Covering a scar with a tattoo

tattoo-a-scarScars from accidents, burns, surgical procedures or other incidents can make you feel self conscious and embarrassed or maybe you just can’t stand the look of your scar. Do you want to tattoo a scar with a bright new design to make it look better or just to take the focus away from your scar? First, many scars can be covered with tattoos but there are a few elements that come into play that can affect the ability of the scar to take tattoo ink well. If your planning on having your scar covered, you need to know all the facts and make sure that the procedure is safe to do before you tattoo a scar.

Tattoo A Scar

1. How old is your scar?

The first thing you need to do before you tattoo a scar is to ask yourself, how old is your scar? As your scar should be at least one year old before even considering covering it with a tattoo. Fresh scars that are still red or pink will not accept the ink and if you attempt to try to get it covered, it will be one very painful tattoo appointment. On a fresh scar, you will probably have 100% rejection to the ink therefore it will be a waste of your time and money so my advice is, don’t try covering your fresh scar with a tattoo, wait at least a year. The older your scar is the better and more likely the area will take the ink.

2. Consider the pain

Next step you need to consider before you tattoo a scar, is the pain factors involved. Ask yourself, is it really worth covering it and will you be able to endure the whole procedure? As covering over a scar is even more painful than having a regular tattoo as the scar tissue is a lot more sensitive than your regular skin. Also if the ink isn’t taking very well over your scar, your tattooist will have to go over the same spot several times to get the skin to take the ink therefore making each new pass ever more painful than the last.

3. Consult your doctor

If you still really want to have that scar covered and can bear the pain of the whole procedure then the next step is to ask your doctor for advice about covering the scar with a tattoo. As your doctor may know of reasons which you may not be aware of that could alter your decision on the procedure. Your doctor will be able to tell you all the medical implementations involved and advise you on what he/she thinks is best for you. Also your doctor may be able to give you advice on tattoo artist who have successfully covered scars in the past from other patients stories therefore you know who’s the best person to cover your scar. But at the end of the day if your doctor tells you that there are medical reasons why you shouldn’t have a tattoo to cover your scar, then heed his advice.

4. Consult your tattoo artist

If the doctor tells you that it is fine to tattoo a scar, the next step is to talk to your tattoo artist. As you need to make sure that they know exactly what they’re doing, especially if it’s a particularly tricky scar to cover. Ask them if they have tattooed a scars before and if they have, ask them to show you their work. Most tattoo artist will have before and after photos, that way you can see how well they have covered over someone else’s scar and you can see the difference clearly. If you have a small scar, then most tattoo artist can help you and tattoo a scar easily but if you have a very large, raised scar then covering over your scar could be problematic and you will need to find a tattoo artist who has a lot of experience in this area.

5. How big is your scar?

Determine if your scar can actually be covered so if you have a very large scar, then the best advice is to start with a tattoo design that is small to see if your skin will take the ink. Starting with a small tattoo design first, gives you and your tattoo artist the chance to test if the procedure will work and then you will be able to see if it looks good or not. Then if your skin takes the ink then you can either incorporate the small design into a larger piece or get the small tattoo covered with a larger piece. If you have any areas where skin grafts had to be done or large burns, then your skin may not take the ink so my advice is always test with a small design before jumping straight into a huge tattoo design.

6. Any limitations?

Next step is to think of any limitations there might be when covering a particular area of your scar. As your skin may hold ink differently in some areas of the scar because of the scar tissue, which means the line work may not stay as sharp and the colors may not be as bright as they would be on undamaged skin. The tattoo will also not change the texture of the skin in scars which are raised, so there may be a noticeable difference in the tattoo design. These abnormalities may leave you with poor results that in the end you will not be happy with. A skilled tattoo artist will be able to explain these limitations to you.

7. Finally choose your final design

If every other step is complete, the final step is to choose your final design that will completely cover, camouflage the scar or at the very least complement it. You can disguise a scar with certain colors of tattoo ink, and the shape, design and placement of a tattoo may further camouflage scars.