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Hair Transplant Infections

A hair transplant is a hair restoration procedure where the surgeon removes the hair follicle from one part of the body and inserts them into the balding areas of the scalp. Hair transplants are considered to be the most successful procedure for treating genetic hair loss conditions.

A hair transplant is considered a relatively safe procedure but, as with all cosmetic procedures, it still carries some risk. Infections are rare and affect less than 1% of people who have received hair transplants, but it is still vital that those considering (or who have already had) the service are aware of the signs an infection after hair transplant procedures.

If you have suffered from a hair transplant, we are here to help. Contact us today to arrange a call with a member of our friendly team.

Symptoms of a hair transplant infection

Although uncommon, infections after hair transplant surgery most commonly occur three to seven days after the procedure. The infection is typically caused by microbes that enter open wounds at the site of the implanted hair follicles.

Signs of infected hair transplant follicles include:

  • Pus-filled abscesses
  • Oozing pus
  • Redness or discolouration
  • Swelling and warmth
  • Pain and burning
  • Itchiness and bleeding

Some of these signs of infection can be normal side effects as the scalp becomes accustomed to the newly implanted hair follicles. One cause of infection can come from an unsanitary donor site or graft site.

If they are simply a side effect of the surgery, they will not last for long. However, if they do not clear up by themselves after a few days, this may indicate the presence of an infection. Infections can also lead to systemic symptoms such as:

  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

What can cause a hair transplant infection?

An infection can develop when microbes and pathogens enter your body through your scalp either during your surgery or while you’re healing. Some main causes of infection are as follows:

Improper hygiene

Improper hygiene can refer either to your own personal hygiene, or the hygiene standards of your cosmetic practitioner. If the tools used during the procedure are not properly sanitised, the chances of infection are raised significantly.

Additionally, if you are neglectful of your scalp hygiene, you may give rise to infection. It is important to keep your scalp clean as it heals to reduce the risk of an infected hair transplant.

It is recommended that you do not touch it with unsanitised hands.

Underlying medical conditions

Underlying medical conditions can often weaken your immune system, especially if it is compromised as you heal from your cosmetic procedure. Conditions that weaken your immune system include:

  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Severe obesity
  • Malnutrition
  • HIV
  • Cancer

Talk to your cosmetic practitioner prior to your procedure to discuss whether a hair transplantation procedure is appropriate in your circumstances.

Can you avoid a hair implant infection?

No surgery is completely risk-free, but there are ways to ensure that your hair transplant procedure is as safe as it can possibly be:

Do your research. Ensure that you have researched your cosmetic practitioner prior to your hair restoration surgery and check that they are qualified and registered with the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons. It is also worth checking that your cosmetic surgeon will schedule follow-up appointments.

Let your scalp heal. It is vital that you do not touch and pick at your scalp as it heals in order to prevent infection. You should also make sure to keep the area clean.

Avoid exercise. As with all cosmetic procedures, raising your heart rate or performing strenuous activities can have a negative effect on the way your body heals. Do not overexert yourself until your surgeon gives you the approval to do so.

Speak to your surgeon. Depending on their assessment, you may be prescribed oral or topical antibiotics.

Avoid swimming for some time. You may be advised to avoid swimming immediately after your procedure in order to prevent disruption to the transplanted hair follicles.

If you have suffered due to your surgeon being neglectful during your procedure, our team is on hand to help. Contact us today for a call with one of our experts on 0808 252 0175, or fill in our online contact form to request a callback.

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Mike Saul


Michael Saul is a partner at Cosmetic Surgery Solicitors, where he brings his extensive specialist legal expertise and passion for helping people to the forefront of his work. With a proven track record of success in cosmetic surgery negligence cases, Michael has dedicated his career to providing clients with the highest level of representation and achieving favourable outcomes.

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