7 Tips for Caring for Your Skin After a Facelift Procedure

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.

Can I Have a Facelift and Laser Resurfacing at the Same Time in Fredericksburg, Virginia?

Does the aging of the skin and tissues on your face and neck leave you looking older than you feel? We all know that aging can’t be stopped but did you know that sagging jowls, age spots, and the decline in your skin’s quality can all be slowed down?

Facelift procedures, whether they be upper, mid, lower, mini, especially when combined with non-surgical treatments, have consistently become the most popular and effective methods of slowing down the effects of aging. By lifting and smoothing the tissues and removing excess fat, a facelift, especially when combined with a laser skin rejuvenation, can revitalize your lower face so that you can enjoy a more youthful-looking face and neck for years to come.

Our board-certified plastic surgeons at Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg are experts in performing facelifts, especially when combined with laser resurfacing in Virginia.

Mini facelifts typically suit younger candidates, while other facelifts are better suited for older candidates. Facelifts generally correct excess skin and fat on the lower third of the face, with moderate correction of the midface. However, beyond the areas improved, many facelift candidates have concerns about overall skin appearance. A facelift with Fraxel Laser resurfacing added at the time of your facelift may be a great way to address all of these concerns, and all during a single appointment.

Full Face Rejuvenation: Facelift With Fraxel Laser

During a facelift performed by our surgeons, excess skin and fat is removed from the jowls, neck, and lower third of the face, providing dramatic results that affect the overall look of the face. The underlying muscles and skin can also be tightened, leading to an even better enhancement of the cheeks and midface that looks completely natural.

Skin quality, however, is an aspect of aging that a facelift alone can’t totally correct. Fine lines and wrinkles, pigmentation problems, enlarged pores, stretch marks, acne scars, and other types of scars, not to mention sun damage which has caused age spots and rough skin, may not improve with a facelift. And this is where Fraxel Laser treatment can benefit patients who seek the advantages of a combination facelift and laser resurfacing treatment in Virginia.

Benefits of Adding Fraxel Laser to Your Facelift

Utilizing the gentle heat from light-emitting Fraxel Lasers during your facelift procedure offers many benefits. At the end of your appointment, not only will you immediately see the positive effects of both procedures, but you will only need to go through one recovery. In the long term, this will save you both time and money. The overall benefits of adding a Fraxel Laser treatment to your facelift include:

  • Improvement in skin quality
  • Tighter, younger-looking skin
  • Reduced fine lines, wrinkles, and skin pigmentation
  • Improved acne scars
  • Shrinking of open pores
  • Collagen and elastin stimulation
  • Enhanced facelift results

Traditional Facelift vs. Facelift With Laser Resurfacing

For many patients, traditional facelifts may suit their needs and satisfy their cosmetic goals. However, if your concerns go beyond the sagging and heaviness of the lower face, you may benefit from a Fraxel Laser treatment in addition to your facelift surgery.

Both procedures, when expertly combined, can provide dramatic results and benefit patients of nearly any age. While you can expect significant changes in facial appearance from either procedure, you will get even better results when they are performed in combination.

Facelift Alone:

  • Removes sagging skin and fat from the lower face
  • Does not improve skin quality or pigmentation concerns
  • Suitable for all skin types and tones

Facelift with Laser Resurfacing:

  • Improves overall skin quality
  • Treats the entire face
  • Treats acne scarring, sun spots, and damaged skin
  • Improves pigmentation issues
  • Not suitable for all skin tones

Take the Next Step with the Best of Burg 2021 Plastic Surgeons in Fredericksburg, Virginia

In May 2021, Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg was honored to have been chosen as the Best Plastic Surgery Practice in the Best of Burg 2021 contest in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Drs. Heppe, Bautista, and Aflaki would like to thank everyone for their vote!

Are you interested in planning for your facelift and laser skin resurfacing from the Best of Burg 2021? Discover your best surgery options by scheduling a consultation at Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg.

Your doctor will perform a complete evaluation during your in-person consultation and customize a treatment plan based on your goals. Our team is committed to providing each patient with an optimal outcome with natural-looking results. Please contact or call us today at (540) 371-7730.

