Cosmetic Surgery Tips

Bad Breast Lift Scars

Breast lift scars can be the bane of your existence. It’s not uncommon for them to be raised, red, or even painful. The good news is that there are a number of things you can do to help reduce the appearance of these scars.

There are two types of breast lift scars: vertical and horizontal. Vertical scars are usually made with a scalpel and they run along the top of the breastbone. Horizontal scars are made with a knife and run horizontally across the chest region. Both types can be treated in different ways, and it’s important to understand what type of scar you have before you start trying out treatments!

The best way to avoid any kind of scarring after a breast lift is by having an experienced surgeon who has done many lifts before so that he or she knows exactly where to make incisions for optimal results. It’s also important that your surgeon uses stitches instead of dissolvable sutures because dissolvable sutures tend to break down faster than regular ones and may lead to more visible scars over time.

A breast lift is a common procedure to correct sagging breasts. The procedure can be done alone or with other procedures, like a breast augmentation. In either case, the main goal of this surgery is to improve your self-confidence and comfort by lifting the breasts to a more youthful position.

As with any surgical procedure, there are risks involved. One of the most common complications from a breast lift is the development of scars. These scars can be unsightly and painful, but there are ways you can reduce their appearance and impact on your daily life.

In this article, we will discuss breast lift scars treatment and how to get rid of scars around nipples.

Bad Breast Lift Scars

You should wait at least a year after your breast augmentation or breast lift for the scar to mature. During this time you will notice the scar lighten, fade, and smooth out. If your scar is lumpy, bumpy or raised, you may have a hypertrophic scar or keloid scar.

Can bad scars from breast lift and breast augmentation be revised or corrected?

breast augmentation

There are scar revision procedures that can lessen the appearance of scars. You should wait at least a year after your breast augmentation or breast lift for the scar to mature. During this time you will notice the scar lighten, fade, and smooth out.

If your scar is lumpy, bumpy or raised, you may have a hypertrophic scar or keloid scar. Different medications can be injected directly into the scar to help soften and flatten it out. Silicone tape/creams are also known to help flatten and improve the overall appearance, along with Vitamin E.

If it’s really dark and red, realize it will fade over time. There are creams such as hydroquinone, kojic acid, and others, which can aid in that process. Products that contain tretinoic acid are also helpful to increase skin turn over and get newer skin to the forefront.

Know that all of these products have a time and place. Talk to your doctor before using them, because if used too early in the healing process or for too long of a time, complications can arise. Finally, if scars have widened over time, the option always remains to have them surgically revised in our office.

Scars from Breast Lift

Breast Lift Scars: What to Expect

  • Different techniques, different scars
  • Scar appearance
  • Scarring over time
  • Aftercare and scar reduction
  • Scar removal
  • Takeaway

Are scars avoidable?

As with any surgery, a breast lift involves incisions in the skin. Incisions put you at risk for scarring — your skin’s way of building new tissues and healing the wound.

However, there are ways to minimize scarring before, during, and after a breast lift.

Your first step is to find an experienced and certified plastic surgeon. Portfolio shopping can help you see the work a surgeon is capable of, as well as identify the results you’re going for.

Working with an experienced surgeon can ultimately reduce your risk of complications known to cause scarring. They can also teach you how to protect and treat your skin postsurgery.

Keep reading to learn more about the different techniques available, the scars they might leave, and how to minimize their appearance.

Different techniques leave different scars

When it comes to scarring, not all breast lifts are the same. Your surgeon can recommend a specific lift according to what you want addressed, including sagging, size, and shape.

As a rule of thumb, the less you’re trying to correct, the fewer incisions and subsequent scars you’ll have. You can gain a better idea of what a surgery looks like by going through your surgeon’s portfolio of work.

Scarless lift

A scarless lift is the least invasive lift available. Instead of making incisions into your skin, your surgeon will use a system of electrical currents or ultrasound to heat up the fat cells and skin of your breasts. This causes the tissue to tighten and firm, creating the desired lift.

Although it’s technically scar-free, this procedure only works for women who have minimal sagging.

Crescent lift

The crescent lift also results in minimal scarring. One small incision is made with this surgery. It runs halfway across the top edge of the areola.

It works best for women who have minimal sagging and don’t have excessive breast tissue leftover from a recent pregnancy or weight loss.

