Prospective clients often call or write us to ask if we can help reduce the appearance of a scar. The answer is a definite “yes,” we can help. But there’s a lot more to it than that. It’s important to understand what can and can’t be done, and to have the proper expectations from the beginning. Here’s what you should know about scar camouflaging and scar relaxation with medical tattooing.
The most common scars we’re asked to improve are facial scars, whether from injury or surgery, and scars on the breast typically resulting from breast augmentation, breast reduction, or mastectomy. Areola tattooing is done carefully and artistically to give the areola a realistic three dimensional appearance. We can improve the appearance of scars just about anywhere on the body.
We offer scar relaxation and a form of medical tattooing called scar camouflage. If you look very closely, our skin is not all one uniform color – it’s mix of colors. We use a technique called pixelation, which uses a blend of colors to more closely match the skin’s natural color patterns.
Scar relaxation is accomplished using a technique called dry needling (also called dry tattooing, and Collagen Induction Therapy [CIT]). Dry tattooing creates microscopic punctures in the scar tissue. This stimulates collagen production and helps blood capillaries reach the surface. The result is improved skin tone (color), smoothed texture and a reduction of the three-dimensional appearance of the scar.
Scar camouflage is similar to scar relaxation except that we add pigments matched to your particular skin to make the scar color blend with the surrounding skin. We also use specialized techniques to further mask the scar’s appearance. For example, normal skin viewed very closely is not all one uniform color, so we use pointillism to create the appearance of a more natural mix of tones naturally occurring in the skin.
What to Expect
Although dry tattooing and scar camouflage can reduce the appearance of your scar, it’s important to understand that scars are long-lasting and no scar will ever be completely invisible. Every scar is different: body location, size, shape, color, appearance of depth, and so on. Some scars require only a single treatment, others take multiple treatments. Results are cumulative and may take four to six weeks to fully develop.
If you’ve had your scar for a while, you may have noticed that it doesn’t tan the same way the rest of your skin does. That’s a natural characteristic of scar tissue, and is not something we can change. However, the scar should be less visible as a result of our procedures.
Unlike harsher colored body tattoos, the skin tone micropigments we use do fade over a number of years and will need to be touched up over time to maintain their appearance.
Medical tattooing can successfully improve the appearance of modest-sized scars that cut through eyebrows or the hair on your scalp. It may not be the best option for scars that have left larger areas without hair, such as those that may be left by major surgery, because of the need to periodically go back and re-pigment large areas as hair color changes over time.
If you would like assistance with scar camouflage, please schedule a consultation with our master tattoo artist, Christopher Drummond and visit our Tattooing for Scars, Stretch Marks, Scalp, and Permanent Makeup page for more detailed information.