tatB

Our Imperfect Skin: Scars, Stretch Marks, And More

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@BrianH hate to ask, but curiosity getting the best of me... what surgery did you get that required opening your back up that much? Holy cow! (Feel free to respectfully decline to answer if you don't feel like sharing, no worries)

The countdown is at 9 months now? Nice! Less than a year lol!

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@BrianH hate to ask, but curiosity getting the best of me... what surgery did you get that required opening your back up that much? Holy cow! (Feel free to respectfully decline to answer if you don't feel like sharing, no worries)

The countdown is at 9 months now? Nice! Less than a year lol!

Spinal fusion to correct kyphosis (similar to scoliosis). I can elaborate more but it might start to feel like an episode of Miami Ink...

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I have a big nasty keloid scar on my shoulder from surgery. It's an old scar, but still big, ugly and raised.

You can still see it, but it's totally covered by the sharks tail. I did make the artist shift the tail to fully cover the scar, so the tattoo does look a little off. This picture is immediately after getting the tattoo. The scar is a little less raised now. I'm happy with it.

shark_thumb.jpg

That shark piece was done on Ink Master, correct?

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This is a piece by Justin Weatherholtz at Kings Avenue. I saw it in person. Basically, this client had an acne issue and went to a dermatologist for an acne treatment shot. Problem was he turned out to be allergic to the medication and it scarred up the acne pretty badly. Justin tattooed in the scars and used the texture of the scarred skin to create an almost 3D effect. The blacks/greys in the water....that's scar dimpling and cavities that got filled in.

10802585_1466654033609141_1045010178_n.jpg

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I'm looking for good healed examples of good tattoos by good artists that have been made on imperfect skin. When I say imperfect skin I'm thinking surgical scars, burn scars, cutting scars, road rash scars, acne scars, stretch marks, moles, freckles, birthmarks, and anything similar.

I ask because I have a pretty decent sized surgical scar along with some stretch marks on my back and I'm curious to see how skin imperfections look covered by tattoos. I know scars and stretch marks tend to "blow up" immediately after tattooing so healed examples would be better than fresh.

My experience with surgical scars (about 7 years old) is the ink always took well, and the tattooing hurt less than normal skin. It was almost pretty numb getting tattooed. Conventional wisdom says the longer you leave scars the better the final tattoo will be. Let it settle and definitely not when it's angry and raised.

As for bad skin, nothing will save you from that! I have weird skin on my hips with stretch marks and ink doesn't like it. Especially some white has taken years to settle.

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I have a weird question that may or may not apply to anyone here. But, throwing it out there.

I'm a compulsive picker (dermatillomania) which is part of what interested me about tattoos in the first place. Has anyone here successfully covered a particularly bad spot (or tattooed over skin that was formerly subjected to picking, even if the urge to pick went away long ago)? My worst area is my upper left arm. The biggest challenge is to let that area heal for a long enough time so that some of the mild discoloration there can fade--fortunately there's no heavy scarring. Good self-care while healing should also help a lot. I do know that I'm not tempted to pick at tattooed skin, mostly because I can't see any imperfections in the skin that might trigger me, but I haven't looked at tattooing my worst areas yet. Part of the problem is just the shame in having to show my scars to someone, after years of avoiding tank tops. I know tattooers are probably well-versed in covering the aftermath of all sorts of self-harm, though.

This is a little embarrassing to talk about on here, but I appreciate that this is a pretty nonjudgmental place.

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I think that you would be best served by having a tattooer look at it and give their opinion. Tattoos will certainly hide a lot of scars and imperfections. All of us have issues. We'll love you the same - maybe even more with more great tattoos!

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@polliwog I wish I'd seen this last year, have you had any of the areas tattooed now? I hope so.

I found exposing my scars really very hard, even though I'd been 'out' with them for years. Same with my knackered belly skin. It'd been years since I'd done any damage but the urge did pop up now and again. I've had not a whiff of an urge since the tattoos. Nada. The actual tattooing, the process, seemed to really help somehow.

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50 minutes ago, HettyKet said:

Oh, but I actually came over here because I'd linked to the thread and wanted to add my post pregnancy belly tattoo. Here

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pretty nice looking tattoo,I like it a lot.and you look great !  wait til you get to my age !(56) my skin is loose and getting wrinkly,but I am still getting tattooed and actually I am wearing more tank tops than I EVER have ! I am having more fun with my tattooes than I ever have as well.my wife and myself might be old,but we are fucking cool old people ! LOL 13735821_10205048635254834_3825274999276

Edited by Dan

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@HettyKet no tattoo over the area yet... but I hope to have Marie Sena put one of her ladies there next spring. I'm currently using @Fala's healing balm on that arm and it's making the roughness and discoloration look a lot better.  (If any of you have some unloved, scabbed-up skin, it's pretty great.)

Edited by polliwog

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@HettyKet, who did that incredibly rad stomach tattoo! Love it!!! 

@polliwog from my experience, every spot that was a bad spot suddenly disappeared once i tattooed over it. It's really strange because i definitely did not start getting tattooed with the idea that I would take control over my body image or whatever.  I definitely had this horrible feeling like what the hell was i doing to myself, why wasn't i more mature, how dare I mess up what little beauty has been given to me, blah blah blah - i mean I went through every part of self-recrimination there was (those thoughts are only a little part of it!). 

In any event, what happened was that though I was terribly nervous about finally getting tattooed, and thought every person in the world would judge me as an uggo trying to be pretty (i do NOT think like this now but I'm just saying I had a really fucked up point of view over a decade ago!!!) (my parents were super judgmental of other people which is why I thought everyone thought that way!! also told my sister and i to lose weight constantly - seriously, if you're parents please be kind to your daughters when they are 10 and under (and over)) - once I started getting tattooed regularly all of that stuff just fell away. (tattoo = jedi mind trick?) (also we are talking about a time period that spans two decades soooo)

TL;DR - there are no bad spots once you get them tattooed.  

Edited by beez

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@beez I didn't mean "bad" in the sense of, oh, I hate my back fat (though I can roll with the best of 'em). It's more that picking begets picking, because compulsive pickers tend to worry away at the same flaws in their skin, which picking will obviously create more of. (Except that your fucked-up brain tells you that you're fixing the skin while you pick at it, plus it feels good in the moment.) So it's really a challenge to let the skin heal for long enough that it can then be tattooed. It also feels somehow lamer to have to explain than maybe self-healing scars, though I guess it is a variety of that. "Hi, my back looks like shit because I should probably be on Prozac."

Edited by polliwog

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5 minutes ago, polliwog said:

@beez I didn't mean "bad" in the sense of, oh, I hate my back fat (though I can roll with the best of 'em). It's more that picking begets picking, because compulsive pickers tend to worry away at the same flaws in their skin, which picking will obviously creative more of. (Except that your fucked-up brain tells you that you're fixing the skin while you pick at it, plus it feels good in the moment.) So it's really a challenge to let the skin heal for long enough that it can then be tattooed. It also feels somehow lamer to have to explain than maybe self-healing scars, though I guess it is a variety of that.

I actually re read the thread after I posted earlier and saw that but then decided against compulsively re-editing everything - my bad for not reading everything first!

Exciting re the birds - good luck with the skin healing! I know what it's like to fight those compulsions.  Where on the back are you thinking? Your tattoos are coming along really nicely!!

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I compulsively edit EVERYTHING. Good on you for not doing that.

Re birds, it would be a full back, butt included. Probably a long ways off but I sort of accidentally got a tattooer excited about it. And thank you! I am such a fan of your ongoing Diamond Club back and everything else tattoo!

Edited by polliwog

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