to cover this with makeup, it’s best that you don’t rush to grab your makeup bag right away. Instead, give your facelift recovery at least a week before putting on makeup. And when you do, remember to wash it all off each night.
4. Avoid Direct Sun
Protecting your skin from the sun’s rays is just as important after your facelift as it was before your procedure. Exposing your incisions to the sun during your healing period can cause them to become darker and prolong your recovery.
While it’s essential to soak up vitamin D, anything in excess is dangerous. Apply a sunblock daily rated at a minimum SPF 30, and wearing your favorite hat and sunglasses is a great way to protect your skin from the harmful rays of the sun.
5. Stay Hydrated and Nourished
Staying hydrated is a vital part of your overall skin health, but it can also help you feel better and heal faster. While water is the best hydration option, fluids containing vitamins and minerals low in sugar are also beneficial. Aim for 6-8 glasses of water a day to help remove toxins from the body and keep skin elastic.
The first few days after your procedure also require a high protein diet to keep you nourished. Try not to skip meals, and seek out wholesome and protein-rich meals to provide your body with the essential nutrients needed to heal faster.
6. Avoid Scarring
Avoid disturbing any peeling skin or pick any scabs as this could cause an infection and scarring. Use cocoa butter, vitamin E, or scar gel six weeks after your surgery. Gently massaging these into your scars will promote softness.
7. Minimize Activity
Try not to strain yourself during your facelift recovery time, and instead of rushing into your regular exercise routine, wait at least 14 days after your surgery before engaging in any strenuous activity.
When you restart exercising again, be careful not to overexert yourself. Start gradually, increasing your activity levels with each workout.
Need More Help Caring for Your Skin in Fredericksburg, Virginia?
Should you need more advice in caring for your skin after your facelift, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the experts at Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg either online or call by calling us at 540-371-7730. Our board certified experts are well prepared to give you the best experience before, during, and after your procedure.