Does Forehead Reduction Surgery Leave a Scar?

Stock Photo by Ozkan Guner on Unsplash

Forehead reduction surgery is among the most impressive developments in the cosmetic surgery field in recent years.

The procedure accomplishes a lot without putting much strain on the patient, and adept surgeons can deliver transformative results in a short timeframe.

But while forehead reduction surgery is affordable and highly effective for most clients, there is one point of concern worth bringing up: the linear scar left behind on the forehead.

Scarring is an expected side effect of many cosmetic surgeries and should not be a big deal for most clients. Still, this may be a dealbreaker for some clients who want to leave no trace of their forehead reduction procedures and may think twice about pursuing the surgery if they cannot avoid a scar.

Thankfully, there are a lot of factors that go into forehead reduction surgery that can dramatically reduce the size and severity of scars. Plus, clients have multiple ways to downplay scars and enjoy the results of forehead reduction to the fullest.

Let’s get the real story about forehead reduction surgery and the possibility of scarring and give some tips to individuals who wish to maximize results from this procedure while keeping side effects to an absolute minimum.  

Why Does Forehead Reduction Leave a Scar? 

The goal of forehead reduction surgery is to shorten the forehead by up to 1.5 inches, changing the face’s proportions to increase aesthetic appeal.

However, a scar is sometimes left behind due to the technique used to extract skin from the forehead and close the gap. Let’s talk about several factors that play into a forehead scar from surgery and why this matters for clients considering the procedure.

Incision Site 

Scars are the body’s natural reaction to acute physical trauma that cuts or lacerates the skin. Whether we fall off a bike and scrape your knee or undergo a semi-invasive procedure like forehead reduction, minor scarring will likely occur.

But when it comes to forehead reduction, there are a few pieces of good news regarding the incision site itself and its implications for scarring:

  • The incision occurs above the hairline, meaning it is naturally concealed
  • The shape of the incision does not create a jagged, unsightly scar
  • The scope of the surgery (how much skin must be moved and how far)

Because there are so many variables, like skin elasticity, hairline shape, hair quality, and skin tone, it’s hard to say how much scarring will occur when a patient undergoes forehead reduction surgery.

In fact, there have been many instances in which forehead reduction procedures have resulted in barely any scarring whatsoever due to a good mix of factors and the guidance of an experienced surgeon and clinical team.

Surgical Technique

In mentioning the surgeon and team, we touch on a crucial point for scarring and the overall quality of surgery. The more experienced and proficient a surgeon in their forehead reduction technique, the less likely a scar will be noticeable on a patient’s scalp.

This is because scars vary widely based on the type of incision made in the skin, with factors like depth, stability, and proper instruments all coming into play.

For instance, consider a forehead reduction performed by a less experienced surgeon without the best implements available. They may struggle to form a straight incision and instead create a jagged line with multiple entries and exit points.

An inexperienced surgeon may also fail to follow the natural hairline flow and instead cut in a way that causes uneven scarring on either side.

Apart from the incision, forehead reduction requires strong, even force on the lower part of the skin to shorten the gap and connect the forehead.

This is yet another potential cause for scarring since skin can be stretched beyond its natural limits and disrupt the healing process when sutures are applied.

Of course, the sutures themselves must be administered hygienically and professionally since errors in this critical final step can cause raised scarring or other unsightly aberrations.

From this information, we can conclude that forehead reduction surgery scars are not the result of the procedure itself but rather the surgeon’s abilities and several other variables that can occur during the surgical process.

Aftercare and Follow-Up 

While you cannot control some factors, others rest on the shoulders of the doctor and clinic.

However, patients have to uphold their end in aftercare and the proper recovery protocols dictated by the surgeon post-surgery.

These rules may seem clear and easy to follow on paper. Still, it’s not always so simple when patients are experiencing discomfort in the first week of recovery, or they have other responsibilities to contend with at this time.

