I was wondering if it is possible to tattoo over scar tissue or if that would distort the finished product. I have several, SLIGHT scars that are not raised or badly discolored and are only visible if you're looking for them and are in the right light. Would these affect a tattoo in that area?
Posted by Amber from IP: 188.8.131.52 on 03/20/09 South Coast Oregon
Does anyone have input on tattooing over scars from 3rd degree burns, the scar is pretty soft and smooth, and over 20 years old. I'd like to use it as my canvas for an upper arm sleeve, but I'd like some input on the possibility of laying ink on that type of scarring, and the possibilities. I'd like to turn an unappealing area of damage skin into artwork ...any feedback would be cool, pros and cons I welcome.
i have a scar on the under side of my forearm. it says "FAT",and i burned it in december 2007,so it's a little over a year old...it's practically the same color as the rest of my skin,and it's not really raised,just a bit on the top outer part of the T. it was done around a time when i had an eating disorder,drank alot,and-obviously-self harmed alot. i have since overcame all of that. the scar has faded alot,but it is still visible and people ask me about it (especially because i'm not what you would normally call fat...). i want to get a tattoo over it. i designed what i want to go over it,and it symbolizes recovery,there'll be six different colors,all representing different things to me... i am not sure if it would be able to be tattoo'd over,but probably because it's not too too bad,about 1.5in widthwise,1in lengthwise and the scar takes up...about half of that area. i can't get it done until i am 18,which isn't for another 7months. i guess i'll just ask some local tattooist if they would be able too and an estimated price. i'm hoping i will be able to get it though :)
Posted by Jase_D101 from IP: 184.108.40.206 on 09/09/09 liverpool
i had some very bad scars on my fore arm and got my sons name over the scars. now people dont even realize that the scars exist! tattooing scars is a good idea if u find the right artist the problem is that if your having the tattoo solely to cover a scar then you will have to live with the scar you're whole life so be deadly certain of the design you choose! Jase
So i've got the same problem as most of you, a lot of self mutilation scars that i want covered... I'm starting with my upper left arm, its been a little over a year since any of the scars were made, but a lot of them are still pretty dark coloured. Also every one of them are raised, but I'm willing to wait longer for them to heal. I've also got a disorder called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome where the connective tissue isn't constructed right, leaving the skin very stretchy, therefore making my scars very akward and stretched out. Also where the scars are, my freckles came back on them, but they're also misshapen and strange now. I was wondering if I should even attempt to cover these scars or not? please email me with any advice on these concerns.
Posted by Coruscation from IP: 220.127.116.11 on 09/30/09 Canada
I have a large-ish, raised, somewhat bumpy-textured, pale pink scar from a 3rd degree burn, about 1.5" wide by 3" long on the top of my forearm. The skin around it is scarred too, but nowhere near as badly and looks almost normal, except for a slightly redder tinge and a bit of a texture difference. The scar has no sensation at all.. no pain, touch, or hot/cold.. nerves have not regenerated in it.
The scar draws way too much attention when I am wearing short sleeves. I'd like to tattoo over it, but am concerned in that the skin of the scar is much more fragile than normal and sometimes re-opens into sores spontaneously, without me doing anything to damage it. The scar is a year old. The wound was bad and took over 3 months to heal. The scar tissue is a very different texture and colour than my normal skin.
Do you think I'd be able to tattoo over this very visible, annoying scar as is, or would I be better off seeking some plastic surgery to minimize the scar and then do the tattoo over the surgically improved scar site after it heals?
Posted by GAgirl from IP: 18.104.22.168 on 10/15/09
Does anyone know if you can tattoo over a kidney transplant scar? Its a totally flat scar, i didnt even have stitches, they put skin glue on the outside of it. It's been 3 years since the transplant, just wondering how deep a tattoo goes also?
Posted by SCmiss from IP: 22.214.171.124 on 11/13/09 CA
Iv been thinking of my next tattoo and the placement for it would come around my hip and up the side of my ribs. My concern is the tiny scars I have all over my hip from insulin injections and pump insertions. I'm not so worried about covering what is already there, but am worried if I get the tattoo, could it possibly be damaged if I continued my injections and insertions where the tattoo takes place? ( I would of course wait till the tattoo is completely healed before continuing.) I am well aware that Type 1 Diabetics take longer to heal for certain tattoos but I have done it before and know how to treat them properly. If anyone can advise me on whether or not the tattoo could be damaged by this please let me know. Thanks!
Posted by chilipalma from IP: 126.96.36.199 on 12/06/09
I have a rediculous scar starting at the very bottom of my wrist and going up to my elbow. It is from cancer. They cut off all the skin and tissue and removed my main artery and replaced part of my tongue with it. The skin on my wrist is from my leg and has a thick reminder all the way around it. I am an artist and would lik to have a tattoo of a ashtray with a bunch of dirty cigerette butts in it and one still burning with the smoke going up to cover the line where my artery was cut out. Not to forget but to remind me of what this terrible death machine did to me. My scars are ugly as hell and I would love to cover with some sick but beautiful artwork. Anyone who has ever tattood over severe scars on such an area like wrist (no fat tissue). I would love to hear the outcome. Some of the original posts freek me out. One said that the scar tissue popped open and started bleeding profusely. Others say it is fine. Any input is appreciated as I am stubborn and want to do it. I need a very good reason not to(ie.. infections, or more damage from tattoo)..
