I am a 19 year old female. I had a breast reduction in October of 2009. After surgery, I was pleased to see how much perkier and smaller my breasts were. I talked with my doctor briefly @ my 1 month follow up, asking how long to wait before exposing my scars to the tanning bed. I was told 3 months. I have been tanning regularly for months now. I now have very noticeable bright pink scars that are raised and very wide. What are my options to reduce the scarring? It seems too late to not tan :(
Breast Reduction Scar Removal
Doctor Answers (6)
Breast Reduction and Scars?
Thank you for the question.
Sometimes the use of silicone-based products and/or steroid injection may be helpful. The use of superficial radiation treatment is possible for symptomatic scars. Sometimes scar revision surgery and careful scar management afterwards may be helpful. Despite anecdotal reports otherwise I have not seen significant improvement with laser treatment of scars.
Scarring after breast reduction
You are young, and this is typical in the natural history of scars. They tend to get a lot worse before they get better, and I have to explain to patients that it takes up to a year for a scar to fade. You can helps the process by massage with a scar cream or vitamin E. This helps mechanically soften the collagen in the scar.
Regarding the tanning bed, they are a bad idea for your skin, and certainly for your scars as well. I always recommend that my patients avoid tanning beds. They are popular though, and people love them, for sure. But in terms of light induced damage in the skin, they are as bad as the sun, and some studies suggest they may even be worse!
Scarring and breast reduction
The final scar quality after any surgery has a lot to do with tension, the type of closure, and probably most importantly is genetics. Some people just do not heal as well as others. Sometimes topical creams, silicone sheeting,etc.. can help scars.
You might also like...
Options for red raised scars after breast reduction
You first should stop exposing the scars to tanning until the red color has resolved. You may benefit from steroid injections. Other options include pressure therapy, topical paper tape, silicone gel sheeting and/or scar revision surgery
Breast reduction scars
Breast reduction surgery always involves placing scars on the breast, and unfortunately some scars do not heal to be inconspicuous. Raised, red, thick scars as you describe may indicate scar hypertrophy, a condition which is treatable with a number of modalities including creams, silicone gel sheeting, and cortisone injections. You should consult with your plastic surgeon for intervention as soon as possible as treatment is generally more successful when initiated early.
No more tanning beds please!
Best treatment at this point would be laser scar treatment to tighten the skin and reduce the width of the scars. I would recommend IPL treatment as well to reduce redness. I would not advise any more tanning and would switch to kelocote scar gel. We have had excellent results in my practice with this management of post-breast reduction scars.
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.
You might also like...
Ask a Doctor
Get personalized answers from board-certified doctors. For free.