When Do Mastectomy Scars Thin and Turn White?

My mastectomy scars are 2.5 years old and they are still thick and red, but not hypertrophic. Why do some womens scars turn thin and white quickly? Is there something I can do?

Doctor Answers 9

Mastectomy scar after 2.5 years

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At this point, it probably will continue to improve over the next few years... but very, very slowly and there may not be much improvement to be had. I would talk to someone with lots of experience with many different scars and especially with different people and their skin types. Lasers, micro needling, topical treatments and even surgical revision are all options and have different rates of effectiveness, risks and benefits. Darker skin types have different response rates to lighter skin types. And some treatments if used on the wrong person can make scars WORSE. Dermatologists or plastic surgeons in your area are likely to have the equipment needed to provide you options. And if they only do one thing for scars? try someone else...

Beverly Hills General Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

When Do Mastectomy Scars Thin and Turn White?

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     After 2.5 years, there are a variety to methods available to improve the look of scars.  You may want to consider a scar revision with subsequent treatment with concurrent and subsequent intralesional steroids or radiation therapy.  Seek out a scar expert who can help you address your needs.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

When Do Mastectomy Scars Thin and Turn White?

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In most patients,scars are fully mature by one year. I would not expect any further changes in your scars after 2.5 years. Thick and red sounds like a definition of hypertrophic to me. 

If you haven't tried over the counter remedies, consider them--mederma, kelocote, scarfade, and others. If they have failed, try a visit to your breast surgeon, or to a plastic surgeon. 

All the best. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Breast Scars

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Thank you for the question. Everyone heals differently and genetics play a role in wound healing as well as the final scar appearance. If you are unhappy with your scar your should consult with a board certified plastic surgeon to improve it.

Post op breast lift scar maturation

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Your scars should be pretty mature by 12 to 18 months...at 30 months, they are probably as good as they are going to get without intervention.  I would recommend new gel scar treatment.  

Scars after 2 years

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Some scars stay red on some patients more so than others. I think genetics play a factor among other things.

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

Scar revision

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Hi! Thank you for your question.

I am Dr. Speron, a proud member of both the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) and the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS).  I am also certified with the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

If there is still redness in the scars at for more than 2-3 months, it is likely that there is an increased blood flow in your healing scars. As time goes on, the redness should fade to a white scar usually within a year or sometimes a bit longer. I would maybe recommend laser treatments if they are still red at this point.

However, I recommend that you go see your board certified plastic surgeon for a follow up and discuss this as well as a possible scar revision.

I have provided a direct link below for additional information
If you have any further questions, please feel free to call us at 847.696.9900.
Best of luck and have a great day!

Dr. Speron

Sam Speron, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon

Scarring after Breast Surgery

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Although two and a half years seems like an eternity in wound healing, sometimes incisions just take longer to heal.   Scars can respond to topical silicone products even years out.  Sometimes lasers can improve the redness, especially if no hypertrophy is present.  Healing, sometimes, is predetermined but there are some options available. If your surgeon has no suggestions here, I recommend consulting someone knowledgeable in this area.

Ronald A. Lohner, MD
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 21 reviews


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At 2.5 years old, your scars are not likely to change or improve on their own. The appearance of scars is dependent on many factors. Some you cannot change such as your genetic makeup, and some you can. If the scars you have from your mastectomy are objectionable, it may be possible to do something to revise them so that they look better.

I suggest that you talk to a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon to find out what might be possible to make your scars look better.

Eugene J. Sidoti, Jr., MD
Scarsdale Plastic Surgeon

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.