5 months post Breast Lift, areola's are turning dark and shedding skin, what could be happening? (photos)

I had a breast lift about 5 months ago. I don't think my PS did a great job on my breast lift, but I'm trying to remain positive. The last 2 days my areolas have turned dark & are scaly & are starting to shed what appears to be the dead skin. They did this once before, it scared me, but I didn't panic. Now, I'm starting to worry that maybe I have necrosis. My nipples have sensation, but I don't understand why my areolas are turning black and shedding. Can someone please give me some advice?

Doctor Answers 4

Breast lift - why have my areolae darkened 5 months later?

Thank you for asking about your breast lift.

  • I am sorry you are disappointed with your breast lift -
  • In the photo, things look very nice.
  • The scars are still a little thick and red - these should improve on their own or you can try silicone tape, sold over the counter in pharmacies.
  • Darkening can occur after surgery but usually is seen within weeks. 
  • But everyone heals differently - your natural healing may involve thickening and shedding of areolar skin periodically during the healing period, which can last as long as 18 months.
  • Other explanations would be hormonal effects, e.g. from your birth control pill if you take one, from your monthly periods or from pregnancy. 
  • Your photo is reassuring in that you definitely do not have tissue necrosis. 
  • But given your concerns, it is reasonable to go back to your surgeon for an exam in another few weeks.

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

5 months post Breast Lift, areola's are turning dark and shedding skin, what could be happening?

Hello dear, thanks for your question and provided information as well.. I'm very sorry to hear that you're not happy with your surgery results, besides that they seems to look ok, I totally understand the areola issue, it is true that they have a red tone and pigmentation, will be better for you to get to your surgeon, I don't think it's necrosis, but oxygen treatments helps a lot during healing process and to prevent any necrosis too.

Tania Medina de Garcia, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 357 reviews

Post-Op Healing Period

Healing will go on for 2-3 months for the early period. There may be some swelling, bruising, malposition, color differences. Sensation will be abnormal. Scars will be changing.

If my patients have concerns that something is unusual about their healing process, it is important for them to call the office and discuss these concerns or come in to be examined. Now, since it has been more than three months since your procedure it would be a good idea to take your concerns to your surgeon to make sure that healing is going well or if something needs to be done for revision.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 96 reviews

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Post op breast lift

Hi and thanks for the question and photo. Your nipples appear to be healthy and at 5 months post op you are not at risk for necrosis. I suggest having a post op exam with your ps to explain the changes that you are having. Best of Luck - Dr Hardy...

James E. Hardy, MD
Jacksonville Plastic Surgeon
4.6 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.