SCAR COVER UP: covering a scar with a tattoo
here’s everything you need to know
yes, It’s true, tattoos are quite invasive but dermatologists, too, are starting to recommend this practice
even if they invade a body by tearing its skin and permanently place pigments into the skin – and this could sound bad
because cosmetic surgery can’t always work miracles
because a tattoo is cheaper than surgery
because a tattoo is less invasive than surgery, anyway
actually, tattoos come and help who, for some reason or other, has his body marked
a scar is always something abnormal, no matter how big or small, visible or not, it doesn’t matter
it’s an imperfection in a sound body
a distinctive feature that always attracts other people’s attention
even unintentionally, even if they already know what this is all about
we call it “curiosity” and man is a fucking curious being
so, even I – that I basically LOVE scars – I’m attracted by them, my eyes notice them straight away
of course, they are imperfections
and also our mind focuses on it, and the curiosity increases
and who carries a scar knows it well
“HEY YOU! My eyes are here and not there!”
“look at my face when you talk to me”
“what are we doing here? are we playing red light, green light? As soon as I turn around you stare at my scar?”
“I know…you are asking me which kind of job I have but actually you’d like to know why I have this scar”
and so, even who, psychologically, overcame the trauma that brought the scar, he has to deal with other people’s curiosity every day
“I’m not just my scars…”
and what if that person has not yet overcome the trauma?
what if under that scar he sees that big emptiness that’s hiding underneath?
or even worse, he lives that trauma again and again every time he looks in the mirror?
I’ve heard hundreds of stories like this…
that’s how I fell in love with SCAR COVER UP
falling in love with the stories behind it
and then falling for those glistening eyes that look in the mirror, in my studio, and for the first time they look in the mirror and don’t re-experience the trauma
for the first time, they don’t see all that’s hidden behind
I fell in love with that first time
after all this talking that you probably didn’t care anything about, here I am to give lots of answers to your lots of questions, such as:
1) what is a scar?
2) how soon can you tattoo a scar?
3) does the tattoo on the scar need to be touched up?
4) can all the scars be tattooed?
5) are stretch marks considered scars?
6) are there side effects when tattooing a scar?
7) what does it mean that scars can react badly to a tattoo?
8) is the scar completely covered up?
9) what kind of imperfections remain post tattooing?
10) does a tattoo on a scar hurt more?
11) are there any cases where the tattoo may not solve the problem?
12) what would you suggest to cover up my scar?
13) what happens during the tattooing?
14) useful TIPS to choose who to rely on
15) does the tattoo healing change if there is scar tissue underneath?
16) what’s the best time of the year to tattoo to cover up a scar?
17) what about spider veins?!
LET’S GO! vamos, It’s a loooong story ^_^
TOP QUESTION, here it is:
how soon can you tattoo on top of a scar?
here is where I want you
THE ANSWER IS:
“ we need to wait a reasonable amount of time (at least 3-5 months) before the scar settles”
what does this mean?
you have to check the color of your scar, how it feels, if it still hurts and how much, if it still itches….this kind of stuff
the scar has a different evolving process and it’s different for every wound, even on the same person
and for how long the scar remains active depends on your scar tissue but also on your skin elasticity and on the gravity of the wound or the trauma
it may take from two months to two years
so there is not an accurate time, I cannot give you a perfect timing, but you can and you must keep an eye on your scar and judge it
as long as it is changing it’s not possible to get a tattoo for several reasons, such as:
● its color may change so the tattoo’s color in that area may be different from your healthy skin, showing the scar
● its thickness may change so the optical effects that will be required to cover the scar may look different
● but, most of all, as long as the scar is evolving, if we invade it with a new injury, a very strong reaction could be triggered and the skin could react bad and create new keloid, reliefs, or crack… completely! So, don’t challenge it!
until your skin is quiet and calm, you must leave it alone, but as soon as you’ll realize your scar is not active anymore – let a few months pass, just to be safe – then you can peacefully get a tattoo ^_^
can all scars be tattooed?
meanwhile… what is a scar?
“it is a drastic skin reaction to a big trauma”
and since there are several traumas that can drastically shock our skin, there are also different skin reactions to these ^_^
sometimes scars stay in relief, some others flatten out, others are hollow
sometimes they stay red, or turn white, or become brownish
so, can all scars be tattooed?
logically speaking, yes, BUT:
– first of all, it depends on your tattooist’s experience and on his imagination on that project, maybe one tattoo artist can do it and another one can’t
– scars that are too much in relief or too hollow may be hard to cover and if they are really too much, maybe it’s better not to do it
usually, as far as my experience is concerned, there are a lot of aesthetic treatments that can improve the state of a scar without removing it completely, and that’s where the tattoo comes in ^_^
– some other times, instead, it’s not worth trying because of the spot in which your scar is, maybe it’s a weird and unusual spot and placing a tattoo there wouldn’t be an aesthetical surplus for your body, indeed, it would result as something dumped there, and of course people will keep staring at you
very often in these cases, it is necessary to tattoo a wide area of body in order for the scar to be completely covered and still have a nice tattoo, so it’s up to your whether you’re ready or not to have a big tattoo
can stretch marks be tattooed?
