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Tips to Hide Plastic Surgery during Recovery

Blog post - before after facelift scar swelling bruising hide recovery

Hiding facial plastic surgery recovery. Patient had facelift, neck lift, and liposuction. She used hair and makeup (left photo) to conceal her facial surgery, until she was appropriately healed and styled her hair as desired (right photo).

Cosmetic surgery can improve a person’s appearance in the long-term. However, patients should also be prepared for the initial appearance after surgery, with anticipated bandages, stitches, bruising, distortion, and swelling. Prepare for a short period of “looking worse” before getting better.

It’s easier to hide breast augmentation or body liposuction surgery from others, as compared to a facelift. We’re often asked about recovery after facial plastic surgery. Part of the reason is patients want to return to work soon and not take too much time off. In addition, facial surgery patients may want to hide their recovery after surgery. Fortunately, healing is typically unremarkable and patients get back to normal in a reasonable time.

Late fall and winter are typically popular times for people to have facial cosmetic surgery. More patients have time off for recovery after surgery, which allows more time to stay hidden from the public. The colder weather also allows one to wear more clothing to better hide one’s appearance.

Below are some tips to help hide the fact you’ve had plastic surgery during the initial recovery period. As always, follow the care instruction guidelines of your plastic surgeon to have a safe and uneventful recovery.

Makeup

Makeup is a great method to camouflage recovery after plastic surgery. It can conceal bruises and blend skin that may appear temporarily discolored. It can also be contoured to minimize appearance of swelling. Once appropriately healed, makeup may also be used to minimize appearance of scars during the healing process.

Don’t start too early after surgery, however, as makeup may cause problems if applied too soon. Plastic surgeons will often recommend at least one week waiting period after surgery, if not longer.

Watch the ingredients too. Camoflouging makeup tends to be thicker than routine, daily makeup. Also, make sure it is fragrance free and hypoallergenic.

Don’t forget to continue to cleanse carefully every night. Proper makeup removal should already be part of your basic skin care routine anyway.

Clothing

Scarves, hats, and glasses can help hide facial plastic surgery.

Sunglasses may hide bruises and swelling after eyelid surgery or brow lift. A loose fitting hat can help conceal a face lift, and help protect from the sun too. A turtle neck, collared shirt, or scarf are good options after neck lift procedures.

Hair

Some patients may not be ready or be uncomfortable resorting to cosmetics to conceal their facial plastic surgery. Hair can be styled or facial hair can be allowed to grow to help hide the recovery after plastic surgery. We often encourage patients not to shave for the first several days after surgery.

A beard is a good method after chin augmentation and neck liposuction. Face lift patients may choose a longer hairstyle in the short-term until they can resume pulling their hair back.

Excuses

Lastly, you can use alternative excuses to hide the fact you’ve had facial surgery. You’ve had a fall and hit your chin or nose. You’ve had dental work, so that’s the reason your cheeks and lips are swollen. You’ve developed an allergic reaction to something (insects, animals, food, drugs, perfumes, etc).

Combination methods can help one stay discreet and comfortable post-plastic surgery. Do you have other tips to deal with recovery after plastic surgery? Share your thoughts below.

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    Houtan Chaboki, M.D.