Scars are a part of life. Who hasn’t gone through childhood without a few falls and scrapes? However, some scars carry a stigma, especially if they are large and situated in highly visible parts of the body. Some are caused by more serious incidents, like accidents and surgery.
Scars can be effectively removed by laser and plastic surgery. These procedures are often expensive, though. You can also cover up scars with clothing and make-up, but you might be looking for a more permanent solution without the exorbitant costs. Tattoos are one way to cover or hide scars.
Here are a few things you should know when you are considering covering your scars with tattoos.
Check with your doctor first. Before doing anything drastic, check with your doctor first if you can safely have your scar covered by a tattoo. Remember that tattooing actually inflicts small wounds over the skin, which lets pigments in. You might not be able to tattoo over a scar immediately after a wound heals. Usually, there should be at least a year’s wait before you can safely tattoo over scar tissue. You might also be able to ask your doctor for references, in case he has encountered other patients who have covered their scars with tattoos.
It will be painful. As with any tattooing, applying new tattoo on scar tissue would be painful. In some cases, if nerve endings on the scarred area have already died, the pain will be minimal. However, don’t expect tattooing to be a painless procedure. It will involve blood. Make this part of your decision-making process. Are you willing to spend a few hours in pain, just to cover your scar?
Not all scars can be covered by tattoos. Scar tissue sometimes has different texture than healthy skin. This means that you might not be able to tattoo over the scar itself. This can be particularly troublesome if you are a keloid former. Keloids are often raised, and have drastically different textures and shapes, often differing even from the original wound. If this is the case, you can ask the tattoo artist if he can design a tattoo around your scar, instead of over it. Perhaps he can incorporate the scar as part of the tattoo design, which can help hide and camouflage the scar.
Look for a tattoo artist with experience. Once you’ve decided to push through with covering your scars with a tattoo, look for a tattoo artist who has had experience with working on scars before. Ask him about potential problems, and ask him if your scar can accept a tattoo. And as with any tattooing procedure, make sure you go to an establishment that’s clean and certified. The instruments should be sterile—single use needles are preferred, so you don’t accidentally become infected with all sorts of diseases.
Tattooing is only one option in covering up a scar. If you have the budget, you can go for laser or plastic surgery. However, if you are on the artistic side, and you are into tattoos in the first place, then a scar might be a good way to do it.