stretch marks are considered small scars, not due to external injuries but mainly to internal body changes and they can be tattooed as well ^_^ you still have to take into consideration that the area could be quite wide so a graceful and lovely squiggle would not be enough
which are the possible side effects of a tattoo on a scar?
as we said, a scar is a strong skin reaction for a big trauma and I would like to tell you something…the skin has the memory of an elephant
it never forgets anything
the skin is touchy
the risk of placing a tattoo where it has already been offended, is that she could get even more offended
so, here’s a big tip:
PICK A TATTOO ARTIST THAT HAS A LIGHT TOUCH
it is necessary to tattoo carefully, with no rush, giving the skin all the time it needs to accept the tattoo
if the tattooist has an heavy hand and he’s in a hurry, it is very likely that the scar may have a bad reaction
anyway, in general, for all the rules about how to pick the perfect tattooist, the one that is right for you, I wrote a VADEMECUM ^_^
what does it mean that a scar may react badly to a tattoo?
at best, it means that it doesn’t accept the color or it accepts it only partially and everywhere around the scar you will have a good tattoo but not on top of the scar ^_^ not nice
at worst, instead, the scar can reactivate and get worse, i.e. rise again and increase in volume, starting a new period of change and production of collagenous and elastin fibers, with a likely increase of keloid ^_^ I wouldn’t say nice, either
so, the big hint still is: find a tattoo artist with a light touch, who is not in a hurry, but who can devote plenty of time to this project and who has some experience on tattoos on scars
is a tattoo different on a scar than on healthy skin?
yes, the scar tissue is totally different from healthy skin
sometimes it’s very hard and spongy, but most of the times it’s very fragile and delicate even if the underneath tissue is hard and spongy ^_^
a good hint is to start with a well detailed design of the tattoo so the tattooist knows exactly what to do on the scar and go on with a minimum number of passages
healthy skin can handle a lot of passages, one on top of the other, in order to create different effects of color and details but scar tissue is more delicate and can handle just a few passages
so, an accurate design is a great help
does a tattoo on a scar hurt more?
good news: in most cases, NO ^_^
scar tissue is still skin, a hard and thick layer of skin, not touched by blood vessels and not filled with receptors, as it usually is ^_^ so, in most cases, you will feel a big difference between healthy skin and scar tissue, in a positive way ^_^
with 17 years of experience in this field, only one client felt more pain on his scar than on his healthy skin because he had a very deep scar, due to a gunshot in his side
so less than 1% by my own internal statistics ^_^
what happens while tattooing a scar?
nothing weird, I’d say ^_^
all normal, on the finished tattoo you can see something weird though
yes because scars aren’t reached by blood as healthy skin, so, while the surrounding skin turns red because of the tattoo, scars do not turn red
so, as soon as the tattoo is finished, scars may seem more showy than before
because they are white and shiny – and a little more swollen than the healthy skin since they are more sensitive- while all around the skin is phosphorescent red ^_^
I should like to tell you this right away, before getting a tattoo, because if I don’t warn you then you look at your finished tattoo on the mirror and you freak out, you faint and you feel bad because your dreams have just been crushed
no, don’t worry, in a couple of days the whole area will be soothed, the redness will be gone and the scar will disappear ^_^
is it necessary to cover the whole scar with the tattoo?
not always, in fact, most of the times it is not necessary, here’s an example:
what? can you not see the uncovered scar?
EXACTLY! Your eye is stupid and remains enthralled by the first thing it sees
it doesn’t go beyond the tip of our nose
(as I explained in the article GET A TATTOO WHERE YOU DON’T LIKE YOURSELF)
so, sometimes you can cover a smaller area, leave behind some spots here and there, because no one will NEVER notice it from the outside
but you will
you know that there’s a scar there, you know it well, by heart, even if you’ve always wanted to forget it, you know it perfectly
and you see it everywhere
even when it’s totally covered
so, the choice is yours, you can leave some spots here and there to let prevail the aesthetics, the dynamic and the curviness of the tattoo, but if you can’t stand to see something that nobody sees but you, then fine, it’s totally right
and so you can cover it completely ^_^
look at this picture:
it’s just the empty and schematic drawing of the future tattoo, but a few line can already trick your eye and make a big scar pretty much invisible ^_^
HERE’S A TIP, though:
over the years, you can always add something to a tattoo, but you can’t remove from it
So, if you’re indecisive, start with a smaller tattoo and if a month or two later you are not happy with it, you can always go back to the tattooist and add some details ^_^ can’t you?
does the healing of the tattoo changes for a SCAR COVER UP?
it doesn’t seem much but actually you have to pay a little more attention
the skin is more fragile and touchy, remember?
so you should devote more attention to make sure it doesn’t get offended
a BIG TIP that I give you is TO CLEAN YOUR TATTOO TWICE A DAY, rubbing it properly and loosen all the clusters of platelets
this really helps the healing
SECOND TIP: use an elasticizing cream in addition to the moisturizing cream for the healing of your tattoo
you surely already know some elasticizing creams – does Rilastil ring a bell? – it’s the same cream you used in the healing phase when you tried to flatten the scar as much as you could, rubbing your scar twice a day
If you skin after the tattoo gets a little touchy and maybe thinks to develop some keloid, with these creams you will help it to calm down, this has the same effect as a bouquet of roses or a box of candy ^_^
finally, true but not always, SUN IS FORBIDDEN
as well as during the healing of your trauma
the sun may permanently stain the scar tissue, just like those dark brown scars, and we don’t really want our skin to be stained, right?