Posted by Amerciful from IP: 188.8.131.52 on 12/17/09 Baltimore, Md
I have a 3rd degree burn on my (l) forearm outter part of my arm, I have a complex about it & don't wear short sleeves at all. I see some many wonderful outfits, but short sleeves. I've had this scar for over 40yrs. & would really like to hide it in any way possible, does anyone know a really good Tatooist in the Maryland area?? please let me know.
Posted by Doodlez from IP: 184.108.40.206 on 01/06/10 Tacoma, Wa
My first tattoo is over an old surgery scar that sounds fairly similar to yours.
There is some minor distortion where the edge of the tattoo meets the edge of the scar (the scar is longer than the tat). The tattoo is dark, so it covers it fairly well. But I will advise that depending on where the scar is, it can be more painful. Since mine is in a boney area (right above my ankle), the scar decreases the amount of tissue between the needle and the bones.
Posted by KINGWILLIE from IP: 220.127.116.11 on 02/12/10
I have Quite Deep and severe scars on my arms and I have been using "Bio-oil" which u can get at most chemists, this will take the Redness and height or depth out of the scars. It's costly but a good exercise if u want the scars hidden as much as poss. I'm told lavender oil will take out the redness too? I defo's think the bio-oil is working though!
Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org from IP: 18.104.22.168 on 02/25/10 norther california, US
Hi, If your scars are still purple you have a good chance of being able to get them removed by laser treatment. I have self inflicted scars on my arms that are 6 years old. I am humiliated so i always cover them up I am sick of hiding. My scar treatment didnt work for me because i waited too long. If they are still purple it might work for you. You have to get more than one treatment. I had 5 treatments with no results just very painful. After reading this I think I will get tattoos to cover them. I think it will work for me because they are white and flat.I am just embarrassed to have someone see my self inflicted scars and it bothers me. But I cant live the rest of my life like this.
Posted by Lady_Eris0830 from IP: 22.214.171.124 on 04/07/10 New York, NY
In July of '08 I had written on this post about covering some surgical scars. I also left an email for anyone who is going through a rough time, and is looking for someone who has been through similar times to listen. Since that time, so many people have responded. Some who want help, some with stories, and some with advice to share. Because of this, I want to repost my email. I can be reached at Lady.Eris0830@gmail.com. Take care everyone!
Posted by paigea from IP: 126.96.36.199 on 04/10/10 red deer, alberta, canada
its good to know i am not the only one trying to cover up a scar that i made myself! on april 23, 2010 i am getting a tattoo of a pinup girl holding a handgun on my bicep... outer bicep. it will be covering a big scar unintentionally in the shape of a cross about two inches big. i hope it takes... ill let you all know.
I thought I would tell my story and post it on lots of forums as these are the places where I learnt all my tricks and how to deal with the scars left from self-harm. I cut 7 years ago and was left with a mixture of small white straight scars, big raised scars and deep flat ones. For the whole 7 years I have covered them up with clothing….none of my friends and family have seen them. I now have a tattoo over them. Here is all my advise on covering them, reducing there appearance and getting a tattoo:
COVERING UP Like I said I spent the last 7 years covering them up….fine in winter but a pain in summer! My tip is to where vests with very thin summer cardigans or shirts over the top. This is the best way to stay cool. People will constantly ask you ‘aren’t you hot wearing long sleeved’ (that drove me crazy!!), I would just say that I was sensitive to the sun and preferred just to cover up. Because everyone is used to it now I haven’t been asked that for years! If anyone would comment that they only ever see me in long sleeve I would just say I find it more comfortable and bush their questions aside. Work was a tricky one because I work in a nursery and spend summer inside. I would wear a long sleeve top under my polo shirt and of course some people asked me why. I said that I suffered allergies (dust mites, cats, dogs, etc) and if I touched one of the kids who had an animal at home I would come up in a horrible rash. Everyone brought it a kept saying how irritating it must be for me!!!
Swimming was another difficult issue. However I would simply find a way into the pool first (would wrap a towel around my arms after getting changed). Once in the pool no one would notice. Also I found a way of crossing my arms so you couldn’t see the scars (they are only on my left arm) which meant I could get out the pool and go on slides etc.
REDUCTION I used bio-oil and vitamin E (coco butter) cream regularly. They work well on new scars but only fade them slightly. On old scars I don’t think they make a difference at all. The bio-oil is expensive but worth an investment as it’s the best cream out there. I also used silicon sheets (I brought cheap ones from boots). They are a real hassle to wear but I stuck with them. Did they make a difference? I don’t think so!
