Brown Pigment Around Tummy Tuck Scar 4 Weeks Post Op, Will It Go Away? (photo)

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?

Doctor Answers 6

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.

Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 79 reviews

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.

Best wishes.

Adam Tattelbaum, MD
Washington DC Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 104 reviews

Scar after tummy tuck

Hyperpigmentation can make scarring more visible, and is worsened by sun exposure. You should avoid exposing your scar to the sun, particularly for the full year after your surgery. You can try silicone gel or silicone sheeting, which can help reduce the appearance of scars. Please ask your surgeon for their advice as well.

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 176 reviews

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.

York Jay Yates, MD
Salt Lake City Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 175 reviews

Scar pigmentation

Your scar is going through the inflammatory phase of healing. It should go on to fade and you should monitor it for changes and report any redness or thickening in the scar to your plastic surgeon, who may precribe a course of silicone sheeting.

Robert L. Kraft, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

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,

Dr. Skourtis 

Mia E. Skourtis, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

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.