let’s say we didn’t expect that dark brown color while designing our tattoo and that dark brown isn’t also an easy color to cover
so, I’d say that if your scar is in an area of your body visible in the summer, then it’s better to choose winter months to get a tattoo ^_^
usually summer and spring are the best seasons to get a tattoo, because your skin is much thicker and stronger during these seasons – you know how your hands turn into in winter, don’t you? – but the sun is also a scar enemy
so, two options:
-if your scar is in a particularly hidden spot and you’re not a lizard, then getting a tattoo in spring or summer is great
-if you are a lizard, instead, and your scar is in a visible part of your body – like an arm, for example – then it’s better to wait for autumn or winter
anyway, it’s very likely that – compared to healthy skin – you may need to get the tattoo on your scar touched up
because the healing is more delicate
and your skin is more delicate
and scar tissue may heal in a different way than healthy skin
so, don’t panic if a month later you will notice a little flaw, it can happen, we are humans and we are unpredictable just like our skin ^_^
when is it possible to touch up a tattoo on a scar, if necessary?
after 6 weeks, it would be the best moment
not earlier because the skin might still be too fragile to handle a second invasion
not later because the skin may settle too much and the colors – even though we’ll be using the same ones – could appear different in a post healing phase
I don’t know if I made myself clear, here’s an example:
imagine that you’ll get two identical black t-shirts and you’ll hang them outside exposed to all kinds of weather, sun, rain, etc.… but within a week of each other
obviously, the t-shirts would always turn out differently, time goes by and you can never catch up
as everything else in life, by the way ^_^
are there blemishes that can be seen in a post tattoo phase?
obviously, there are
scar reliefs or hollows obviously aren’t covered by a tattoo
there are lots of optical effects that somehow hide them, but if you look at it in backlight, from the side, well, you will notice them!
the volumes remain unaffected, so from a certain perspective you’ll always be able to see them
but : PIUTTOST CHE GNITA L’E’ MEI PIUTTOST, NO?
as my grandma used to say speaking our local dialect: anything is better than nothing, isn’t it?
so, if the 80-90% of the imperfections are covered, and only some of them stay, isn’t it better than before?
I don’t know, of course you’re the ones who have the final say, case to case, psychology to psychology
but if the scar is very sunken or a lot in relief
then it’s better not to choose these practices
tattoos can’t work miracles
so if the pattern of the scar has deep volume changes, messed up ups and downs, instead of improving, the situation could get worse making a mess and attracting other people’s eyes on it
my tip? look for a good tattooist, someone with a lot of experience and that you trust and ask for an advice, then ask advices to other tattoo artists – always look for experts, scoundrels will always tell you that something is impossible, if they don’t know how to do it
it’s the end of technical stuff, but….
There’s another question that has no answer:
WHAT WOULD YOU SUGGEST TO COVER MY SCAR?
in this case, a tattooist cannot answer you offhand, with a picture sent through social networks
FIRST OF ALL: pick the tattooist that you like, someone you really trust and that you know he can surely do something you like to satisfy you
read my article – if you haven’t done it yet even if I have already recommended it to you – to find and choose the best tattoo artist
look at his pictures, randomly pick 10 of them, like the last ten, and think of how many of them you like
4-6-8-all of them?!?!?!
so you’ll know how many chances he has to make you happy ^_^
and once you’ve chosen the tattooist…trust him/her
tell him/her your story, what you want to tell with your tattoo and together you will spend hours trying to figure out what and how to tattoo and define all the technical details
think about what you want to tattoo, not what the tattoo would cover, because it’s the tattoo artist’s job to figure out how to use what you like to cover your scar ^_^
that’s what I’d do
that’s what I actually do with my clients ^_^
I spend hours and hours chit-chatting before starting designing and I define every technical detail before starting tattooing
and don’t ever forget:
YOU DIDN’T SIGN ANY CONTRACT
If you go to the studio and everything is ready, but you’re not ready for it, you can always say no
“no, I don’t feel like it, I’m scared”
covering a scar with a tattoo can really change your life
the majority of scars that are covered by a tattoo are psychological rather than physical and they are invisible to the eye
so, don’t be afraid to say no if you feel that it is not the right time
and on the other hand don’t be afraid to jump, changes can be beautiful as well ^_^
anyway, here’s an useful article that will help you deciding what to tattoo: WHY DO YOU TATTOO?
ok, now we really are at the end
do you have any other questions I haven’t answered?
write me ^_^
with love, but always mocking
post scriptum: in case I was the tattooist you have chosen to cover your scar, here you can find all the info
what about spider veins or predominant capillaries, can they be covered by a tattoo?
I’m working on a new article about all the skin imperfections that will soon come out ….meanwhile, a little spoiler alert: