Can you tattoo over scars” is a popular question. While many people choose to get tattoos to cover up scars, there are some considerations before making the decision. Tattooing over scars can be difficult, as the ink may not adhere properly to the scar tissue. 

In some cases, it can also make the scar more visible. If you’re considering tattooing over a scar, speak with a tattoo artist about your options.

Why People Do It Tattoo over Scars

Why People Do It

For various reasons, a person may opt to hide a scar or stretch mark with a tattoo.

People hide scars mostly because they are unhappy with their looks. Everyone has scars, but some individuals are more self-conscious about their appearance than others. Some individuals choose to conceal their wounds with tattoos.

Others develop scarring from an accident or a significant health condition needing surgery, such as breast cancer. Getting a tattoo over scars might seem like regaining one’s body and self in certain situations.

For example, many women who have undergone mastectomies claim they feel more confident hiding their scars with beautiful, unique tattoos.

Does It Hurt More to Tattoo over scars?

Does It Hurt More

Because everyone’s body is different, so is everyone’s pain tolerance. That is why some individuals are uncomfortable getting a tattoo while others are not.

Scar tissue, on the other hand, is often more painful to tattoo than unscarred skin. And in certain situations, it may be very painful.

Scar discomfort is widespread, according to experts, particularly in patients whose scars have caused nerve injury or compression, such as amputation scars.

Some scars are more painful than others, such as:

  • Scars with keloid growth
  • Scars that have atrophied
  • Hypertrophic scars
  • Scars from a fire

Deep or extensive scars will also be more uncomfortable to tattoo. Because they are tiny scars that generally lay flat to the skin and stay within the confines of the former lesion, tattooing over moderate scarring is simpler and less unpleasant.

Is It Difficult to Get A Scar-Covering Tattoo?

Is It Difficult to Get A Scar-Covering Tattoo

Getting a scar-covering tattoo isn’t difficult in and of itself, but various considerations must be addressed before tattooing to prevent difficulties.

To begin with, no tattoo artist will do a scar tissue tattoo without first inspecting the scar. So, let’s look at tattoo complexity levels about scar kinds.

Scars that have hypertrophied as a consequence of burns or superficial injuries. They are often thicker, redder, and raised above the skin’s surface. These scars heal completely over a year, and only then may they be tattooed.

After a hypertrophic scar has healed completely, getting a tattoo over it shouldn’t hurt too much. The scar may be uncomfortable during the process, but the aftercare regimen is critical to protecting both the tattoo and the scar tissue.

Keloid scars form as a result of a severe injury. After 3 to 5 years, they are entirely healed and may be tattooed. These scars are thick, red, and often uneven in form. If a keloid scar is tattooed before it has healed completely, it may cause severe discomfort and scar reopening.

Furthermore, since these scars are the most difficult to conceal, the tattoo covering a keloid scar is frequently larger and more detailed in design. It is even advised to have a tattoo that incorporates the scar rather than a tattoo of the scar itself.

Atrophic scars are soft scars that are placed under the skin’s surface. They appear as stretch marks or scars after a burn, serious cut, or minor surgical treatment. Can you tattoo over acne scars? Scars caused by acne or chickenpox are also included in this category.

Atrophic scars are simple to tattoo and offer no concerns due to their shape and appearance. It is critical to let the scar heal completely before deciding on a design to cover it. However, since these scars are often discolored, obtaining a tattoo with numerous colors and details is essential or usually textured.

Scars caused by tattoo amputation or skin removal – these scars form when a bodily component is removed. After the scars have healed, the skin is smooth and simple to tattoo. However, since certain body areas might suffer from severe nerve damage, they may be too sensitive to be tattooed. Not to mention how uncomfortable it might be to have a tattoo on skin-removal scars.

As you can see, having a scar-covering tattoo depends on various circumstances, including the kind of scar, whether it is completely healed, and how it forms on the skin.

So, before obtaining a tattoo, it is essential to consult with a highly skilled tattoo artist, ideally one who has previously worked with scar tattoos. You will only get a thorough consultation and insight into the potential of getting a tattoo over your scar and how it may turn out.

Other Considerations

Other Considerations

Here are a few extra things to consider if you want to hide your scar with a tattoo.

Your Tattoo Could Cause More Scarring

Your Tattoo Could Cause More Scarring

This is mostly a concern for persons with keloid scars or predisposed to them.

Keloid scars are thick and red, with a raised, rounded, and uneven form. Scar tissue may form decades after the original damage and expand beyond the wound’s edges.

If you have or are prone to keloid scarring, having a tattoo to hide your scar is more likely to worsen it. If you wish to conceal a recently created keloid scar, wait at least a year for it to heal entirely.

For deeper or bigger scars, you may have to wait considerably longer, maybe 3 or 5 years. Tattooing a healed keloid scar minimizes the likelihood of the scar deteriorating.