Comparing Upper Facelift, Mid Facelift, and Lower Facelift

As we get older, we tend to ignore the frown lines and wrinkles on our faces that give away our age. However, in today’s world of social media and video calls, our wrinkles, frown lines, sagging skin, loss of volume on the cheeks, not to mention the formation jowls, all make it evident that there’s no hiding the passage of time.

The first step in planning for the possibility of a faceliftmid facelift, lower facelift, or even a mini facelift or neck lift is to schedule an in-person consultation with one of our board-certified plastic surgeons at Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg in Virginia.

Let’s take a closer look at each of the facelift types to give you an idea about which may be best for you.

Upper Facelift

An upper facelift (also known as a brow lift, forehead lift, or eyebrow lift) is typically performed on the area above the corners of the eyes. Since the procedure effectively returns youthfulness to their eyes, patients who have sagging skin or wrinkles on their brow line or forehead benefit the most from this procedure. An upper facelift can erase 10-15 years from your appearance and make you look refreshed, more alert, and younger.

Mid Facelift

A mid facelift helps address dynamic wrinkles, sunken cheeks, and under-eye hollows in the area between the corners of the eyes down to the corners of the mouth. Dramatically improving the appearance of the cheeks, nose, and upper lip, mid facelifts are long-lasting. When supplemented with a proper skincare regime, only one is typically needed in a lifetime.

Lower Facelift

A lower facelift targets everything below the corners of the mouth. The procedure lifts and tightens loose skin and smooths deep wrinkles of the lower third of the face for a more youthful facial appearance. A lower facelift will improve the jowls, the jawline, and the chin and neck areas when combined with a neck lift.

Men and women who opt for a lower facelift can minimize nasolabial folds (laugh lines) and lift sagging skin on the jawline. Improve the appearance of your profile with a lower facelift and say goodbye to those jowls with a procedure often considered a ‘mini’ procedure that involves less downtime.

Combination or Alternative Procedures

Depending on your individual needs, especially if you have visible signs of aging throughout the face, you may benefit from combining procedures for dramatic, game-changing results. By combining surgeries, you might be able to save on overall operating fees and enjoy enhanced results with a single recovery.

Mini Facelift

mini facelift is an excellent option for patients in their late 40s to 50s, where the aging of the face doesn’t require full facelift or mid facelift treatments. When performed early, mini facelifts can prevent or delay the signs of aging before they become fully evident.

When customized to address specific trouble spots, such as the jowls or mid-face, mini facelift recovery is quicker than a full facelift.

Non-Surgical Procedures

For patients with minor signs of aging, non-surgical facial rejuvenation procedures may be enough to restore their youthful look. These procedures include BOTOX® injections, Fraxel Laser, as well as dermal fillers.

Take the Next Step

Interested in learning more about our facelift procedures? Discover your best surgery options with a consultation with our board-certified plastic surgeon at Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg. During your in-person consult, your doctor will perform a complete facial evaluation and customize a treatment plan based on your goals. Our team is committed to providing each patient with an optimal outcome with natural-looking results. Please contact or call us today at (540) 371-7730.

5 Areas of the Face That Can Be Improved with Fillers

When you look in the mirror, the signs of aging you see on your face can be distressing. Beginning as early as your 30s or even late 20s, fine lines around the mouth and nose, dark circles under the eyes, and drooping upper eyelids, little by little, have started appearing.

Many contributing factors can be causing these irritating symptoms: smoking, stress, lack of sleep, excessive sun exposure, and genetics are all to blame for the early signs of aging.

Fortunately, the board-certified plastic surgeons at Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg in Virginia have several non-surgical options in the form of injectable dermal fillers that can rejuvenate your face and help turn back the clock on aging.

What Are Dermal Fillers?

Also known as injectable fillers, dermal fillers are a valuable tool in restoring fullness and volume to your face, ultimately reducing the appearance of age-related lines, wrinkles, and other flaws. Many patients experience facial fat and volume loss as a natural consequence of the aging process.

Fillers are gel-like substances that are injected beneath the skin with a blunt tip cannula. Many of the elements injected, such as hyaluronic acid and collagen, occur naturally in the skin, making them well-received by most patients. Even better, injections require no recovery time and provide immediate results!

