I had a breast reduction 10 yrs. The Dr said that my areolas were lg @ I was left with the result on the pic.

What can I do to fix the dark spot of my aveola's going down the middle of my breast? Would tattooing be ok to do? I would appreciate any feed back.

Doctor Answers 10

Retained areolar tissue.

This is a problem we face sometimes when the areola is simply too large to removed in one operation. However, after you have healed and the skin has stretched and softened, a revision can be done without problem and minimal down time. See the link below for an example of this phenomenon.

Cincinnati Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Breast Reduction Vertical Scar Revision

The dark vertical line is most likely part of your formerly large areola that weren't completely removed at the time of your original surgery.  I am not sure if tattooing would provide you with a good color match with the adjacent breast skin.  You would need to ask a tattoo artist.  Excising (cutting out) this dark skin and re aligning and closing that vertical line is probably a better option.  

However, your surgeon will most probably need to extend the surgical incisions to around part of your prior nipple/areola scars and along part of your breast crease in order to re shape your breasts and re position your nipples and shortened the vertical length by removing some of the skin along the breast creases.  I say this because excising these wide vertical scars will make them longer, causing your nipples to point further upward.

Do consult with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who does breast revisions.

Wishing You the Best!

Cecilia Franco-Webb, MD

Cecilia Franco-Webb, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 20 reviews


Probably the best way to address this area is by re-excision, revision of the breast reduction.  The scars are wide and pigmented.  The only way to get rid of them is to cut them out.

Gary Lawton, MD, FACS
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 136 reviews

Areola in scars?

If you had very large areola and they could not completely be removed during the reduction,. they often end up adjacent to the vertical closure. At ten years out, my guess is a scar revision may be reasonable to remove them. Best to be seen in person.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Dark pigmentation along vertical scar is related to original position of the areola before breast reduction


The dark line flanking the vertical part of your scar is pigment that is in the skin that used to be adjacent to the areola when it was lower on your breast. Usually this skin is normal color before surgery so the pigment potential cannot be readily detected, but this is the area where the pigment darkened making the areola diameter look larger if you have had a pregnancy, or more, in the past.  The inflammation that is normal with healing simulates the pigment-producing melanocyte cells to produce and deposit pigment after the surgery, resulting in what is termed post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. It can be easily addressed by re-excising the scars more widely and reclosing the wounds. This can be done under local anesthesia in many situations.  Tattooing is not going to help this.  I hope that this helps. 

Best wishes,

Tom DeWire, MD, FACS    

Richmond, VA   

Thomas M. DeWire Sr., MD (retired)
Richmond Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Scar revision after breast surgery

You certainly have prominent widened scars. Tattooing won't be an option here as its impossible to make the dark skin lighter. My recommendation would be to undergo a revision to your breast reduction where your present scars are removed and improved and also a further tightening or lifting of your breasts into a more rejuvenated position can be undertaken.  However, its difficult to tell from your photographs alone as to whether you would be an ideal candidate and an opinion from a fully board certified plastic surgeon will be required.

Robert Drielsma, MBBS, BSc, FRACS
Sydney Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Reduction redux

Tattoos not likely to work.on the other hand to surgically remove the vertical strip of hyperpigmention is a relatively easy and relatively low risk option.

Robert Savage, MD (retired)
Wellesley Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

10 years post Breast Reduction

Thanks for the photo.  The dark tissue can easily be revised.  This can be combined with a lift or tightening of the skin to leave you with a  more youthful appearance if desired.  A tattoo wouldn't work here.  Good Luck  Doctor Bev

Beverly Friedlander, MD
Short Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Dark spot

Thanks for the question and photo. Now that ten years have past, your tissues should be a lot more loose, allowing the dark skin to be removed with a scar revision. This will allow you to replace the dark tissue with the lighter skin of your breast.  I suggest you find a board certified Plastic Surgeon to help you achieve your goals. Good luck!

Jeffrey Umansky, MD
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 41 reviews


This is a common issue in women with large areolas.  What you would need is a scar revision to take the darkness out. I would not do tattooing because it is usually impossible to make skin lighter with a tattoo. 

Tushar R. Patel, MD, FACS
Red Bank Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 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.