Lipo Hyperpigmentation and Tanning?

I had lipo done 4 months ago. The incision sites are still very red. I am going on vacation and will be in the sun however I always wear sunblock. Will this hyperpigmentation get worse in the sun even with the sunblock? Will it prolong the fading time? Is it too early to laser these red marks off (ex.IPL)?

Doctor Answers 9

Hyperpigmentation and Tanning

This can occur for up to a year. Use a strong (rated 30 or higher) waterproof sunblock, and re apply regularly. Enjoy your trip.

All the best. 

Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Sun and scars

Sn exposure will cause red or pink scars to become brownish in color.  Thus, as long as scars are pink or red, you should avoid sun exposure to the scars and use sun protection.  Sun screens need to be applied every hour or so you are in the sun or each time you get out of the water.  A complete sun block like zinc oxide, like the life guards use, is probably best if you are going to be in the sun for extended periods of time.

Todd C. Case, MD
Tucson Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Scar Hyperpigmentation and Sun Exposure after Liposuction

    Scar hyperpigmentation is always a concern within at least the first year following surgery.  Sunblock can be helpful in preventing this.  Avoidance of exposure is best but can be impractical.  Lasers at 4 months may be early but should be evaluated on an individual basis.  Liposuction  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 496 reviews

Sun and Scars

It is important to use sunscreen on scars for at least 6 months to a year after surgery.  They can hyperpigment from sun exposure.  Be sure to use a physical block sunscreen and put it on all scars- even those that will be covered by clothing as the sun's rays can penetrate some fabrics.  

Mennen T. Gallas, MD
Katy Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Scars and the Sun

Any scar that is in the sun can hyperpigment (turn brown) until its color fades.  Sunblock by itself will not prevent this unless it is an "opaque" or total cover sunblock (think zinc oxide on the lifeguards nose).  Zinkus makes a flesh tone sunblock like this that could be helpful. You can order it on the internet. Completely covering them can also help (example would be a strip of the sticky part of a bandaid).  Remember that sun can pass through bathing suits and many clothes and still pigment your scars..

   IPL or Lasergenesis could be helpful to make your scars fade faster.

Deborah Ekstrom, MD
Worcester Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Incision healing

Yes, it is good to put sunblock over your incisions or cover them with clothing if you are going to have sun exposure while they are healing.  A good treatment for red scars is the V Beam Perfecta laser which can significantly diminish red discoloration of scars.


Good Luck.

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Incisions from liposuction and hyperpigmentation

The incisions from liposuction will take some time for the redness to go away. It is a good idea to use sunblock when expoed to the sun.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Sunlight will aggravate hyperpigmentation in an access point for liposuction.

The small puncture sites used for liposuction heal at the same rate as any incision. During the healing process the access point should be sheltered from the sun to prevent aggravation of inflammation and hyperpigmentation.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Red marks will fade

At 4 months, the red marks will still fade a lot with time.  Sunblock is critical, and you should use a zinc based product that blocks the sun rather than a chemical based one.  Over time, the marks will not be an issue for you- don't bother with lasers at this point

Adam David Lowenstein, MD, FACS
Santa Barbara Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 56 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.