We offer a comprehensive selection of hyaluronic acid-based dermal fillers, specifically formulated for specific skin areas, to patients in the Fredericksburg, Virginia area. These include:

  • Juvéderm® Voluma
  • Juvéderm® Ultra
  • Juvéderm® Ultra Plus
  • Restylane®
  • Restylane® Lyft
  • Restylane® Silk

Dermal Fillers, A Noninvasive Alternative

Dermal fillers are highly effective and easily customized for each patient, addressing specific problem areas. For long-lasting results, patients can maintain their results by following a customized treatment plan with routine scheduled treatments.

Curious about how your face could benefit from filler injections? Check out this list of five common areas where dermal fillers can be used!

1. Cheeks and Temples: Added Contour, Curve, and Lift

The rich formula of Juvéderm® Voluma can create more structured-looking cheekbones and add plumpness to your temples, adding a more youthful look to your mid-face.

2. Smile Lines: Smoothed Nasolabial Folds

Filler applied to the mid-face fills in the smile lines and wrinkles known as nasolabial folds, providing a perfect balance of flexibility and smoothness. It’s an ideal treatment for an area that constantly moves as you talk and smile.

3. Lips: Volumized, Smoothed Vertical lines, Improved Symmetry

Not only can we use dermal fillers to achieve natural-looking volume in our lips, but they can also smooth vertical lip lines and wrinkles that form around the lips.

4. Chin: Balanced Proportions, Added Definition

By adding definition to the chin, fillers can create an improved, balanced, and better-defined profile. Many patients are surprised at how much more youthful they look with artfully placed filler injections creating a slimmer chin, together with filled-in lines and wrinkles.

5. Jawline and Neck: Smoothed, Confident, Youthful

The highly cohesive Juvéderm® Voluma formula can be applied along the bony jawline area, strengthening the natural contours, smoothing horizontal wrinkles and lines in the neck.

Take the Next Step, Refresh Your Appearance!

Are you tired of fine lines and wrinkles on your face? Then dermal fillers or other non-invasive facial rejuvenation may be your best move towards refreshing your appearance.

Since no surgery is involved, the recovery time associated with injectable fillers is virtually nonexistent. Patients can quickly complete a filler treatment and then continue with their daily routine, even returning to work the same day.

For more information, schedule a consultation at Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg, conveniently located near downtown Fredericksburg, Virginia.

Call us today at (540) 371-7730 to start your path towards a more youthful appearance!

Is a Mini Facelift Right for You?

The facelift is a popular plastic surgery procedure for patients who are concerned about sagging skin around the lower face. However, for patients whose concerns are not too serious, a more minimally invasive treatment like the mini facelift may be a better procedure to consider. Read our infographic below to find out if the mini facelift is right for you.

If you’re interested in a mini facelift, contact us today.

Is it Time for a Facelift?

When you look in the mirror, do you feel like your reflection doesn’t reflect the way you feel inside? It may be time for a facelift. A facelift can lift the sagging skin around the lower face, resulting in a more youthful appearance. Read our infographic below to find out if it’s time for you to undergo facelift surgery.

If you’re interested in a facelift, contact us today.

Why is Fall Facelift Season?

Autumn offers many things to look forward to: Cooler days, the scent of frost in the morning, ripe pumpkins, and cozy socks and sweaters. For those interested in having facelift surgery, fall has the added advantage of providing a convenient, comfortable recovery period.

3 Reasons Why Fall is a Great Time to Have a Facelift

1. Finding recovery time is easier between September and November.

Most Americans feel like they’re busy almost all year long, and for good reason: Between summer and winter holidays, spring break, and peak times at work, finding time for rest and relaxation often proves challenging. Fortunately, for parents, in particular, fall provides something of a reprieve from constant activity. After September, any children you have will be back at school, making childcare help a bit easier to arrange. (You’ll need someone to assist you at home for a couple of days after you have a facelift.) At the same time, both your child’s school and your workplace will be in a post-vacation lull.

Keep in mind that many patients prefer to take one to two weeks off work if they’re having a full facelift. Facelift recovery isn’t usually uncomfortable (as long as patients consume soft foods and take their pain medication on schedule), but some patients experience redness and swelling that lasts from 10 to 14 days. For aesthetic reasons, you might want to remain at home until the signs of facial swelling completely subside. (Note that the recovery time required after a mini facelift is typically much shorter. Most patients return to work just seven days after having a mini facelift.)

