What is Degloved Face

What is Degloved Face

The human face is a marvel of intricate bone structure, delicate tissues, and complex nerves that define our identity and facilitate our interactions with the world. However, it is also highly vulnerable to severe injuries, including degloving, which can have devastating consequences. A degloving injury, specifically to the face, is an extremely traumatic event that involves the forceful separation of the skin and underlying tissues from the underlying structures.

What is a Degloved Face?

A degloving injury occurs when the skin and subcutaneous tissues are forcefully detached from the underlying muscles, bones, or other structures. Essentially, it is akin to removing a glove from your hand, only on a much more severe and distressing scale. This type of injury is commonly associated with high-impact accidents such as car crashes, industrial mishaps, or crushing injuries, where the skin is pulled away from the underlying tissues due to extreme force or trauma.

In the context of the face, a degloving injury can affect various areas, including the cheeks, chin, nose, or even the entire facial region. Such an injury not only causes excruciating pain but also leads to severe disfigurement and functional impairment, affecting vital functions like eating, speaking, and breathing.

Causes of Degloving Face Injuries

Degloving injuries to the face typically result from:

  1. Motor Vehicle Accidents: High-speed collisions or accidents where the face impacts the dashboard, steering wheel, or other hard surfaces can cause severe facial degloving injuries.
  2. Industrial Accidents: Workers in certain industries, such as manufacturing or construction, are at risk of degloving injuries if their face comes into contact with heavy machinery or equipment.
  3. Sports Injuries: Athletes involved in high-impact sports like football, boxing, or martial arts may suffer degloving injuries due to direct blows or falls.
  4. Physical Assaults: Violent encounters or physical assaults can also result in traumatic facial degloving injuries.

Effects of a Degloved Face

The consequences of a degloved face are multifaceted and extend beyond physical appearance. Some of the effects include:

  1. Disfigurement: The face is a prominent part of one’s identity, and a degloving injury can cause severe disfigurement, leading to psychological trauma and a profound impact on self-esteem.
  2. Functional Impairment: Apart from aesthetic concerns, a degloved face can impair vital functions such as eating, speaking, and even breathing. Reconstruction and rehabilitation may be necessary to restore functionality.
  3. Psychological Impact: Coping with the aftermath of a degloving injury can lead to psychological distress, including anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  4. Long-Term Treatment and Recovery: Treating a degloved face often involves extensive surgeries, skin grafts, and rehabilitation, which can be physically and emotionally taxing for the individual.

Treatment and Rehabilitation

The treatment of a degloved face requires a multidisciplinary approach involving plastic surgeons, maxillofacial specialists, and rehabilitation experts. The primary goals of treatment include:

  • Emergency Stabilization: Immediate medical attention is crucial to prevent further damage and stabilize the patient.
  • Surgical Reconstruction: Plastic surgery techniques, including skin grafts, tissue expansion, and microsurgery, are utilized to repair the damaged tissues and restore facial structure and function.
  • Rehabilitation: Physical therapy and specialized interventions help regain facial movement, improve muscle strength, and restore normal functions.


A degloved face represents one of the most traumatic and challenging injuries a person can endure. Beyond the physical damage, it can profoundly impact an individual’s mental well-being and quality of life. Timely medical intervention, comprehensive treatment, and ongoing support are crucial for those affected by this devastating injury. Understanding the causes, effects, and treatment options for degloving injuries to the face highlights the importance of safety measures and prompt medical care in mitigating such severe outcomes


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