4 weeks post op (I removed the surgical tape 1 week ago) and I notice a brown pigment around my scar. My scar is very thin but I'm worried about the color of the surrounding skin where the tape was placed. Will the discoloration around my scar disappear? I had a full tummy tuck with no drain. Is there anything I can do to help it heal better?
Brown Pigment Around Tummy Tuck Scar 4 Weeks Post Op, Will It Go Away? (photo)
Doctor Answers (6)
Brown pigment around your school or four weeks after tummy tuck.
There's a great deal of information that goes on around an incision site right after tummy tuck surgery. Most of it is manifested by a reddish color which indicates that the scar tissue that is forming is hyper vascular. Over about a year this hyper vascular color fades as the scar matures. Even if it does not fade in some occasions vascular lasers can help treat a red scar.
The brownish color that you notice may actually be more of an issue with hyper pigmentation. Because you are fair skinned is likely that this will resolve on its own overtime but in hyper pigmentation certain creams or bleaching agents can be used to help diminish the amount of pigment.
I would be concerned that it's a little bit early to start with bleaching agents, but discuss your concerns with your plastic surgeon and he or she will guide you when the time is right. Your plastic surgeon will also share with you his own regimen for helping to mature and soften the scars over time. In my own practice I recommend massage with cocoa butter or vitamin E as a preliminary approach, but each surgeon will have his or her own specific regimen.
The timeframe on scar maturation is really over the course of a year so at four weeks out you are really quite early in the process and there is plenty of time for improvement.
Scar after tummy tuck
Brownish pigment after tt
It's too early to predict the nature of your final scar, since you are only 1 week out from surgery. Usually these early color changes fade with time, as the healing progresses and the inflammation settles. If, however, your pigment is stubborn - using some medical grade fade creams, like hydroquinone, will usually take care of these color changes. Ask you PS if you need one, if the brown color is still present after a few more weeks.
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What should a scar look like at 4 weeks
Your scar is in the early phases of healing and the photo is not concerning to me. As most of the pigmentation is immediately under the tape I would ask if you had any itching or "rash" around the incision. This could be an indication of a mild tape or adhesive allergy that has caused more inflammation in this area.
Brown pigment around tummy tuck scar
The process of wound healing is a year long process that involves adherence of the wound edges and creation of proteins and new blood vessels. As such, this is a very metabolically active time in your body. You may expect that a new scar will appear pink to purple in the weeks to months after surgery, and that the scars will continue to lighten, soften, and fade over time. Some brownish discoloration around the periphery of the scar can indicate that blood that seeps into the surrounding tissues is being naturally absorbed by your body. The best advice to keep your scars looking their best is to avoid sun exposure to the scar for 6-12 months, and to perform a gentle scar massage twice daily to encourage softening of the scar.
All the best,
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