Are Pins & Needles?
journeywomen progress towards the end of the first week of post-op,
some ladies begin to experience a return of feelings to formerly
numb areas in the face, neck, ears, cheeks, jaws, scalp, and along
the perimeter of the face. The feeling of numbness that women may
experience post-op can be a result of sensory nerves that supply
feelings to the face and neck having been bruised, damaged or cut
during surgery when an incision is made or when such nerves are
interrupted when the skin is trimmed off or moved from its original
location on the face (it is recommended to read the Numbness
discussion in this room to have a full understanding of the pins
& needles symptom). The return to feeling in previously numb
areas occurs when sensory nerves begin to repair, rebuild and reconnect
in such regions. When these nerves rebuild and reconnect, healing
women may experience sensations that journeywomen have described
as “tingling sensations”, “itchy”, “prickles”,
“pins and needles”, “electric shocks”, and
“burning sensations”. It is also normal for the affected
regions of the face where nerve connections are regenerating to
feel hypersensitive and tender. Skin tenderness often occurs as
skin numbness decreases, so you may experience some sensitivity
skin later on your healing journey (a detailed discussion on skin
sensitivity, tenderness, and other skin changes and issues that
may occur in post-op may be found in the Skin
Sensitivity & Tenderness). The tingly, pins
and needle sensations are an entirely normal aspect of the healing
journey and can linger for the first few weeks, month and longer
until numbness disappears. In many ways, this symptom should be
welcomed as it spells the end of the numbness and the return to
the land of feelings. For a full blown scientific explanation of
why pins and needles occur, saunter over to the Facelift
101: Why Do Pins & Needles Happen? section
on this page.
I Definitely Experience Pins & Needles?
While pins and
needles may occur at any time during the early part of the week
or in the second week or even weeks after surgery, pins and needles
can begin anytime numbness begins to subside and sensation is being
regained. Virtually all women experience some form of numbness during
their healing journey, though not all women complain about pins
and needles. However, pins and needles probably do occur in some
form to women who don’t complain about them, as they are probably
too slight to be detected. This may be explained by the possibility
that while the process of nerves repairing and reconnecting themselves
occurs in every woman whose nerves have been damaged or cut, the
sensation produced by the nerves doing so is not so strong as to
be detected or noticed in every woman. Be assured that your nerves
will be working to repair themselves, but whether you’ll actually
notice any prickly, tingly feelings is not definite.
Do Pins & Needles Feel?
Pins and needles can range from a subtle tingling
sensation, to super itchy, tingling, achy, burning feelings that
can be accompanied by hypersensitivity and tenderness in the affected
skin regions. Some voyagers have described the pins and needles
sensations as a “thawing out” process whereby the formerly
numb areas are gradually restored with feelings. Meanwhile, another
described her own as electric shocks, and a third survivor characterized
her pins and needles as prickles in her cheeks.
Pins & Needles Hurt?
most women do not describe pins and needles as excruciatingly painful,
for many the sensations have been described as annoying, irritating,
Here, Tingle There
your body repairs your displaced nerve endings, feeling can come
back in varying degrees: slowly, randomly, or all at once in certain
places. One veteran described pins and needles as a sensation like
when your skin is reawakening after a dental injection for numbness.
In many ways, the sensation of pins and needless is similar to when
you try to walk on a foot that’s fallen asleep. You should
also not be surprised if you feel the tingling sensations one moment,
then have them disappear, and then have them return all of a sudden.
As with any other symptom, pins and needles has an asymmetric, random
pattern in its coming and going. For this reason, it should not
be expected that your healing will follow a straight line progression
from numbness to full return of feelings along with a consistent
decrease in pins and needles. It is perfectly normal to see pins
and needles come and go in a random fashion, affect only certain
areas (for instance one ear area is tingly, but the other ear is
fine, one patch of your neck is itchy but the rest is numb, etc.),
and then disappear all of a sudden, and then reappear again in some
area. Patience and positivity is important in handling this symptom,
as it should ultimately go away.
