Breast reduction scars are common after breast reduction surgery. Your surgeon will take care to hide incision lines during your procedure. Treatment options could include creams or ointments, injections and massages.
Breast reduction scars are visible marks of your body’s healing process after breast reduction surgery. Scars develop after a surgeon makes an incision in your skin, and then closes up the incision to let your body create scar tissue. Scar tissue is new skin tissue that fills the gap caused by the incision. Most scars from breast reduction surgery are thin lines that vary in color from your natural skin tone.
Breast reduction scars vary in shape and size but usually look like a line that’s a lighter or darker shade than your natural skin tone. Scars can also be pink, red, purple, gray or dark brown. Some people are more at risk of developing raised scars. Scars can itch or feel tender after your surgery.
The type of breast reduction scar you have varies based on the type of incision that your surgeon makes during breast reduction surgery. There are two main types of incisions to complete a breast reduction procedure:
Your surgeon will use caution during your procedure to minimize the appearance of scars, but they can’t prevent all scars.
There are two types of complications that cause raised scars after breast reduction surgery:
The size and pattern of your breast reduction scars depend on the technique your surgeon uses. Your provider will recommend the technique that’s right for you based on your:
Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy
Yes, breast reduction scars change with time as your body heals after surgery. Most scars fade or blend in with your natural skin tone and you can cover them with clothing. Your breast reduction scars may change:
The best way to minimize breast reduction scars is to follow your provider’s post-surgical instructions. Talk to your provider about what you can do during the healing process to make scars less noticeable. You may need to wait until the scars are healed to do certain treatments. Your provider may recommend:
Caring for breast reduction scars begins with caring for your incisions as they heal. Follow your provider’s instructions carefully after surgery. You should wear a surgical bra or bandages, and keep the area clean. Tell your provider right away if you notice any problems like pain or swelling. Be careful to avoid:
If you’re unhappy with breast reduction scars following surgery, talk to your provider. There are several surgical procedures that can reduce the appearance of a scar, but they’re not for everyone. Keep in mind that no matter what type of procedure you have, breast reduction scars never fully go away.
The main benefit of treating breast reduction scars is to minimize their appearance on your skin. This can make you feel more confident about your appearance.
There isn’t one type of treatment that works to minimize the appearance of everyone’s scar after breast reduction surgery. Each person should work with their dermatologist or healthcare provider to find a treatment option that’s right for their skin. It may take several different types of treatment to find one that works for you.
Each type of treatment for breast reduction scars comes with potential risks. Some of the most common complications of treatment to reduce the appearance of breast reduction scars include:
Breast reduction scars don’t completely disappear. They may change in size and blend in with your natural skin tone over time. While your scar won’t go away completely, it can fade enough to where you don’t even notice it on your skin. Surgeons will hide incisions to minimize the appearance of scars. If you do have scars, you can hide them underneath clothing, even a bikini.
Call your provider if your breast reduction scars are:
There are different types of breast procedures that can leave scars. Each one has a different type of incision pattern that will leave a mark on your skin, including:
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Breast reduction surgery can leave a scar on your skin. Most scars fade over time. Follow your provider’s instructions carefully after breast reduction surgery. Keep your bandages clean, and tell your provider right away if you have any problems with your incisions. You can reduce the appearance of breast reduction scars by protecting them from the sun. If you’re unhappy with the way the scars look, talk to your provider about treatment options.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 03/02/2023.
Learn more about our editorial process.