I Have Developed Brown Pigmentation Around my Aerola - Years Following my Breast Augmentation?

I had a breast lift (with implants) in 2006. During my pregnancy my husband and I noticed that I had developed brown pigmentation around my areola. If I had discolouration before, it must not have been as dark until I became pregnant. I looked up some information online & read that sometimes womens scars, or aerolas can hyper pigment during pregnancy & that this would eventually go away. My daughter is now 3 years old & the pigment is still there. Who should I see - a dermatologist or a surgeon ?

Doctor Answers 2

Brown Pigmentation Around Areolas Is Normal After Pregnancy

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}


It is normal to have brown pigmentation around your areolas during and after your pregnancy.

As every patient is different, some could have the pigmentation lightens while others don't.

Nonetheless, visiting a dermatologist could be a good idea as I am not able to confirm the nature of the brown pigmentation you have described without photos and physical examination.

Thank you for your inquiry and the best of luck to you.

Dr. Sajjadian

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 205 reviews

Areola hyperpigmentation following pregnancy is both common and normal.

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Everything you have stated in your question is accurate except the part about "eventually goes away." While dark areolas CAN lighten over time in some patients, they can frequently stay brown. Unfortunately, this is "normal," and except for you preferring your previous lighter areola color, there is nothing to do about this.

Consultation with both dermatologists and plastic surgeons will in most cases deliver the same response. If you are persistent, you may get someone to "try" a depigmenting phenol peel or Q-switched YAG laser lightening procedure. Both may yield some degree of improvement, but also have a risk of scarring or irregular pigmentation, which would be much more disfiguring and bothersome than your present dark areolas.

I'm sorry to be the bearer of "bad" news, but dark(er) areolas after pregnancy are usually normal and most consultants would correctly recommend that nothing be done to try to lighten them. Best wishes!

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 263 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.