Might My Pins & Needles Occur?
The pins and needles can arise wherever nerves were
cut or damaged as a result of surgical cutting and wherever numbness
occurs. You can get a rough indication of where pins and needles
may affect you just by tracking the areas in which numbness has
occurred after your facelift. In general, tingly sensations can
manifest themselves anywhere along the jawline, cheeks, around the
eyes, in front or behind the ears, under the chin, neck area, and
areas of the scalp into which the incisions run. It is important
to note that much like numbness, some women will experience the
tingly sensations over large surfaces of their faces and necks,
while others will only experience the prickles in smaller, localized
Are My Ears So Sensitive?
is also normal for the affected regions of the face where nerve
connections are regenerating to feel hypersensitive and tender.
For this reason, a good number of women we’ve encountered
reported having very sensitive ears that prevented them from speaking
on the telephone normally for a bit of time and had problem sleeping
on their sides in the initial weeks of recovery (we’ve got
a tried-and-proven solution for that too from our gracious facelift
graduates…keep reading on as we’ll be speaking of it
and many others). Some of these women maintained hypersensitivity
in the ears for longer durations of time that extended to months
until the ears normalized. We will explore this type of occurrence
of hypersensitivity in the ears in the Ear
addition to the ears, other areas that women have also complained
about being hypersensitive include the neck. We devote a full discussion
to these issues in Skin
Sensitivity & Tenderness.
& Needles Fluctuations
Just as swelling, bruising, and other symptoms that
make up the healing journey may occur randomly and be felt unevenly
on both sides of your face, pins and needles may also have such
asymmetrical patterns. For instance, you may feel tingly in your
right ear while your left ear is still numb, the pins and needles
in your left cheek may be more pronounced than the tingly sensations
you experience in other parts of your face. Over the course of several
months, the normal sensitivity of your face will be regained.
not expect a certain pattern of regeneration for your nerve endings
over the course of your pins and needles healing journey. Pins and
needles may occur in spurts, rather than in sustained, 24-hour a
day type of sensation. You can feel pins and needles one moment
and then it can stop the next moment, and not returning for days,
only to suddenly feel some pricks for a few moments. Your pins and
needles may also be triggered upon applying pressure or touching
Might Pins & Needles Affect Me Emotionally?
pins and needle are not visible, the physical annoyance or discomfort
and the unpredictable duration of their occurrences can cause facelifters
to become slightly or thoroughly irritated about their pins and
needles situation. And if pins and needles intermittently occurs
for several weeks or longer post op (as it very likely may) some
women may grow frustrated at the incidence of pins and needles because
they had expected numbness to resolve itself quickly and expected
to be totally normal again. As a result, some women fear that they
will not be normal again – which of course is not the case.
Healing is a gradual process, and the return to full feeling is
a journey that can take as short as weeks, or as long as two months,
three months, six months, even a year for some slow healers. Still
we have managed to find survivors that are not so bothered by pins
and needles and see it as a signal that feeling is returning.
Might My Pins & Needles Change?
Numbness generally hits its peak by the end of the
first week, during the second week or even after the first month
of post-op before the symptom begins to subside in varying degrees.
When the numbness symptom begins to subside and is traded with tingling
pins and needles, the occurrence of pins and needles should be somewhat
welcomed as it indicates that sensation is returning to the area.
While every woman heals differently and at her own pace as far as
repairing and reconnecting the injured nerves, one can expect to
have most of the numbness and pins and needles diminish over the
course of the first 2 months or sometime afterwards. It is entirely
normal for a tingly sensation to linger beyond this period and gradually
disappear over the course of the first six months to a year of your
healing journey. A strong number of women reported their numbness
being gone in its entirety by the sixth month. We’ve encountered
some cases where women whose numbness lingered beyond six months
experienced tingly sensations after this time mark. In some cases,
pins and needles may only become evident when the areas are stimulated
by scratching or touching in a similar fashion.