3. Covering incisions is easier during the cooler months.

Facelift incisions are usually made along the hairline and around the ears so that visible scarring is greatly reduced. Still, patients need to take certain precautions in order to ensure that their scars fade away over time. Foremost among these precautions is avoiding direct sun exposure: Sun damage is the number one cause of thickened, darkened, and raised scar tissue.

For best results, you should keep your face protected any time you go outdoors, even on cloudy days. Wear a wide-brimmed hat and a medical grade sunscreen with a high SPF value. (You may also want to wear a scarf, both for added protection and to hide any facial swelling you’re experiencing.) You should make sure to limit your sun exposure as long as your incisions are pink. Incisions are still vulnerable to sun damage for several weeks after they have closed up.

3. Having surgery in the fall will help you prepare for the holidays.

Facelift surgery can take up to three months to completely “settle,” but most of this process is completed within six weeks post-surgery. As such, if you have a facelift in September, you can rest assured that you’ll look completely revitalized by the time the winter holidays arrive.

Autumn is already on our doorstep, so if you’d like to have facelift surgery this year, you should act quickly. To begin your personal transformation, contact Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg either online or via the telephone at (540) 371-7730. If you’re a resident of Virginia, we’ll be happy to help you achieve the youthful, graceful results you deserve.




Facelifts Today: Better Techniques, Better Results

In the past, facelift surgery was seen as being highly effective—but not exactly subtle. In addition to creating visible incision scars along the hairline, historic facelift surgery often produced a dramatically “lifted” look. That patient’s brow-line would appear to be swept upwards and his or her eyes would often have a telltale slant. In short, thirty years ago, you knew when someone had undergone a facelift; even if he or she looked younger as a result, he or she also looked different. Fortunately, times have changed. Just like many medical operations that were once invasive surgeries can now be performed via “keyhole” methods and other modern techniques, facelift surgery has been refined substantially over the last decade.

Introducing Today’s Facelift

Facelifts in 2017 are performed using highly advanced, specialized techniques. As a result, facelifts today produce a more subtle look that promises to be virtually invisible to anyone who did not see the patient prior to his or her surgery. In this sense, facelift surgery is now one of the best-kept anti-aging secrets. Few people realize just how effective it has become, and even fewer people suspect miraculously young-looking individuals of having a facelift.

The advanced techniques mentioned above take two main forms: The subcutaneous musculoaponeurotic system facelift (SMAS) and the deep plane facelift.

Rather than making use of lengthy incisions, the SMAS facelift relies on the careful placement of sutures in the patient’s connective tissues. These sutures tighten the connective tissues that support the muscles of the mid-face area and neck, providing a subtle but effective lift that counteracts the effects of gravity.

During a deep plane facelift, on the other hand, the surgeon will make incisions in order to reach the underside of the muscles that support the face and neck. Doing so allows the surgeon to “re-drape” the skin over the muscles, rather than simply pulling it back and stretching it. This method is extremely good at keeping the patient’s facial proportions intact while also producing a profound increase in skin tightness. Deep plane facelifts look so “natural” that patients who have them are usually thought to possess extremely good genetics—few would believe they’ve had plastic surgery. The results of this kind of facelift are also very long-lasting.

What about Non-Surgical Alternatives?

With the range of nonsurgical facelift alternatives on the market today (such as Juvéderm® and other fillers, and BOTOX®), some people wonder why the facelift remains in use at all. There are a few reasons: First and foremost, nonsurgical alternatives don’t work for everyone. Because many of these treatments use the body’s natural healing response (that is, they stimulate the production of collagen and elastin), their results tend to vary from person to person. Likewise, nonsurgical treatments cannot yet produce the same very profound results that surgical procedures do. This is especially true where skin tightening is concerned. Patients over the age of 50 who have significant drooping in multiple areas of their face and neck will not benefit substantially from nonsurgical alternatives. Moreover, many older patients need specialized procedures incorporated into their facelifts, such as adding an eyelid lift to improve vision clarity.