The Color Of Your Tattoo Could Bleed

The Color Of Your Tattoo Could Bleed

Scars harden your skin and cause irregularities on its surface. Scarred skin absorbs less ink than unscarred skin. Ink also settles more randomly in scar tissue than in unscarred skin.

As a result, the ink in the tattoo covering your scar may move, causing your tattoo to seem smeared or indistinct.

Choosing a tattoo artist with expertise in concealing scars will help lessen the chances of the scar developing.

Your Tattoo Might Appear Irregular

Your Tattoo Might Appear Irregular

Stretch marks and acne scars are examples of atrophic scars. This implies how to make a scar tattoo indentations in the skin. These scars are frequently smooth to the touch and lighter in color.

Once healed, atrophic scars are typically safe to tattoo over. However, since atrophic scars are often pigmented and do not match your skin tone, finding a pattern that can a scar be tattooed over smoothly might be difficult.

A professional tattoo artist can assist you in determining the ideal tattoo designs to cover scars. You might also consider getting a medical-grade tattoo that matches your skin tone.

What Will It Look Like?

What Will It Look Like

Here are some examples of typical scars and how they will likely appear when tattooed:

Amputation or skin-removal scars

Skin that has been removed and stretched is often smooth. Scars that cover regions where skin or a body part has been removed are typically easy to tattoo as long as the area of the body is not too sensitive. Tattooing these locations may be quite painful.

Keloid scars

As previously stated, keloid scars may be very difficult to tattoo. Some individuals prefer to conceal just a portion of a keloid scar since it is elevated and may scar further after a tattoo.

They may also tattoo around scars by integrating them into the design. This may assist in concealing their look while also avoiding more scarring.

Burn scars

When tattooed, burn scars may be painful and have an uneven look. This makes them difficult to tattoo. A decent design with various lines and colors may go a long way toward disguising them as much as possible.

Scars on the stomach

Scars on the stomach

Tattoos may conceal stretch marks and other scars on the belly, such as those caused by a cesarean birth or surgery.

Remember that your tattoo will change as your belly grows or shrinks. If you want to get pregnant or lose a significant amount of weight, you should postpone getting an abdominal tattoo until after giving birth or decreasing weight.

Surgery scars

Surgery scars are often little incisions with little scarring. To reduce their visibility, these tattoo over surgery scar should be integrated into the margins of a tattoo.

However, you may tattoo directly over them, as is usually done with mastectomy scars, as long as they have healed first.

How To Find A Reputable Tattoo Artist

How To Find A Reputable Tattoo Artist

Finding a trustworthy tattoo artist with expertise in concealing scars is the first step in obtaining a tattoo to hide a scar. Inquire with tattoo shops about artists who have previously inked over scars in your region.

Ask to see the work of many tattoo artists with expertise in hiding scars. Consider an artist’s degree of expertise, previous tattooing work, and the hygiene of their business.

Scar tattoos, like any tattoos, pose hazards such as infection and blowouts. When ink penetrates too deeply into the skin, it causes the tattoo to blur.

The less likely you will have issues, the more experienced your tattoo artist and the cleaner the shop.

Choose a design and show it to the tattoo artist you want to work with. They will most likely have some thoughts as well.

You may also check on social media for examples of tattoos over scars similar to yours for inspiration.

Who Should NOT Get A Scar-Covering Tattoo?

Who Should NOT Get A Scar-Covering Tattoo

People with new scars – Unless you want the scar never to heal or reopen, never get a tattoo on a new scar. This may lead to a variety of health issues, including scar reopening. The tattoo will take twice as long to heal and may cause infection.

People with sunburned skin – If you’ve been exposed to the sun and your skin (or the scar) is sunburned, you should avoid getting a scar tattoo. Wait until your sunburned skin has recovered before seeing a tattoo artist about the idea of getting a tattoo.

People with a weakened immune systemscar tissue on tattoo need time and energy to repair after a scar tattoo. That is only possible if a person has a robust immune system, adequate health, and sufficient diet. If your immune system weakens, your tattoo may have difficulty healing and take longer than normal. This may result in a variety of consequences, including infection.


How long should you wait to tattoo over scars?

“Scars generally take six months to a year to heal completely. Before getting a tattoo, one should wait until the scar has completely healed. To get the greatest outcomes, it should be done in a clean environment by someone with expertise tattooing over scars, “Dr. adds.

Can you tattoo over scars of self-harm?

An expert tattooist can tattoo over most self-harm scars. Tattoos may conceal self-harm scars. However, you will be limited in the designs that will work on scarred skin. Flowers and botanicals are good examples of organic forms.

Do tattoo artists go over tattoos?

New tattoos are usually preferable to “adding on” or changing existing tattoos. Most artists would prefer not to deal with another artist’s tattoo.

What do tattoo artists hate?

Tattoo artists despise customers who don’t trust the procedure, book something quickly after their appointment, or rush to the beach. Arriving drunk or failing to listen to your artist’s advice will make the tattooing procedure unpleasant.