How to Treat Keloid or Hypertrophic Scarring in Incision Scars

I had a breast implant removal about 3 months ago.Since then my infra mammary scars have become slightly raised, hard and adhered to the underlying tissues but limited to the scar boundaries. My PS advised me to massage them daily 2-3 times a day which I have been doing for the past month.It seems to have improved however I have noticed a very small nodule that has developed within one of the scars (very small only 0.5mm).Do I need any further treatment and will this worsten or resolve w time?

Doctor Answers 12

Hypertrophic incision scar

Typically scars improve with time, and take about a year to get to their final situation.  They typically look their "angriest" between 1 and 4 months.

Scar massage helps.  Silicone scar products help.  Sometimes a little Kenalog injection is useful.  Sometimes IPL is helpful if the scar is very red in color.

Speak with your surgeon about your concerns.  

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Scar Management after Breast Implant Removal?

Time tends to improve the appearance of scars. You will find that the scars will improve in appearance even after a year has gone by.
Sometimes the use of silicone-based products. In the event of unfavorable scarring 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 I have not seen significant improvement with laser treatment of scars.

Best wishes.

Keloid at the incision site from breast surgery

You may want to consider the injection of steroids into the incisions to help with healing.  Pressure and massage are also very good.

Thick scar after breast implant removal

Scar is very individual, and usu sally the inframammary scar will do very well. At three months I would avoid over treating the area, and steroid may be overkill. Stick with massage. Your bra will apply pressure over the area which helps as well, and time should solve all.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 33 reviews


I treat my scars with silicone and steroids but a half mm scar is likely a knot.  Keep massaging it as you have been and it will likely go away.

Ricardo A. Meade, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

Scars and breast surgery

It sounds like you have hypertrophic breast scars and from your description is improving. As for t he one area of concern I would run it by your surgeon after he/she sees it.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Thick Scars After Breast Surgery

Scars take upwards of one year to reach their final state. At 3 months, your scars are in the relative early phase and typically go through changes in their thickness as well as color. Your plastic surgeon was correct in advising scar massage which takes advantage of one of the main modalities in scar treatment: namely pressure therapy. Other things that may help are silicone based scar treatments which come in adhesive sheets or creams.

Other than that, I would not recommend any further treatment at this moment as the scar will settle with time.

Hope that helps and good luck!

Babak Dadvand, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

The treatment for recent scars

is to do nothing for about 9 months.  The reason is that it takes this long for scars to mature.  After nine months, scars will soften and flaten.  If your scar remains or progresses in an unacceptable manner, an injection of triamcinalone 40 mgm/1 cc should be considered.  See your local plastic surgeon and discuss this with him.

Gary H. Manchester, MD (retired)
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review


Scars that cause only cosmetic problems to the patient should be allowed time to declare that they are not going to improve, and if no improvement then a revision surgery can be planned. Scars that by their nature cause deformity, such as the semicircle scar (Causes trap Door Deformity), should be operated on as soon as the patient is ready for revision. Such scars may require a revision with Z-PlASTY, to break the semi circle and the swelling it causes.
Depressed scars, and scars with railroad tracts should be treated as soon as seen. Waiting will not improve these scars.
HYPERTROPHIC SCARS: Thick red, ropy scars are treated with Triamcinilone injection, and silicone gel sheeting. These treatments are repeated every 3-4 weeks. If the hypertrophic scar does not respond then the addition of 5FU and Botox have shown improved effectiveness in treating hypertrophic scars. These treatments are repeated every 6 weeks.

Scars causing a deformity may need early surgical intervention

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews


Thick scars (hypertrophic) and keloids occur on occasion with any surgery.  Silicone gel sheeting can help (can be ordered on line). Massaging can also help.   Eventually, all hypertrophic scars will decrease in size with time.  The problem with steroid injections is that the scar may widen and become depressed leading to an unattractive scar.  

Shahin Javaheri, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
3.5 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

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.