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Can You Tattoo Over Scars?

Is It Possible to Ink Over Scars?

Scars tell stories about our lives, but sometimes we wish they weren’t so visible. If you have scars you want to cover up, getting them tattooed over is an option. However, there are a few things to consider first.

What Kind of Scar Do You Have?

Not all scars are created equal when it comes to tattooing over them. Here are some things that affect whether tattooing over them will work:

  • Age of the scar – Newer scars that are still healing are difficult to tattoo over. Wait at least one year.
  • Depth of scar tissue – Superficial scars take ink better than deep, thick scars. The deeper they are, the harder it is.
  • Location on the body – Areas with more fat and muscle like the arms, legs, and back work better than bony areas.
  • Scar color – White and very pale scars take ink the best. Red and brown scars are more challenging.

Consult With an Experienced Artist

Don’t just go to any tattoo parlor and expect them to know how to tattoo over scars. Not all artists have enough training with scar tattooing. When you consult:

  • Ask to see examples of their scar cover up work. This will give you an idea of their skill level.
  • Be honest about the details of your scar. This will help them determine if they can cover it.

Get Prepared for a Process

Covering major scars usually takes multiple treatments over several months. Here’s why:

  • It often takes a few sessions for the ink to take properly in scar tissue.
  • Building colors and layers slowly makes the end result look more realistic.
  • Spreading out sessions allows the skin to heal between appointments.

Be Patient With the End Result

While tattoos can minimize the look of scars, manages your expectations about the end result:

  • Completely concealing major scars is often impossible, but they can be drastically minimized.
  • Colors and lines may not look perfect up close compared to normal skin. But from a few feet away, that’s harder to notice.

Take Good Care of Your Tattoo

Follow your artist’s aftercare instructions closely, especially with scars. This gives you the best chance for the colors to stay vibrant and the tattoo to heal properly. If you’re wondering how to take care of your new tattoo, check out our comprehensive guide on how to take care of a tattoo.

Working Around Scars

With realistic expectations and an expert artist, tattoos can help camouflage and incorporate scars into beautiful body art. Consult with a pro to explore your options. If you’re curious about the cost of tattoos or tattoo removal, we have detailed articles on how much tattoos cost and how much tattoo removal costs.

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