Can I Tattoo Over A Scar? (Everything You Need To Know)

Scars are deeply personal, and they carry different meanings to everyone. Some fondly regard their blemished skin as a reminder of the past, while some constantly experience mental discomfort just by the mere look of it.

If you belong to the latter, perhaps at one point, you may wonder “Can I tattoo over a scar?” as a way to conceal what is on your skin. And it is definitely a yes. Well-designed tattoos executed by skillful tattoo artists can do a great job covering a scar and boost your level of confidence in many ways.

Stay with us until the end to find out how!

Can I Tattoo Over A Scar?


There’s nothing wrong with tattooing over a scar. After all, scars are just skin tissues, and they are perfectly available for inking. 

However, tattooing over a scar is trickier than a traditional scar, so make sure you do your research, consult with your doctors, and contact experienced tattoo artists to minimize the risks.

3 Factors To Consider When Tattooing Over Your Scar 

Scar condition

If you want to get a scar-covering tattoo, it is best that you assess your damaged skin first, including its types, the healing conditions, and the potential risks. Scars mainly belong to the three categories: atrophic scars, hypertrophic scars, keloid scars, each with its own characteristics.


Assess your damaged skin firs

The easiest type of scar to get tattooed on is atrophic. Simple surgeries, a careless cut, or a light burn can create these soft, discolored scars. Since they tend to blend in with the skin surface and are often healed in a short time, having atrophic scars inked is generally safe.


Getting a scar-covering tattoo can be an amazing experience

Next up, we have hypertrophic scars – the marred skin tissues caused by heat and other light injuries. They can be easily spotted by their dark-colored appearance and how they are elevated above the surrounding area. Usually, a typical hypertrophic scar takes roughly a year to fully heal, and it will not regrow after that period.


Examine your scar condition before getting ink over it

Hypertrophic scars are relatively safe to be tattooed upon once the healing process is over. True, there might be a bit of irritation during the inking process, but as long as you pay attention to the aftercare, your new tattoo and the scar tissues underneath will stay intact.


On the other hand, keloid scars are trickier, as they come from severe injuries and will need at least 3 to 5 years for a full recovery. These scars are usually in red color, thicker, stretched out across the skin surface, and do not have a smooth shape, which makes getting a tattoo more challenging.


As far as risk management is concerned, keloid scars are more prone to scar regrowth, bleeding, and irritations. Therefore, you should consult with your tattoo artist in the first place and examine your keloid scars carefully before getting them inked.

Potential design

Designs are what make or break a scar-covering tattoo. If you want to draw attention away from the scar, consider getting scar camouflage (otherwise known as corrective pigment camouflage). This type of tattoo corrects the pigment of the damaged tissues, making them blend in with the overall skin color.


Flower designs can work wonders on the scar

Vice versa, if you want to show off the skin, work with the tattoo artist for a visually pleasing design. It is worth noticing that scars are not smooth on the surface, so the final design on your skin will get slightly textured.


Also, you should know about blowout – incidents when the needle goes deep into the skin and causes peripheral blurry. So whatever you do, be sure to put in extra effort for a suitable design!

Tip: 2D designs like geometric shapes or linework might not be your best choice for a scar-covering tattoo. Instead, opt for something more intricate and flexible like animals, flowers, plants, etc.

Mental preparation

Deciding to ink your scar is not just about the technical details but also your state of mind. Do you have realistic expectations as to how the tattoo would look on your marred skin tissues? Do you have a high enough threshold to endure the process? If the scar requires extensive aftercare, would you be able to follow through? These questions need to be addressed.

First off, be aware that a tattoo can only cover parts of the scar that is visible to the eyes. It cannot change the texture nor lessen the impacted area. Thus, do not expect the tattoo to be your magical solution.


Getting tattoos over scars may require more guts than you thought

Furthermore, tattooing on scar tissues is vastly different from tattooing on normal skin. The design you have in mind may not turn out exactly as you want in real life, so do not get all worked up if this happens.

Secondly, let’s talk about the . Getting a scar-covering tattoo is no joke if you react badly to physical suffering, as damaged tissues are way more susceptible to aches and irritation. If the scar is located somewhere near lots of nerves, then the can be excruciating. Are you unsure if you can handle it? Talk with the tattoo artist and doctors beforehand for a killer.

And do not forget about the aftercare! Clean water, antibacterial soap, moisturizer, and ointment are all necessary for your tattoo to heal, so remember to follow your routine carefully.


How hard is it to tattoo over scars?

It depends on the nature of the scar itself (types, conditions, healing stages, etc.) as well as the expertise of the artist. While tattooing over a scar is more complicated than a normal tattoo, it is still possible.

Can I tattoo over a fresh scar?

No. You should wait until your scar is fully healed before getting it tattooed. Not only does this prevent possible irritation and regrowth, but it also helps lessen the and discomfort.

How long does a scar-covering tattoo heal?

On the surface, a month is usually enough for a full recovery. But the skin underneath would need up to 3 – 4 months to heal.


Hopefully, with our detailed explanation above, the question “Can I tattoo over a scar” should no longer boggle your mind.

When getting a scar-covering tattoo, make sure you have put enough thought into it and are ready to tackle any problem that might come your way. With enough preparation, we are sure you will sail through this inking process!

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