I had a breast lift almost 2 years ago, and everything went smoothly except that I am left with vertical scars on each breast. I am Asian, and the scars are extremely obvious. They're not lumpy, but are dark and are really bothering me. Is there anything I can do to reduce them? I have started using Bio Oil to see if that will help, and I was maybe considering another operation to reduce them.
How to Reduce Very Dark Breast Lift Scars?
Doctor Answers 4
How to fade breast reduction scars
You are correct in thinking that your ethnicity may influence the quality of post surgical scars. Historical risk factors for unfavorable scars include:
1) Race (Asian, Latin, African);
2) Age. Scars are not static entities and will continue to improve throughout your entire lifetime. Younger and darker complected individuals will typically heal with an exaggerated response to wounding, that is, the scars may be deep pink, thick, rubbery and itchy or tender. The scars around your nipples are not very noticeable because they blend with the color of the areola. By contrast, the vertical scars are visible because of the color difference.
Scar management is a multi-million dollar business, including the use of silicone gel sheeting, creams and lotions (Mederma, Scar-Fade, BioOil, etc.). I generally recommend BioOil because it is readily available, affordable and well tolerated by patients. I also advise my patients that "scar remodeling", that is your body will breakdown and resynthesize the scar with the net result that the scar eventually becomes flatter, whiter and less symptomatic. However there isn't a set interval for all comers. On average, a younger, more olive skinned patient will take longer for this improvement to occur, compared to an older, fair skinned patient. I wouldn't recommend either surgical scar revision or laser therapy because the former option would start the healing process over again. Scientists and physicians are not unanimous on which laser is optimal for scar treatment.
You might ask your doc what (s)/he thinks of Tri-Luma, which is a combination of tretinoin (Retin-A), hydroquinone (bleaching cream), and a very dilute concentration of steroid. I occasionally recommend this cream for darker complected patients for the gradual fading of red discoloration around surgical scars. Be patient and good luck.
Breast scar management
1) Scar massage - starting as soon as the surgical dressings come off and the incisions are sealed
2) Silicone sheets or scar gels for about six months to year
3) Embrace - a tension reducing dressing for the first 2 months
4) Fractionated lasers to help blend the scar into the background - done as a series, starting about 4 weeks after surgery and repeated every four weeks for six months.
5) Sunscreen to prevent the scars from darkening
I recommend scarguard to my patients. It takes time to work. It can be purchased online at scargaurd.com or at major drug stores. The cost is about $30.
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Treatment of dark breast lift scars with Melarase AM and Melarase PM
With your skin color and potential to hyperpigment, I would recommend the Melarase AM and Melarase PM line of products to even out dark scars and the color of your incisions. Scar creams sold in drug stores will not do much to lighten these post-inflammatory scars on the breast.
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.