That’s why patients should always be sure to clear their schedules for proper recovery phases following surgery of all kinds so that they can reap the full benefits of their procedure and keep scarring to a minimum.

We’ll explore the recovery factors on scarring soon, but realize now that the client, the surgeon, the clinic, and other external variables all play into how scars form (or don’t form) in forehead reduction surgery.

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Do Forehead Reduction Scars Last? 

It might not seem obvious in real-time, but scars constantly change shape and color. This is important to keep in mind when evaluating forehead reduction surgery scars and setting accurate expectations for clients post-op.

Initial Recovery Period 

Immediately following surgery, the affected area on the forehead will be inflamed and highly sensitive, with the incision point appearing red with some minor crusting and scabbing. Surgical staples will also remain intact for up to a week.

While this is perfectly normal, it may be alarming to patients when they start their recovery phase. What’s most important is to relax, keep stress low, and do the bare minimum in terms of physical or mental exertion.

As the area heals up and stitches fall out or “melt,” the actual scar will appear slightly red or raised on the skin’s surface. Some hair may fall out from the area during this time, but it will return once the area is fully healed and life cycles are regenerated.

Changes In Size and Color 

What began as a red and raised scar on the forehead will soon turn into a smaller, lighter scar hidden behind the hairline.

After a year, the scar will be even less noticeable than before and may even diminish further based on the protocols used to heal the scar.

The key takeaway is to be patient and realize that scars will naturally improve in appearance over time, even without any additional care or concealment.

For most patients, forehead reduction is still worth the effort and cost despite a minor linear scar, which becomes even less apparent with time.

3 Ways To Help Minimize Forehead Reduction Scars 

Here are the four things you must do to make the most of your forehead reduction surgery and keep scarring down.

Choose a Skilled Surgeon 

At Jae Pak MD, we believe your surgeon is the biggest difference-maker in achieving your desired outcomes and ensuring that scars do not overpower your rejuvenated hairline.

The best forehead reduction surgeons create a customized plan with an incision designed specifically for that patient, rather than making the same cuts and adjustments for everyone.

Top surgeons will also apply stitches and sutures with precision and bandage the area following surgery to ensure the area is well protected and clean.

Follow Recovery Protocols 

As a patient recovering from forehead reduction surgery, it’s crucial to follow the aftercare rules assigned by your surgeon and clinic.

This will involve avoiding physical strain, keeping the area clean, and using prescribed medicines or ointments to help heal the area and limit scarring.

While some recovery guidelines might seem overly detailed or restrictive, do not take them for granted if you want to get the best possible results from your surgery. It’s not just a matter of minimizing scarring but also protecting your investment and appearance for life.

Concealing, Treatment, and More 

Even the best forehead reduction surgeons cannot avoid scarring on the hairline 100 percent of the time, but this should not discourage patients from seeking the best service available.

In fact, the quality of concealing treatments and alternative therapies for scar reduction is so good that you can dramatically improve even visible scars in appearance rather quickly.

Low-level laser light therapy is an excellent example of a recent treatment that has been shown to reduce scarring while also promoting hair density and healthy growth.

Topical medicines can also reduce the size and alter the color of scars to match the natural skin tone, while concealers can be applied directly to the scalp if you wish to wear hair up and away from the face.

Alternatively, procedures like Scalp MicroPigmentation and hair transplants over the scars are more commonly used to permanently conceal scars, eliminating the need for maintenance and upkeep.

New Hairline – No Worries 

Forehead reduction surgery is a winning procedure for those seeking an adjustment to their facial proportions. While some scarring may occur, there is no reason to hold back from getting the procedure you want — especially with so many great ways to reduce scarring in the long term.

So what are you waiting for? Contact Jae Pak, MD, and our team today!

Sources:

Minimize Scarring | AAD

How to Prevent Scarring | Cleveland Clinic

Multiplane Forehead Shortening: Sparing the Frontalis Muscle and Supraorbital Nerve | PMC 

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