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Redness and Inflammation After a Hair Transplant

Q:

Hi Dr. Mohebi,

I hope this email finds you well. I am still waiting for a date to open up for me to come in and undergo my hair transplant, In the meantime I was once again looking at “before and after” photos on your website. I have a question regarding a couple of them.

In some patients, their “after” photos were taken eight months after the procedure but it looks like the scalp is still rather red.  I’m wondering how many months will I possibly have redness, scabbing or other obvious signs of the procedure?  Thanks very much for taking the time to answer my question!

Best wishes,

A:

The recovery process, covering healing and hair growth, is usually not complete anywhere before ten months to a year after the hair transplant.  In fact, some people do not see their best results until eighteen months after their hair transplant surgery.

One of the stages of any healing wound is the inflammatory stage. In this stage inflammatory cells accumulate in the wound. Along with inflammation of the scalp, there will be an increase in the amount of blood that supplies the area. This is what makes the skin red after a hair transplant.

Redness and any inflammation of the skin is usually resolved after the first few weeks. However, some patients with a lighter skin color may continue to have some signs of remaining inflammation and redness after a hair transplant. This may be followed by slowly disappearing pinkish discoloration for many weeks or even months. Thankfully, these conditions will eventually resolve on their own.

If the redness after hair transplants is interrupting the day-to-day life of the patient, we can use medication to minimize or eliminate that.  Since the redness is secondary to the skin inflammation after a hair transplant, which is an important stage in healing, we do not want to suppress it too early. However, if it continues to bother patients after the first week or two, it could be treated with mild steroid creams and other medications that help reduce any inflammation of the skin.