Scar Cover ups - What is possible and how to approach it?

Inquiries in regards to scars come up regularly, so I thought I do a Blog entry into this topic. It is mainly to show what is possible and also how I integrate scars into my designs.

First of all, scars come in all shapes and sizes as well as have all sorts of different reasons, like accidents, self harm, operation scars or even animal bites. Please note that my shop is a judgement free zone and it will always be just you and me during a consultation, so don’t be afraid to show me your scars, if you consider covering them up. All self harm scars posted here are done so with permission.

my shop is a judgement free zone

Tattooing over scars is possible, but a few things have to be considered before starting the process.

How old is the scar?

The most important thing is the age of the scar. Scars need to have been fully healed in order to be tattooed over in a good manner. Especially keloid scars can have healing times from 3-5 years. The skin of scar tissue is thinner and more sensitive than our normal skin and needles poke the skin repetitively, so if the scar is not completely healed we can do more damage than good.

For me to assess this I will need a consultation in person, where I can have a look at the scar and we can discuss if and what is possible or if maybe more healing time is needed.

Design to distract and hide

In terms of the design, I mostly try and draw attention away from the scar and try to “hide” it in the design itself. That is easiest with organic and natural shapes. For example hair, floral shapes, background etc. Also it is often not possible to do details on scars, due to their damaged tissue.

I will also always try to let the design flow within the drawing as much as possible and use elements of the design to “hide” the scar.

Do tattoos on scars hurt more?

Yes, most times that is unfortunately the case. Again, the older the scar the lesser the pain, but most customers experience more intense pain in that area.

Also certain type of scars don’t hold ink as well as normal skin and touch ups might be required! (I always do one touch up for free within a few months).

Examples of scar cover ups

Lets have a look at a few scar cover ups I have done recently!

Scar Cover up tattoo

This is a cover up for an old dog bite scar. It has been there for 15 years plus and therefore was suitable for the cover up. As the discolouring of the skin was quite big, we decided to put the biggest flower right over it and decorate with a few more colours around, to frame the leg and overall distract from the slight colour difference.

Scar Cover up tattoo

A big keloid scar over the shoulder. Luckily this scar is also over 20 years old. Even though it was big, I didn’t see much risk at going full colour in this area, due to the age of the scar. Cover with three beautiful sunflowers, due to the size, we just went straight over the scar and the lines of the petals distract from the shape of the scar.

Scar Cover up tattoo

Some smaller scars right at the wrist area, that we covered up with a delicate but strong flower design to suit the character of the customer.

Scar Cover up tattoo

These set of scars are around 3 years old and two of them where keloid scars. We decided to hide the scars in the hair of a portrait and i think they disappeared quite beautifully inside them.

Are you thinking of covering up your scar?
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