However, the procedure is typically reserved for women who are also getting a breast augmentation. The lift will help boost sagginess, while augmentation directly increases the size of your breasts. It also fills out the often deflated skin that occurs with aging and weight loss and after pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Donut lift

If you have more moderate sagging, your doctor might recommend a donut lift. Like a crescent lift, there’s only one incision made, so the scar is somewhat minimized.

The incision is made in a circle around the areola.

Donut lifts are often done in conjunction with a breast augmentation. They’re also beneficial for women who are looking to reduce the size of the areola. Because of this, the procedure is also called a periareolar lift.

Lollipop lift

A lollipop (vertical) lift is designed for women who want some reshaping done while also correcting any sag. It’s one of the most common types of lifts.

During the procedure, your surgeon will make two incisions in each breast to help remove extra skin and reshape them. The first incision is made from the bottom of the areola to the crease below the breast. The second incision is done around the areola. This is where the “lollipop” shape comes from.

Anchor lift

If you have significant sagging, your surgeon may recommend an anchor lift. This type of lift involves the greatest degree of scars, but also yields the most significant sagging and reshaping transformation.

During surgery, your doctor will make one horizontal incision along the breast crease. One incision is in between the crease and the areola. The other is around the areola edge. Because this surgery is more extensive, it may result in more significant scarring.

Horizontal mastopexy

A horizontal mastopexy involves horizontal incisions only. In theory, this helps minimize visible scarring along the areola and breast line. Once the incision is made, your surgeon will pull excess tissue from the bottom up through the breast and out through the incision.

This procedure works well for extensive sagging. It also works well for women who want to move their nipples upward.

What will the scarring look like?

Incisions made during cosmetic surgery are usually thin. Shortly after the wounds heal, you may be left with a red, raised line along the edges of the incision. Over time, the scar color should fade to pink and then to white. They should also flatten out in texture. This scar lightening will take several months up to a year after surgery.

Scarring tends to be most visible in people with extremely dark or light skin. The scars may also become more noticeable if they’re subject to direct sun exposure. Be sure to wear sunscreen every day.

Breast lifts that involve incisions around the areola are perhaps the easiest to conceal. You won’t see these scars even if you’re wearing a bikini top. Most breast lift scars are easily concealed with low-cut tops, too.

As a rule of thumb, horizontal scars made along the breast crease are usually less noticeable than incisions made vertically along the breasts.

Will the scars change over time?

As the healing process continues, your scars will inevitably change over time. With proper care, they should continue to fade and flatten.

It’s also important to avoid behaviors that can make breast lift scars worse. Avoid the following:

  • Excessive exfoliation or scrubbing. This is especially the case as the wound is healing.
  • Heavy lifting. Avoid heavy lifting in the first six weeks postsurgery.
  • Scratching the incisions.
  • Smoking. The Mayo Clinic recommends quitting smoking at least one month before surgery to reduce complications.
  • Tanning. This will darken scar tissue and make your scars more noticeable.

How to care for your scars and minimize their appearance

One of the best ways to prevent breast lift scars is to help minimize excessive scar tissue from forming. But before you try any home or over-the-counter (OTC) remedies, talk to your surgeon. They can advise you on best practices and further guide your care.

Scar massage

A scar massage is exactly what the name implies. With a scar massage, you gently massage the scars in circular motions, both horizontally and vertically. This is said to help decrease inflammation and pain, while also increasing collagen fibers to flatten out the scars.

According to recommendations set forth by the Moffitt Cancer Center, you can start massaging your scars two weeks after your surgery. You can repeat the massage a couple of times per day, generally for 10 minutes at a time. Once the scar flattens and fades, you likely won’t need to massage it any longer.

Silicone sheets or scar gels

For an OTC remedy, you might consider silicone sheets or scar gels.

Silicone sheets are silicone-containing bandages that help hydrate recent incisions. In theory, this helps prevent overdrying and excessive scar tissue. These bandages may be used to reduce itchiness and pain right after surgery. You can continue use until the incisions heal.

Scar gels, on the other hand, are silicone-based OTC products that don’t have bandages with them. You use these after the incisions heal, and for several weeks afterward. The main purpose is to reduce the size and coloring of the scars.

Embrace dressings

Like silicone sheets, embrace dressings are silicone-containing bandages. These are applied right after your surgeon closes the incisions. The embrace dressing will help pull the edges of the incision together to minimize scar tissue buildup. They’re worn every day for up to 12 months.

Fractionated lasers

Once your incision has completely healed, you may consider professional treatments for any scarring that’s occurred. Laser therapy can reach the top (epidermis) and inner (dermis) layers of your skin to reduce pigmentation variations.

However, you’ll need more than one treatment to achieve your desired results. For optimal results, your scar may be treated once every other month over the course of a year or longer.


Even if your incisions aren’t directly exposed, the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can still seep through your shirt or bikini top. Wearing sunscreen can help prevent scars from darkening in the sun.

You can start wearing sunscreen as soon as the incisions are completely healed. Until then, limit sun exposure.

For best results, wear sunscreen every day and reapply as needed. Wear a minimum S0000PF of 30. Be sure to opt for “broad-spectrum” sunscreen. These products can protect against the most UV rays.

Can you get the scars removed?

Home remedies can help minimize the appearance of breast lift scars, but the scars won’t completely go away. The scars may even become more visible if you discontinue your home or OTC therapies.

Your dermatologist may recommend professional scar removal treatments if your breast lift scars are severe.

Some of these procedures leave new scars in place of the breast lift scars. In theory, the newly formed scars will be less severe.

This is usually done by:

  • Punch grafting. This involves taking a small part of skin from another area of your body and putting it in place of the breast lift scar.
  • Tissue expansion. Like punch grafting, this procedure utilizes other tissues to help fill in scars. It works by stretching out the skin surrounding the breast lift scar to even out the area.

Other skin care procedures can help reduce the appearance of scarring. These procedures typically don’t result in new scars, but they can make your skin more sensitive to the sun. This can lead to hyperpigmentation.

Consider talking to your dermatologist about the following options:

  • bleaching serums
  • chemical peels
  • microdermabrasion
  • dermabrasion
  • laser therapy

3 Types of Breast Lift Scars: Which Is Right for You?

A woman in Northbrook, IL, poses after getting breast augmentation.

Women considering a breast lift at my Northbrook plastic surgery practice often have questions about what they can expect in terms of scarring. Breast lifts offer dramatic rejuvenation, especially for women who have experienced pregnancy, weight loss, and other causes of stretched skin and sagging. With the help of a meticulous surgeon, scarring is minimal, but it’s important to know where breast lift scars are located and how they typically look once healed.

In this blog post, I’ll explain the different types of breast lift incisions and share tips for helping scars heal quickly and beautifully.

Where are breast lift incisions made?

I perform several different types of breast lift procedures, each involving a different incision. Options include:

  • Concentric or “donut”: This incision traces all the way around the areola and is nearly invisible when healed.
  • Circumvertical or “lollipop”: Like the concentric incision, this incision traces all the way around the areola but adds a vertical line down toward the bottom of the breast.
  • Inverted T or “anchor”: The inverted T incision traces all the way around the areola, down vertically to the bottom of the breast, and horizontally along the inframammary crease where the breast meets the chest wall.

In all cases, incisions are created and closed with careful precision to minimize scar visibility.

Which type of breast lift is right for me?

The best type of breast lift for you depends on your existing breast tissue, your skin elasticity, and the amount of lift you are looking for.

  • Concentric: This approach leaves the least noticeable scar but also creates the least amount of lift and projection.
  • Circumvertical: This provides a moderate lift in smaller-breasted women.
  • Inverted T: Ideal for significant sagging or inelastic skin, this approach provides the most dramatic lift.

Your incision type may also depend on whether you plan to add breast implants to your lift. Learn more about combining a breast lift with breast augmentation in this related blog post.

Choosing a breast lift technique is not a decision you have to make on your own, of course. I will provide personalized guidance during your consultation and recommend the approach that benefits you most while leaving the least visible scarring.

What will my breast lift scars look like?

As your incisions heal after surgery, your scars will initially appear as raised, red lines. They will eventually fade, flatten, and lighten to become even less visible. Everyone heals differently, but it’s important to know that you may have some faint remaining scarring on your breast. Whether that is worth it to achieve perkier, more lifted and youthful breasts is your decision to make.

Wearing SPF, avoiding vigorous exercise until cleared after surgery, and wearing bras that don’t irritate your skin will help your incisions heal quickly and effectively. Silicone sheets or scar gels may also be helpful. Learn more about breast lift scar healing in this related article.

To see examples of the results you can expect from a breast lift, please visit our before-and-after photo gallery.

Does A Breast Lift Leave Scars?

