Scars are Permanent
There is no way to remove scars (other than replacing them with other scars).
There are several treatments with scientific evidence that make small improvements in normal healing scars.
1. Scar massage
2. Silicone sheeting
3. Topicals like Mederma
Timing of the use of these treatments is important and using something like Mederma too early can cause wound healing problems.
Remember, it won't remove the scar but it will make them less noticeable.
For atypical scars (keloids and hyertrophic scars there are additional treatments like steroid injections which carry separate risks but may be of some benefit).
I hope this helps.
Steven Williams, MD
Top 4 tips to reduce areolar scars after breast implants
Scars will always fade with time. There are several steps after surgery to speed up the rate of improvement. Here are a list of 5 top tips for scar improvement:
- Massage scars until they soften
- Apply silicone sheets (available in pharmacies)
- Avoid direct sun exposure and use sunscreen
- Apply lightening creams
If all else fails, talk to your plastic surgeon about revising the scar. That is a relatively simple and quick procedure.
Scars will fade with time. Scars require 18 months to mature and get worse (at 6-9 months), before they get better (18 months).
Use scar therapy creams as recommended on the label. Scar therapy is most effective in the first 6 months after surgery.
Bleaching cream could be helpful if you are developing dark pigmentation
Avoid ANY tanning rays/ultra-violet for 6 months, after surgery
Laser treatments of scars may be a useful adjunct (ask your surgeon)
Improving your scars
Since this question was posted 6 years ago, I suspect that my answer will be of most value to someone reading this who is currently contemplating surgery. The areolar scars from a breast augmentation are extremely well hidden, and heal remarkable well, in the vast majority of patients, regardless of skin type or tendency to form bad scars. I believe the planning of the incision, and a proper closure have the most impact on the final scar. A poorly placed scar at the areola will be visible, even if it heals well. A properly placed scar at the areola will be visible, if not closed properly. Existing unsightly scars can be corrected by revising the scar, and performing a meticulous closure.
If you scar is healing well, and you are looking to get the best result possible, addition of scar modification products like silicone sheets or silicone gel are the most beneficial. You should start these treatment roughly 2 weeks after surgery, and continue to use them for a minimum of two months.
How to reduce areolar scars
The best way to reduce an areolar scar is not to make one in the first place! For any scar I make, I try to set the skin up to heal with minimal tension (by what sutures I use and how I place them) and we have a very specific protocol we will all you through including silicone gel sheeting. Your surgeon likely has a protocol they prefer and you should follow it and their advice.
Improving areola scars
Surgical scars should heal well with a fine line scar if:
1) there is relatively little tension on the closure,
2) it is performed with good technique, and
3) there is no post op infection or other problems.
To improve your scars they can be revised if they have matured. When the revision is performed if there is likely to be tension on the closure a purse-string incision can be made and a permanent suture can be used to keep the tension off of the incision.
All the best,
Areola Scars from Breast Augmentation
An areola incision is not my preferred incision for a breast augmentation because they can be more perceptible and they are inconsistent for healing. If you are considering an areola incision, several things should be noted. If you have large , distinct areolas then it may be easy to perform an incision around that area, but remember that the chance of nipple sensory loss is about 15% in this area versus 5-7% from an inframammary fold incision which can be hidden in the fold. Certainly, in patients of color I do not recommend areola incisions as they do not heal, in my experience, as well as other incisions such as inframammary fold incisions.
Can't be done
Scars are permanent but do improve with time, massage, and sometimes IPL laser treatments. Occasionally, a scar revision can be done to make them look less conspicuous but scar revision is not scar removal.
Areolar Scars after a Breast Augmentation
Areolar scars after a breast augmentation are under tension which tends to make scars larger, the body will do this to overcome these forces and help heal after surgery. Silicone sheets have been clinically verified to help with these scars. Silicone containing scar gels and creams are also used. Generally, the best time to address scar hypertrophy is between one month and 6 months after surgery. In my experience, larger scars improve little after this time (except color as this will fade for a year or more). Close follow-up with your surgeon for a year post op is often practiced to address these issues as they occur.
I generally prescribe scar therapy after surgery to minimize scarring. Usually, this involves massage and a topical product. You should also be vigilant about sun protection.