SF Dave

Tattooing over scars

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i respect the art of tattooing, but honestly i don't know much about the properties of how the skin holds the ink in. Which brings me to my question. I've heard of people getting tattooes to coverup scars, but depending on the size of the scar, i've also heard that it isn't recommended. Would scarred skin cause any problems for a tattooist to tattoo on?

i have a small burn scar on my arm, i got it over 12 years ago from a cigarette burn that my friends and i all did on each other when we were reckless young teenagers (stupid, i know). So the scar itself is pretty old now, fully healed of course and luckily not much discoloration. the skin's texture is just different since it burned. it's pretty tiny (1 cm in diameter) and i'm thinking of having part of my next tattoo cover it up. i'm getting a rose, and i was hoping one of the dark green leaves by the rose could cover the scar. that way when people look at that part of my arm, their eyes will be drawn to the rose and not the old scar (which would be covered by one of the leaves on the side of the rose). i mentioned it to my tattoo artist and he didnt say it would be a problem.

Do you guys think this example of tattooing over a scar would work out ok? Is there anything I should know about tattooing over scars? I've heard that scarred skin could be more "delicate" so that might make it harder to tattoo, but I'm hoping since my scar is so small that wouldn't be a big problem. I'd love to hear anyone's opinion.

I really hope my question wasn't too nooby

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I got my first tattoo over a year and a half old scar on my stomach last year. It worked out really well and it sounds like mine is worse then yours. I would find an artist you like and go see them for an opinion. Only a tattoo artist can say for sure whether covering your scar is possible.

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sounds to me like the scar is very small and not too huge of a difference in the skin... you will likely have no problem tattooing over it. When the tattoo is healed the area where the scar is might look a little different than the rest of the tattoo but will likely be something only you will notice. I have a tattoo over a scar that sound very similar in size and texture to yours and it's not really noticeable. The scar is a little shiny compared to the skin around it but I don't think anyone has ever noticed, and if they have they havn't said anything. There's a thread right now about tattooing over stretch marks which you should check out cause it's a similar thing. The best advice is to go to a respectable artist and see what they say. If it is as you described it you should have no problems cover it at all.

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I've been tattooed over a good size scar and the artist said the key is how old it is and that it's turned white I believe. You said yours was 12 years old so it will be no problem.

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I have tattoos over big and small scars by both good and not so good tattooers. The tattoos over scars by good tattooers turned out great while the tattoos by bad tattooers look awful. So I am going to go with the find a good tattooer and let them have at it!

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Just echoing everyone else here really- it should be fine, but go to somewhere great.

Also, I've noticed from covering my BCG scar that some of the colour might not sit well the first time- you should be able to go back to the studio and give it another hit with the needle though after it's healed, then you'll probably be fine. Can't remember exactly why that is now, I think something to do with the texture of the skin there.

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I've got some experience in getting my scars covered by tattoos. My legs (mainly my shins) are seriously scarred from skateboarding or the lack of being able to skate . I decided to have Chad Koeplinger tattoo a huge torch from my ankle to my knee on my right leg & he did a fucking great job. I think he made a comment of my skin being the most disgusting hes ever tattooed or something to that effect. On the inner part of my left leg bending around to the shin I had Jef Whitehead tattoo a tiger with a dagger thru its head & he did a stellar job as well but did comment on how light the machine was hitting & the skin was still tearing a bit.

My point is you'll be fine with a small scar like the one your gonna be covering just listen to what everyone already said & do your homework on a finding a competent artist. Sorry for the long winded post...

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Thanks to everyone who shared their opinions and experiences, reading some of the posts was reassuring for me. I've only been on this forum for a short time but i just want to mention how great i think this forum is, because of all the cool and helpful people here who are willing to share and be respectful. so, i booked time with my tattoo artist to have the work done. he's a talented and respected tattoo artist in SF (i've also seen his name come up a few times on this forum and its always in a positive light), and he knows about the scar and is ok with it. i'm so f-ing excited to get a tattoo by him. the appointment isnt for a while, but maybe if im not too shy i just might post a photo of it here after it's done.

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I got a scar on my knee about 30 years ago that's about half an inch by a quarter inch. I got that knee tattooed on Sunday and can't see the scar at all. I'd guess that, depending on how "healed" yours is, it probably wouldn't be an issue, but I'll let an artist weigh in.

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Wauw, that last one by Guy Aitchison is absolutely stunning!

I have some very, very small self inflicted scars that I'll soon get covered with a tattoo! Not sure when you are getting your tattoo, but if you want, I can let you know how my tattoo ends up (and how it feels when you get tattooed over scar tissue) - I'm getting tattooed on Dec. 4th :)

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I have lots of self-harm scars on my arm that were very noticeable before the tattoo. Plus a 4 inch scar where I had shoulder surgery.

I had a 3/4 sleeve piece to cover them up. The detail in the tattoos means it's difficult to see them unless particular lighting conditions catch my arm at the right angle.

Pain-wise the self-harm scars weren't all that bad, there were a lot of them but they weren't super deep cuts. The surgery scar was very painful though, the worst bit of the tattoo, unexpected as it was a pretty numb area before the needle went over it!

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I got my 3/4 sleeve tattoo to cover up the scars. Healing fine. I know a tattoo artist who was in a house fire when he was young. He covered his arms and most of his body with tats. It looks great and all healed well. Another great thing about tattoos. Cover up the bad times with some new art to celebrate the good times.

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