Finally, there is the matter of longevity. Nonsurgical anti-aging treatments typically wear off within about three to six months. Patients must therefore continually budget for top-up injections, and ultimately it becomes more practical and convenient for them to simply have surgery. The results of a facelift are often apparent for an amazing ten to fifteen years after surgery.

Nonsurgical procedures can, however, enhance the anti-aging effects of facelift surgery. Using fillers to restore lost volume in the cheeks and lips, for example, can round out a facelift beautifully. Likewise, skin resurfacing treatments (like laser, and chemical peels) can remove age spots and other imperfections in the skin that are not targeted by surgery. Ultimately, attacking the signs of aging from multiple angles is usually the most thorough and pleasing strategy.

Facelifts: The Gold Standard in Anti-Aging Procedures

With all of the above information taken into account, it’s unsurprising that the facelift is experiencing something of a renaissance in the USA. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, there was a 28 percent increase in facelifts performed between 1997 and 2015. If you’re interested in combating the visible effects of aging, facelift surgery is clearly well worth considering.

4 Fantastic Facial Procedures

Looking for the perfect Valentine’s Day gift? Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg created this helpful infographic that includes four fantastic facial procedures such as facelift, blepharoplasty, brow lift, and rhinoplasty. For more information on any of the procedures, please contact Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg.


A facelift minimizes visible signs of aging in the lower portion of the face by reducing sagging facial skin, tightening the jaw line, and diminishing wrinkles around the mouth. A facelift has a 95% RealSelf.com Worth It Rating.


Blepharoplasty, or eyelid surgery, can fix droopy eyelids with excess sagging skin or bags. It has an impact on the entire face and can make patients look years younger. Blepharoplasty has a 93% RealSelf.com Worth It Rating.

Brow Lift

A brow lift, or forehead lift, is a plastic surgery procedure that can bring your eyes out of hiding if your eyebrows have begun to sag and hang over your eyelids. A brow lift has an 85% RealSelf.com Worth It Rating.


Rhinoplasty reshapes the nose in order to improve its appearance. It can reduce the size of the nose, refine the tip, decrease the width, and correct nose asymmetry. Rhinoplasty has an 89% RealSelf.com Worth It Rating.

Am I Too Young for a Facelift?

What’s the prefect age to get a facelift? After your 60s? Before – in preparation for your 60s? A facelift is a great surgery for reducing sagging facial skin, contouring the jaw line, reducing nasolabial folds (creases than run from the nose to the corner of the mouth), and more. But when it comes to a facelift, timing could be everything. It would make sense for someone to wait until they have severe signs of aging before getting a facelift, but a new study in the medical journal, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery says otherwise.

What Science Says

According to the a study published in the medical journal, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, patients who had a facelift before the age of 50 were actually happier with their results and more likely to maintain their youthful look over the years. Despite the fact that younger patients seeking facial rejuvenation are often redirected to alternative non-surgical procedures, the doctors behind the study say that getting a facelift earlier than the typical age can prevent regression of the facelift and elongate its rejuvenating effects. It’s also important to note that the older a patient is, the more likely they are to experience complications after the surgery.

What Happens in Aging

What we consider typical signs of aging actually start to happen usually around the late 30s. As we age, we lose skin elasticity owing to a breakdown of collagen and elastic leading to sagging, wrinkles and folds, and we lose facial volume because we start to lose fat underneath our skin creating less full, gaunter faces.

Being under 50 is such a critical time when it comes to aging because the amount of aging a person undergoes from 40-50 is so much less than the aging someone goes through from 50-60. According to the study, aging is much too cruel to be a linear progression, so by reversing the effects before aging had accelerated, the patients who got their facelifts before they turned 50 were able to turn back time more effectively than those who waited.

Skin Laxity

According to the doctors behind the study, it’s all about skin elasticity. When a person is under the age of 50, they have enough signs of aging that it’s appropriate to get a facelift, but they still have enough skin elasticity that the effects of a facelift are more likely to keep. As a person ages, their skin laxity increases, and the flaws they want to fix with a facelift become the very things that undermine its results. While older patients can still get amazing results for their facelift, it might be better to get it now rather than wait.

For years, talented surgeons like the ones at Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg have been using advanced techniques for facelifts that create subtle, natural looking results that are perfect for younger patients. If you’re bent on getting your facelift now, then contact them for a consultation.