Women are twice as likely to get a breast lift than a breast augmentation. While a breast augmentation is meant to enlarge breasts, more women are opting for breast lifts to restore a firmer, perkier, and more aesthetically pleasing shape to sagging breasts.

One of the most worrisome aspects of breast lift surgery for most patients is the potential for noticeable scarring. As a procedure designed to improve the aesthetic look of your body, a poorly performed procedure can end up leaving noticeable marks, typically under the breast. Fortunately, advancements in technology during and after the procedure have reduced the risk greatly in terms of the creation of scarring that’s noticeable.

So, is the idea of a scar the only consideration standing between you and a breast lift?

Will My Breast Lift Leave Scars?

Despite the benefits, the risk of scarring is an issue that may keep many women who are considering a lift from undergoing the surgery. Unfortunately, the fact is that any surgery, no matter how major or minor, will cause some degree of scarring. Some more so than others, but there is no such thing as a scar-free surgery.

However, minimizing the appearance of scars on the breast will be of vital importance to your surgeon. The whole point of a breast lift procedure is to make the breast more attractive, and conspicuous or heavy scarring defeats that point. Most scars will typically heal and fade within two years, but will always be present. Your surgeon will consider it a part of their job to keep these scars discrete, not a bonus. They may also prescribe cortisone cream and use silicone sheeting to help reduce the appearance of scars after surgery.

You will be under the care of professionals.
You will be under the care of professionals.

Types of Scarring After Surgery

There exist a multitude of scarring types that the human body undergoes when healing from trauma that takes place on the skin. For those undergoing surgery, there are three types that may occur:

1. Keloid Scarring – This type of scarring would only be the result of a procedure that causes an unusual amount of damage to the skin. This type of scarring is essentially “aggressive healing,” as the body sends excessive amounts of collagen to the area in an attempt to fix the skin.For a portion of the population, keloid scarring occurs even for relatively minor procedures and wounds, leading to the area of the skin becoming red, raised and slightly waxy. If you are prone to keloid scarring, tell your plastic surgeon before undergoing the procedure.

For a portion of the population, keloid scarring occurs even for relatively minor procedures and wounds, leading to the area of the skin becoming red, raised and slightly waxy. If you are prone to keloid scarring, tell your plastic surgeon before undergoing the procedure.

2. Atrophic Scarring –  Unlike keloid scarring (which is slightly raised), atrophic scarring appears as a scar that forms a depression within the top layer of skin. This results in a reddened area of the skin that’s depressed, sometimes mistaken for hyperpigmentation.

3. Hypertrophic Scarring – Similar to keloid scarring, hypertrophic scarring appears as a section of the skin that’s elevated and slightly discoloured. Unlike keloid scarring, hypertrophic scars do not extend past the area of concern, making them less noticeable than keloid.

Impact of Breast Lift Surgery

Many women weigh the benefits against the risks of breast lift procedures, and decide to opt for the surgery anyway.

Among the benefits are an improved appearance, a reduction in the size of stretched areolae and more youthful, feminine proportions, which has the added benefit of helping bras and swimsuits fit more comfortably and attractively. The surgery ultimately hopes to make the breasts look better proportioned, after birth or simply to rectify the issues of aging.

“I feel more feminine, more comfortable in clothing, in a bathing suit—and in my naked body,” says 34-year-old Missy in an article published in Allure. Please consult our Breast Lift Procedure page to learn more, view before and after pictures, and decide if a breast lift is right for you.

benefits of breast lift surgery
It’s about how YOU feel.

What Are the Risks of Breast Lift Surgery?

There are a variety of breast lifts and each carry different levels of scarring. Unfortunately, you may not be able to take the option with the least amount of scarring, since each patient will have different needs.

The technique used for your procedure will also influence the appearance of your scars, so talk to your surgeon to get a complete explanation of the typical scarring associated with each technique, including the standard (anchor) breast lift surgery, doughnut mastopexy, and crescent lift techniques. Together, you can determine which option would work best in your particular case.

The “crescent lift” technique is mostly used for women who have a very small amount of sagging to correct, and involves one small incision that runs halfway around the top half of the edge of the areola.  It’s usually only done when a patient is undergoing a breast augmentation, and even then only rarely. It’s more of a preventative measure, unlike the other options, which are focused on breasts that have more advanced sagging.

The peri-areolar or donut lift is more commonly used for minor sagging and implants, with very minor and easily hidden scarring that, again, runs around the areola.

