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Japanese Tattooing Over Scars - Turning a Scar Into Art

Updated on June 12, 2011

People rarely ever wish for a scar, especially if it appears because of something they wish they could forget. Whether the scar is caused by a tragic accident or a life-saving surgery, some people prefer to cover this area and for different reasons. They might decide to get Japanese tattooing over scars or something less flamboyant.

Whatever the choice may be, there are a few things to know about before attempting to cover a scar with a tattoo of any type. The risk is small, unless the wound is fresh and becomes infected.


In the case of a fresh scar, tattoo artists generally won't administer a tattoo of any size on a fresh scar. Another reason why it isn't a good idea to tattoo a brand new scar is that the pain will be intense.

Scar sites are often more tender than the surrounding skin even after many months and sometimes years have passed. The recommended amount of waiting time is at least a year, but occasionally two years is better.

The doctor might also suggest the patient not receive a tattoo at all on the scarred skin. This is generally due to the location of the scar. Sometimes disturbing the area can be detrimental to the patient's health, which is why the doctor advises against it. This warning should always be heeded.

Tattoo ink doesn't cover a scar the same way it does regular patches of skin. The ink might run together, or bleed as they say, and cause the design to look smeared or blurry. The scarred skin is often a different color too, which causes the ink to appear a lighter or darker color depending on the intensity of the scar. It's best to talk to the tattoo artist and see what the verdict is there.

A woman who had a mastectomy or skin cancer of some sort might decide to treat herself to a tattoo to cover the scarred area where surgery took place. Even skin grafts can be tattooed over to hide them from view. Tattooing over a scar can make it virtually disappear, as long as it's done right. For example, a dark or monochromatic tattoo might be lighter where the scar is, so it's better to apply a tattoo that has different colors and more fluidity.

Placing Japanese tattooing over scars might only be a bad reason if the person doesn't know what to get and picks something randomly off the wall. It might also be a negative experience if the tattoo artist hasn't had any prior experience with tattooing scars. Be sure to do your research and talk to the artist before getting tattooed.


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