Brown Spots Beside Breast Lift Scars

I had Breast Lift surgery done about 3 months ago. The scars are doing good and I can hardly see them, but I developed some brown spots on the side of my scars. Is this normal, and what can I do to get rid of these spots?

Doctor Answers 14

Brown Spots Around Scars

If the brown spots are along the vertical incision extending from the areola to the crease, they may be pigment left over from the previous position of the areola.  This is treated by cutting out the spots.

The spots may be a pigment reaction to scarring. This is treated with bleaching cream &/or laser.

Ask you surgeon to evaluate these for you and ask him to explain the treatment options.

Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Darkening of Scar after breast lift surgery

The most likely explanation of the peri-scar hyperpigmentation is a process known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. This occurs during the healing phase of a scar wherein the inflammatory healing cells stimulate pigment deposition. The process can be minimized by the judicious use of skin lightening agents postoperatively.

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Several causes are possible

Brown spots along the scars could be from the dissolving sutures or from the resolution of bruising. One other cause would be if some retained areolar skin was left behind and not removed. The first two would resolve spontaneously but could be enhanced with hydroquinone creams or IPL laser treatments. The extra areolar skin would need to be removed.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Show your surgeon.


We need to know what these pigmented areas might represent before we can figure what to do about them. Have your surgeon take a look.


Best Regards,


John Di Saia MD

John P. Di Saia, MD
Orange Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Brown spots on breast lift scars

It is impossible without an examination to say with certainty what the cause of this is, however, sometimes some of the brown skin of the areola gets transferred to the underneath side of the breast and can show up along the vertical scar under the areola.  If this occurs, it is very simple to correct at a later time simply by excising a little bit more skin along the vertical scar.  This can usually be done under local anesthesia with minimal pain or downtime.

Ronald J. Edelson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Brown Spots by Scars

Without a picture and without examining you, it is really difficult to give you an idea of what is going on.  My best advice would be to follow up with your surgeon for an evaluation.  In some cases, scar can have pigmentation issue but there are creams that are very effective at helping this.  Good luck.

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Brown spots adjacent to breast lift scars

There are a number of possible causes for the brown spots around the scars on your breast, though most likely they represent post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. This condition tends to develop several weeks to months after surgery, and may be treated with topical bleaching cream if it does not resolve on its own.

Olivia Hutchinson, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Hyperpigmentation after any operation, including breast lift, is a potential side effect.

Hyperpigmentation is the response of melanocytes to trauma.  Surgical incisions are traumatic and hyperpigmentation can be a response to this.  Most of the time it will fade as the inflammation subsides over months.  Bleaching creams can help but they should be used judiciously.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Skin changes after a breast lift surgery


The way your skin reacts after a breast lift surgery depends largely on the technique used for the procedure. If the procedure employed techniques that required a great deal of tension on the skin to retain the breast shape, you may expect wide scars and skin color changes. For this reason, in our practice, we use techniques that employ very small incisions and stress creating an internal framework within the breast mound to help keep the breast shape. Once the shape of the breast has been established with this internal suturing, we may then drape the breast skin over the breast tissue and close the incisions with minimal tension.

Pat Pazmino, MD, FACS
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 108 reviews

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation following breast lift

As the other plastic surgeons responding to your question have accurately pointed out, you probably have post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation following your breast lift (mastopexy).

Hyperpigmentation (darkening of your scar and/or the tissues adjacent to it) is due to increased melanocyte (pigment cell) activity due to inflammation from surgical healing. It occurs most commonly due to:

1. Delayed wound healing, causing a prolonged inflammatory response.

2. Repeated scratching of or picking at the incision site.

3. Darker skinned patients (who have more melanocytes in their tissues).

4. Premature sun exposure of the scars.

There is no easy solution. Bleaching creams may help, especially if used in the first few months after surgery. Avoiding picking at the scars or sun exposure to the scars may help. Occasionally scar revision may be helpful.

Ronald Friedman, MD
Plano Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 49 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.