The surgeries that risk more significant scarring are the much more common vertical or “lollipop” lift and the inverted T or “anchor” lift, which feature two and three incisions respectively. As they are more invasive surgeries than a crescent lift, you can expect more extensive scarring, but as long as you and your surgeon can provide proper care and observation, these can fade and can be easily hidden while you’re waiting for them to fade.

These are far more common than the crescent lift, and as such most surgeons and healthcare professionals are more experienced in post-surgery treatments and observation of the scars that develop.

It’s an unfortunate fact that any surgery will leave scars, but rest assured that they can be treated and will fade with time. Your surgeon is dedicated to making you look as good as possible, and will do everything in their power as your surgeon to minimize scarring and maximize your appeal.

Minimizing the Effects of Scarring

A fantastic plastic surgeon may be able to perform the procedure without noticeable scarring, which makes your doctor the first line of defense against disfigurement. Done properly, scars can be completely unnoticeable and hidden unless someone specifically looks for the incision.

If you do notice an unusual scar beginning to form, it’s best to approach your surgeon immediately with the issue. This way, a variety of solutions may be attempted to correct the issue.

Breast Lift Scars Treatment

Breast lift surgery, also known as mastopexy, is a popular cosmetic procedure that helps to lift and reshape sagging breasts. While the surgery can provide excellent results in terms of improving the appearance of the breasts, one common concern for many patients is the visibility of scars after the procedure. Depending on what aspects are causing the scar to be visible, there are several options available to address obvious breast lift surgery scars.

One option for addressing visible breast lift surgery scars is corticosteroid injection. Corticosteroids can help to reduce inflammation and promote healing, which can help to minimize the appearance of scars. This treatment is often used in conjunction with other scar management techniques to achieve the best results.

Another option for addressing obvious breast lift surgery scars is the use of bleaching drugs. These drugs can help to lighten the color of scars, making them less noticeable. This can be particularly helpful for scars that are darker in color and stand out against the surrounding skin.

Disguise tattoos are another option for camouflaging obvious breast lift surgery scars. These tattoos are designed to match the color of the surrounding skin and can help to blend the scar into the natural skin tone. This can be a good option for patients who are looking for a non-invasive way to improve the appearance of their scars.

Laser or intense pulsed light (IPL) treatments can also be effective in reducing the visibility of breast lift surgery scars. These treatments work by targeting the pigment in the scar tissue, breaking it down and promoting the growth of new, healthy skin cells. This can help to smooth out the texture of the scar and make it less noticeable.

In some cases, surgical revision may be necessary to address obvious breast lift surgery scars. This involves removing the existing scar tissue and creating a new incision that is more discreet. While this option is more invasive than other scar management techniques, it can provide excellent results for patients who are unhappy with the appearance of their scars.

There are several options available for addressing obvious breast lift surgery scars, depending on the specific characteristics of the scar and the patient’s individual needs. By working with a qualified plastic surgeon and exploring these different treatment options, patients can achieve a more aesthetically pleasing result and feel more confident in their appearance.

How To Get Rid Of Scars Around Nipples

When it comes to treating scars, there are several options available to help improve their appearance. Silicone sheeting, laser treatments, and surgical scar revision are all potential methods that may be necessary to achieve the best results.Silicone sheeting is a non-invasive treatment that can help flatten and soften scars. It works by hydrating the skin and creating a barrier that helps to reduce the appearance of scars. This method is often used for raised scars, such as keloids or hypertrophic scars.Laser treatments are another option for scar improvement. They can help to reduce the redness and discoloration of scars, as well as improve their texture. Laser treatments work by targeting the blood vessels in the scar tissue, which can help to fade the scar over time.Finally, surgical scar revision may be necessary for more severe or stubborn scars. This procedure involves removing the old scar tissue and creating a new, less noticeable scar. It is often used for large or deep scars that have not responded well to other treatments.To achieve the best results, it is important to consult with your surgeon and have a thorough discussion about customizing your treatment strategy. They can help you determine which methods will be most effective for your specific type of scar and skin type.

Treatment Benefits
Silicone sheeting Flattens and softens scars
Laser treatments Reduces redness and discoloration
Surgical scar revision Removes old scar tissue and creates a new scar

Overall, the use of silicone sheeting, laser treatments, and surgical scar revision can all play a role in improving the appearance of scars. By working with your surgeon to customize a treatment plan, you can achieve the best possible outcome for your scar.

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