Does your skin color matter when considering liposuction?

Doctor Answers 11

Does your skin color matter when considering liposuction?

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Hi. IMHO the answer is no. That being said, women of color need to be informed about hyperpigmentation whenever any surgical procedure is performed. Good luck, Dr. PG

Skin color and liposuction

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Liposuction can be performed successfully on people with any akin color. However, the incisions will probably heal with a darker brown color if you are darker-complexioned. The darkening may lighten by treatment with a prescription-strength lightening cream. Sun protection is  recommended after liposuction to prevent darkening of the skin over the treated areas, especially in darker skin types, after its manipulation during the procedure. 

Renuka Diwan, MD
Cleveland Dermatologic Surgeon

Liposuction and Hyperpigmentation

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Hi marsha28,
Thank you for your question.

Skin color does not matter when considering liposuction, but if your skin scars easily (hyperpigments) you will want to consider the liposuction technique used.

For patients with hyperpigmented skin, the incision or access site where the liposuction cannula enters the skin to remove the fat will leave a visible scar. Larger cannulas will need larger access sites. Skin types that scar easily will want smaller incisions with the use of a microcannula and less access sites.

Jeffrey A. Klein, MD
San Juan Capistrano Dermatologic Surgeon

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Does skin color matter when considering liposuction?

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Generally speaking, the skin color of the patient is not a significant factor in considering liposuction. At the same time, patients with darker skin know that they heal with slightly darker scars after injury or a procedure so the small entry points (through which the fat is removed) will likely heal with slightly darker color.
I hope that helps and best regards, Dr. Sapijaszko.

Mariusz Sapijaszko, MD, FRCPC
Edmonton Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Liposuction and Skin Color

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As far as the procedure goes, no, skin color will not have an impact. Scarring may vary based on skin color and procedure, but can be improved with lasers and microneedling. I suggest consulting with a board certified cosmetic dermatologist for further evaluation. Best, Dr. Emer

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 207 reviews

Skin color and liposuction

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Skin color should not impact your ability to have liposuction. But, darker skinned patients tend to have darker healing scars.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Liposuction - does skin color matter?

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Thank you for your question about your liposuction.

  • Yes, skin color matters because liposuction can affect skin color
  • (Other than skin color, liposuction is the same for everyone.)
  • Some people with color in their skins gets hyperpigmentation (darkening) of the entire area of liposuction.
  • If your skin tends to darken with minor trauma, ask your surgeon to give you a prescription for 4% hydroquinone to use 2 x a day starting at least 2 weeks before surgery on all the surgical areas.
  • Hyperpigmentation is much easier to prevent than to treat after surgery.

Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.
Best wishes. Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

Skin colour for liposuction

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Skin colour doesn't matter when having Liposuction, the only issue may be scarring on the incision sites. Your surgeon can advise how you can expect these to look post operatively and how they will heal.

Any skin color ok for liposuction

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It is ok to have liposuction regardless of your skin color.  The effects of liposuction happen below the skin, so unlike lasers, the color of your skin does not matter.  The only concerns would be that if you have darker skin, you could heal with some temporary discoloration around the entry sites.  Similar to the discoloration that may appear after a bug bite.  It would fade, though.  Also, if you are prone to keloids, the openings could potentially heal with a keloid.

Lawrence Osman, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon

Possible Problem at Incision Sites

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This is an interesting question. In terms of the liposuction procedure itself, a patient's skin color has no bearing on the safety or outcome. Liposuction is used to remove fat from specifically targeted areas, and that is true for all patients. However, hyperpigmentation at the incision locations can be an issue for some individuals with darker skin. The incisions for liposuction are rather small, but it is still something that you would want to discuss with your plastic surgeon during your consultation. Good luck!

Arthur M. Cambeiro, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 210 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.