Dark Belly Button? 7 Months Post-op

Good Evening Doctors and Happy Holidays!!! I hope you are all doing great! I am 7 months post op and I had a Full TT with MR. I am very satisfied with how my tummy looks, but I'm very dissapointed about my BB. It is very dark and I feel a bit embarrased about it when I show off my tummy, say at the beach for example. I've included some pictures and was wondering if I could get your advice on what the best solution for this problem if any. Thank you in advance!:) Don't mind the scar... (necrosis)

Doctor Answers 7

Dark Belly Button After Tummy Tuck

Having a tummy tuck can make a terrific difference in your appearance. But when your belly button doesn't look good and give you confidence to show off your new tummy you can't really fully enjoy your results. The dark color is called "post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation". What that means is that your body reacted to having surgery and got enflamed around the scar line. That inflammation caused your skin to make more pigmentation (melanin) which ultimately made the whole area look darker. Also, you might have had some darker skin color inside your belly button before surgery that now can be seen since everything was reorganized by surgery. 

From the look of your result I think it may be possible to revise your belly button and tuck the scar deeper inside so while the dark skin color may not completely go away, it might be much less visible. And the scar line would also be less visible. It's difficult to say if that is a good option without examining you, but it appears to be a good option from your photos. Of course, you can always start with a fading cream (hydroquinone) and see what improvement you get from that.

I hope this info helps!

Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Dark Belly Button after Tummy Tuck

It appears you have Postinflammatory hyperpigmentation around the belly button stalk. In certain individuals (Mediterenean, Asian, American Indian etc) the body reacts with darker pigmentation as a response to an injury. This may respond well to bleaching creams. If your Plastic surgeon cannot help you, you may wish to consult a good cosmetic dermatologist. They are used to treating this entity with either bleaching creams or IPL (BBL) light devices.

Good Luck.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

Hyperpigmentation of the belly button.

Hyperpigmentation will usually fade to a degree over time. Other options are bleaching creams, but should be used with some caution so as not to overly lighten the area.

David Bogue, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Dark belly button

This may be due to increased skin pigment which may be treated with bleachibg creams or a chemical peel which soemtimes can lighten the skin.Also it may be due to the fact that the belly button appears to be deep and making it more shalow may help.l

Robert Brueck, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

Hyperpigmentation of Umbilicus after Tummy Tuck?

Thank you for the question and pictures.

Your concerns are understandable;  the appearance of the umbilicus is very important after tummy tuck surgery. Unfortunately, it can be a telltale sign of a person having had the procedure.

I think much of your hyperpigmentation will improve with time;  in the meantime use of bleaching creams may be helpful. I would not suggest any further surgery at this time.

Best Wishes and Happy Holidays!

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,499 reviews

Dark belly button scars after a tummy tuck

Dark scars can be an issue in individuals with darker skin. While most scars will lighten with time this may take up to 12 months in some patients. At my practice near Austin, Texas I occasionally use skin bleaching creams such as hydroquinone to lighten stubborn scars and dark skin spots. Lasers can sometimes help as well. I would ask your plastic surgeon if they think a prescription for hydroquinone cream might help to lighten your belly button scar. Thanks, Dr. Kerr

Mahlon Kerr, MD, FACS
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 217 reviews

Pigmented scars after tummy tuck

Depending on skin type, some individuals will develop brown discolored scars and surrounding skin after tummy tuck. The hyperpigmentation can be location specific, and the more central scar and the belly button are commonly afftected. Though the scars and skin do lighten over time, in the short run, sun will make the pigmentation worse. Skin bleaching cream with hydroquinone, over the counter or by prescription can also help.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 43 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.