Returning Natural Color of Skin from Breast Reduction?

I had a breast reduction over 1 year ago I used the moisterized as instructed by mt doctor for 4 months. I did go back to smoking and about 20% of my skin has not come back to it's nature color. What can I do? the area in off white in color .I've been applying coco butter.

Doctor Answers 7

Breast Reduction Scars?

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Thank you for the question.

Congratulations on having undergone the breast reduction procedure;  hopefully you are as pleased as most with the functional and aesthetic results of the procedure.

For patients in your situation,  even one-year post operatively,  I  would suggest giving the scars additional time before contemplating any type of intervention.

Continue to follow-up with your plastic surgeon.

Best wishes.

Loss of skin pigmentation in smoker following breast reduction

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It may take well over 1 year and easily up to 2 years for you pigmentation to stabilize. In the meantime, I woould avoid any interventions unitl you can assess the final results.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Scars from breast reduction

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Scars can take a year or sometimes longer to settle down. That means firmness as well as color changes. If you are complaining that the scar is lighter than your surrounding skin, you may want to consider permanent tattooing. If it is darker, you need to give it some more time.

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

Natural color after breast reduction

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Hershey, sorry to hear of your problems. Breast reduction in an active smoker is fraught with wound healing problems. Some of the skin may not heal well, require dressing changes and result in scars which are widened, thicker and unattractive. In order to get a great result, both the doctor and patient should work together, before, during and after surgery and this includes stopping cigarette smoking a month before and after surgery. What you describes sounds like a scar, which is "hypopigmented" or lighter than the color of your surrounding skin. Regrettably, scars generally do not ever regain the exact color of your skin.

How to fix the color discrepancy? There are nonsurgical and surgical methods. A surgical scar revision would involve cutting out the old scar and stitching it back carefully, however it is possible that you'll have the same or worse results. Additionally you run the risk of infection and cost. Nonsurgical techniques include wearing camouflage make-up or micropigmentation (tattoos). You should be aware that medical tatooing of scars may require several sessions as the scar doesn't take the pigment as easily as normal tissue. Good luck.

Lavinia K. Chong, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Smoking really hurts breast reduction results

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Cigarette smoking over the long term reduces the blood supply to many tissues, including the skin. Operations that push the healing capacity of tissue like breast reduction and tummy tuck have less wonderful results in smokers.

It is likely that your tissue was negatively affected and will stay in its changed condition. You can of course see your surgeon to see if he or she has any suggestions as to how the condition might be mitigated.

John P. Di Saia, MD
Orange Plastic Surgeon

Color will likely never return

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Hi there-

It looks like you really experienced significant skin ischemia (when the skin doesn't get enough blood flow) and healing problems. Sounds like this was most likely due to smoking, which damages the small vessels throughout the body and leads to diminished blood flow in the skin- a recipe for disaster with any plastic surgery procedure.

Unfortunately, in African American skin, once the color has been lost it is not possible to get it back.

I would ask your surgeon to recommend a good medical tattoo professional- often the color can be closely approximated to camouflage the loss of color.

Skin color change after a breast reduction

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Skin color change after a breast reduction

After breast reduction surgery it is common to have bruising and skin color changes. These changes usually resolve in one to two weeks. Prolonged skin change after he breast reduction is uncommon. Visit with your plastic surgeon and describe your concerns. Your surgeon will be able to evaluate the skin change and determine if it is from the breakdown of the iron component of your blood and this is a transitional change.

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.