I also used a Dermaroller….its a little device with tiny needles on which you roll over the scar making tiny pinpricks. It sometimes stings a little but not bad at all. They claim that when your body starts healing the pinpricks it will gradually start healing the scarring as well. This is a new product and I didn’t really use it long enough to see any effects. They are expensive but I got mine cheap on ebay for about £6.
In a lot of forums people were suggesting creams that can flatten scars and creams that can darken scars (so the white ones aren’t so noticeable). I did a lot of research and couldn’t actually find any of these creams available.
NHS and LASER TREATMENT About a year ago I decided I was so fed up with my scars that I would do anything in my power to get rid of them. So I plucked up the courage and went to my gp. They then referred me to a scar specialist who offered me laser treatment on the NHS. The treatment is lengthy as you have to leave a lot of time between having the scars lasered (they recommend about three sittings). Basically a machine lasers the top of your scar away. After the treatment the scars will go red and more noticeable, but after a few months they go down….then you have the next treatment. The reviews on this treatment is mixed. Some claim massive differences others say it made no difference at all. There is also a minor risk that the scars will stay permanently redder.
I decided not to go for the treatment as I came across another solution; getting a tattoo. I am going travelling soon and didn’t have time to get this treatment done (I wish I had gone to the docs sooner!).
TATTOO Ok so I read a lot of forums and many mentioned getting a tattoo. I did and I am very happy with the results. I had branches growing up my arm with flowers and lots of buds growing off them. Firstly it is important to note you can still see the scars, however only in certain lights (only when they are caught in a shadow so you notice they are raised). The small white ones are invisible though!! Most people see only see the tattoo. The ones who do see the scars only see the few large ones (and not the lots of little ones surrounding them), this means its much easier to make up an explination and its not obvious that they are self-harm scars. There are a few things to note when tattooing over scars:
- Find the right tattooinst…make sure they have done it before. I went to 6 before I finally found one I was happy with. I knew it was right when I got there (Tat2-u in Reading….fantastic!). Don’t be embarrassed…I guarantee you will not be the only person they have had going to them with lots of cut scars! - Black does cover the scars a bit better as you don’t notice the shadow. However I some of mine have colour over and I think the difference is minimal (unless you want an all black tat, its hard to get all the scars into the black part of a design) - Choose a busy design with lots going on….this detracts the eye away from the scars and makes them fit in much better. Tribal tattoos or other block colour designs do not cover them well at all. Go for shading and if possible a natural design (such as flowers and vines). They are much better and look more natural as they can ‘grow’ around your arm and cover the tattoos. It looks even better if the scar is part of the design (one of my scars is the branch to a flower bud…you can’t see it at all!) - Some scars are too deep to tattoo over…only one of mine was too deep and I think it helps as on its own it looks like a injury I got in a bad accident and after seeing the tattoo most notice that 1 large scar and don’t see the scars hidden under the design. - It is a little bit more painful over the larger tattoos….but really the difference is minute! Plus getting a tattoo is painful anyway so I don’t think this should be an issue (its not unbearably painful so don’t let you put you off….and just think it’s a means to an end!) - Some scars do need touch ups and some take the ink better than normal skin…just pre-arrange a price with the tattooist if any touch up needs doing. - The scars have to be at least a year old. - The ink in the scar can run (mine didn’t) so don’t do any detailed work such as lettering over it.
I can’t get a picture of mine to load buts here some pictures of other peoples result: http://www.anatoliatattoo.com/gallery.scarcover.htm http://www.trendhunter.com/trends/self-harm-cover-up-disguising-scars-for-a-fresh-start http://news.bmezine.com/2007/07/15/cobertura-de-cicatriz/ http://www.imagitinations.com/imagitinations/tattoos/butterfly.jpg http://www.ranchoeldoradohoa.com/shop/_cache/14%2032%20spark%20plug/img/cover_scar_tattoo_up_0.jpg
My advise is use the creams and the silicons first. Go to your doctors and have the laser treatment if its possible. These scars are something you have to live with your whole life so taking a year or two out to get them looking the best you can is worth it in the long run. Finally once they are as reduced as you can get them then go for a tattoo. Don’t rush into it. Make sure you LOVE the design and it is something you 100% want for the rest of your life. Also make it have a meaning….for me it is a new start. The sad fact is that the big scars will never go away. Having a tattoo hid the little ones and covers the big ones well. For me it was the best decision I have ever made.
My final bit of advice is read forums and listen to other peoples stories…this really helped me get through the lonely depressing times of living with my scars. You are not alone and there are others going through exactly the same thing. I hope my story has helped you and if you want to ask any particular question just post it on here and I’ll keep checking back. Good luck! xxx
Posted by Anonymous from IP: 188.8.131.52 on 06/26/10 Colorado Springs, CO. USA
I love getting tattooed and I want to get full sleeves some day but the issue is that my arms are covered in scars. They aren't severe or extremely raised, but I'm just wondering if there is an actual tattoo artist on this site that can let me know...Is it possible to tattoo over scars without the tattoo gettin munked up or the scar breaking open?
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