Some people are proud of their scars and do not try to conceal them in anyway. They argue that scars tell their life story. Others prefer to forget their past and try different methods of treating their scars. They try different skin care products to improve their appearance and make them less noticeable. Some people opt to conceal scars with tattoos. But is it practical?
Can You Tattoo Over Scars?
The answer to this question varies depending on an individual as well as the type, age and ink pigment of scar. Scars have different type of tissue from the regular skin. Their tissue is more sensitive compared to normal skin. Another factor to consider is nerve damage around the scar. Nerve damage increases the discomfort after a tattoo over the scar.
Consult a tattoo artist beforehand. The artist will advise you on the best design that includes your scar to disguise it, if it cannot be tattooed over.
Scars That Can Be Tattooed Over
You can tattoo over the following types of scars:
Scars from minor or major surgeries
Scars from cuts
Pigmentation or skin discoloration
Scars from mastectomy
Tissue scars caused by accidental injuries
Burn or scald scars
Scars Cannot Be Tattooed Over
Can you tattoo over scars while they are still red or fresh? No, you cannot tattoo over scars that are less than a year old, red or infected.
You cannot tattoo over keloid scars or raised scar tissue. These scars heal on the skin surface instead of under the skin surface. Keloid scars are firm, enlarge progressively, have an irregular shape and are sharply elevated. The structure comes from the excess collagen that forms in the corium when the connective tissue is repaired. You can disguise keloids through x-ray therapy, steroids and cryotherapy. Consult your doctor before starting these treatments.
In addition, you cannot tattoo over varicose veins and moles but you can disguise moles within a tattoo.
When Can You Tattoo Over Scars?
Scars require different time to heal. Some take a year while others take 18 months. The healing rate differs depending on the injury and the response of your body. You can increase the healing rate of your scars using over-the-counter silicone patches and applying vitamin E. Take at least 8 cups of water daily to keep your skin hydrated and boost regeneration in your cellular tissues.
Things to Consider
Identify a Good Artist
Can you tattoo over scars at any salon? Of course you can, but that's a bad idea. Consider the artist’s portfolio and his past work to make an informed decision. Ask for before and after pictures of other tattoos done over scars. You do not want a bad looking tattoo over your scar. Hence, you must be diligent in analyzing your artist. Meet several artists and screen them until you identify the best artist within your budget. Save money where necessary to ensure that you get the best result. You will have the tattoo for a lifetime, thus the tattoo should boost your confidence in covering your scar or wound.
Consider the Design of the Tattoo
Do you have a tattoo design in mind and does it relate to your scar? You can borrow other people’s ideas including strength symbols and military tattoos. Others include ribbons that show your support and awareness of certain health issues like cancer, motivational phrases, and personal and significant scriptures. Alternatively, you can choose a tattoo shape or design that fits the anatomy in the scarred area.
Tattoo designs that have large open spaces are not recommended on scars. These include tribal and Celtic tattoos. Choose a tattoo design that gives your artist enough space to come up with creative artwork that suits your new skin structure.
Prepare Your Mind
Tattoo colors appear different on damaged skin. They might be as bright and hence you might require several sittings until the damaged skin holds the ink. How can you tattoo over scars that are wide and deep? Such scars and burns leave a textured surface on your skin. Hence, using tattoos with very fine line details will not give good results for these types of scars. Instead, use large designs of tattoos with bold colors, shade and lines. Any lines of tattoos on scars often thicken with time and look blurry.