Long Will My Pins & Needles Last?
discussed earlier, the timeframe for regaining normal sensitivity
ranges from days, weeks, to months, and even a year later. The sensitivity
is regained slowly. As early as the first week of recovery, the
reconnecting of your nerves may also produce some “tingly”
and “burning” sensations that can feel like pins and
needles and electric shocks or even hypersensitivity, all of which
are a normal function of your nerves getting their feeling back.
The process of the nerves fully regenerating and the pins and needles
disappearing can take weeks and months. However, the frequency of
the pins and needles should decrease over time.
101: What Are The Healing Tips For Pins & Needles?
is no panacea or treatment to definitively reduce numbness or make
it disappear rapidly – only the passage of time and patience,
patience, and more patience!
Scratch Your Face
matter how much pins & needles are driving you crazy, do everything
in your power to avoid scratching your face. As your will be healing
for months, any unnecessary touching, prodding or scratching will
not be beneficial and could actually irritate your skin even further.
Additionally, it is important to avoid scratching areas that have
no sensation because they are still healing, despite the fact that
they lack any sensitivity.
can’t confirm whether the following tip definitely will work
for you. Women, who are making the facelift leap, are constantly
inventing new therapies, techniques and contraptions to make their
post-op experiences all the better. One such creative brainchild
invented by facelifters is the use of an electric vibrating massager
on the numb areas. The women who have taken to using a massager
(funnily, the massager idea for numbness was accidentally stumbled
upon, when some of these women first used the massager to relieve
their neck tightness, as well as a way of getting rid of the lumps
which can sometimes temporarily and normally occur). Women have
said that the use of the massager helped speed up the return to
feelings. If you plan to try this out, it is not a good idea to
use the massager in the initial days of recovery (probably not until
the end of the first week) because any unnecessary movement during
such time can induce additional swelling, bruising, and bleeding.
women have taken to using medications such as antihistamines that
are used to relieve itching caused by allergies. However, the effectiveness
of such medications with treating pins and needles is not confirmed
to work as the itching that is caused by the tingling sensations
is not the same as skin itchiness that one experiences from an allergy.
be sure to consult your doctor about all recommendations and products
before deciding to follow or use them during your journey.
101: Why Do Pins & Needles Happen?
you have started to get tingly sensations or pins in needles in
your face, neck, chin, cheeks, scalp or ears and you are wondering
what is happening to you, here is a more in depth explanation. First
off, every sensation you have is carried by neurons, or nerve cells,
from a part of your body to the spinal cord. These messages are
then forwarded to the brain, where the sensations are processed.
When these connections, or sensory pathways, are interrupted they
can cause numbness or lack of sensation. Facelift surgery involves
tissue damage as it involves making incisions and cutting and pulling
your skin from its original position. After all, the skin has been
lifted and temporarily detached from the underlying tissue fat and
muscles, and the underlying structures consisting of tissue, muscles,
and nerves may have been moved and tightened. Whenever there is
surgical trauma to the body or more specifically when nerves are
bruised, or cut altogether, nerve function can be altered. When
these connections begin to repair themselves and nerve cells reestablish
pathways to the spinal cord and brain, the sensation can be similar
to that of pins and needles, tingling, electric shocks, and even
and needles may take place in your face and neck after a facelift
because your nervous system is repairing itself so you may regain
full sensation through your face, ears, neck and scalp. Pins and
needles are a natural healing response to damage that surgery has
caused. Because this damage can be uneven or distributed asymmetrically,
tingling can occur at different rates, varying degrees, and in localized
or scattered locations. Try not to be disturbed by the perhaps weird
or uncomfortable sensation. You would be well advised to understand
that your body is simply repairing itself so that you will be able
to feel the new you. Tingling is a good sign. It means that your
body is healing and that the return to feeling is happening.