A selection of my work with scar cover-ups. Self harm scar cover-ups are something I'm deeply passionate in tattooing, and I'm always humbled by those who put their trust in me to help with their healing through this process.
Things to consider in planning your scar cover-up
Every scar cover-up and the process in designing it is a very individual experience. To help in beginning the planning process, here's some things to keep in mind that ensure the best cover-up possible:
Scars must be at a certain point in healing before they can be tattooed. Typically, scars that are red or pinkish still need time to heal; tattooing over a scar at this stage will cause damage to the healing layers of skin and further slow the healing process. Scars that are as close to lacking pink as possible are healed enough to be tattooed. In cases of hyperpigmentation in a very old scar, I will recommend testing a small area by tattooing over it briefly with water only to determine if the area is healed enough to tattoo.
Everyone's rate of scar healing is different. Shallow scars may only take months to go from a pinkish stage to being healed enough to tattoo, while deeper scars may take years. Some topical products such as Mederma can help with fresh or shallow scars, but ultimately it's up to one's body to determine how quickly one will heal.
The best scar cover-ups are ones that conceal the shape and pattern of the scar in the design itself. Depending on one's individual scar pattern, subject matter such as floral, fur, scales, veining in wings, and other textures are excellent in blending scars into the overall design. I will be happy to make suggestions based on a client's specific needs.
Some deeper scars may need a second pass or touch-up to ensure that they retain all the detail in the design. Some scars may be less suitable for holding intricate detail. I will let a client know during a consultation if this may be a concern regarding their specific project, and designs can be changed to work with scars of this type.
Scar tissue may take extra time to tattoo depending on how it takes to being tattooed. As such, time estimates may vary greatly or, for larger pieces, may be unavailable until I know how the scars react to tattooing.