Tattooing Over Scars

A tattoo in progress
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Although some people wear their battle scars with pride, others hope to conceal them with tattoos. Tattooing can be a beautiful way to help hide scar tissue, and should you decide on this method there are a few things you should know and first consider.

When Can I Tattoo Over Scars?

Scars need time to heal. While some scars can take up to a year for this, others can take as much as 18 months. All scars heal at different rates based on both the injury and your own body's response.

There are several things you can do to help heal scars in the meantime, including using Vitamin E oil or various silicone patches which can be purchased over the counter. You should also drink plenty of water, at least 8 cups a day, to help hydrate your skin and encourage regeneration in the cellular tissues.

Begin Artist Search

When your scar is fully healed you can begin your search for a tattoo artist who is experienced in tattooing over scar tissue. Bear in mind that you should look at the artist's portfolio and also see before and after pictures of their completed scar cover-up tattoos to make a selective and informed choice. The last thing you want to do after healing a scar is get a tattoo that doesn't look good. Be very diligent in screening your artist and meet with several first if need be until you find the best talent that you can afford. If that means saving money, then by all means do that.

You'll be wearing your new skin for a lifetime and this tattoo should help build confidence in covering the original wound.

Things to Consider

Besides finding the right artist there are a few other considerations before you tattoo over a scar.

First, consider the pain aspect. Scar tissue is much more sensitive than undamaged skin tissues, so you can expect to "feel" the tattoo more than you normally would, especially if the tattooing takes place on scar tissue that also has nerve damage.

Although pain is relative and individual, you should be ready for more sensation.

Nest you should also consider your design idea and whether you want it to relate to the scar. Some people choose to wear symbols of strength, or ribbons to show support and awareness for health, such as Cancer Survivor tattoos or military inspired tattoo designs. Other people tattoo motivational phrases or scripture that are both personal and meaningful, and others tattoo shapes or designs that suit the anatomy of the scar area. For example, breast scar tissue can easily be concealed with beautiful feather tattoo designs.

Getting it Right

Last you should be aware that tattooing over scar tissue can be very difficult. The ink can blur quite easily, tattooing over scar tissue is not the same as tattooing normal skin tissue. Because of this you should trust your artist when it comes to the right design idea to cover your scars with a tattoo.

Designs with large "open spaces" such as Celtic or tribal tattoos are generally not advised. Instead find a design that allows your artist plenty of space for creative artwork over the highs and lows of your new skin structure. This is why it is especially important to find a skilled and experienced tattoo artist who has confidence in tattooing over scars.

With proper planning, special considerations and an earnest search for a talented artist, you can tattoo over your body scars with pride and wear not an injury, but a reclamation of your body, defined by ink.