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Scar Camouflage


You Need To Know About Scar Camouflage Tattooing

Using techniques similar to permanent makeup, scar camouflage tattoos can, well, camouflage the appearance of scarring, stretch marks, and more. Here’s what you need to know.

No matter their origins, scars are often fraught with meaning. For some, they’re a sign of victory: the mark of survivorhood. For others, they’re a reminder of a chapter they’d prefer to close. Regardless, there remains the fact that, for a multitude of reasons, some scars heal better than others.

When it comes to mastectomy and breast reconstruction, for example, how well your scar blends into your surrounding skin over time depends on your surgeon’s skill and your unique physiology. Proper aftercare, along with topical scar therapies (think: silicone gel or strips) and cosmetic procedures (like microneedling and lasers) can make a noticable difference.

In recent years, a newer scar-minimizing treatment has been gaining popularity. It’s called scar camouflage, and it uses techniques similar to permanent makeup (a.k.a. cosmetic tattooing) to, well, camouflage the appearance of the mark. Here’s what you need to know about the trend.

Permanent Lip Makeup

What Is Scar Camouflage?

Also known as skin color tattooing or camouflage tattooing, scar camouflage is a needle and pigment technique that blends scars into the surrounding natural skin using permanent makeup pigments. Typically performed by a medical or paramedical tattoo technician/artist, skin repigmentation has become increasingly popular for its ability to improve the appearance of scars, stretch marks, and other areas affected by hypopigmentation (read: missing color). Just like other forms of paramedical tattooing, scar camouflage isn’t the same as a typical decorative tattoo. Let’s review what makes cosmetic tattooing different from traditional tattoo techniques:

Traditional Tattoos

  • Considered a ‘cosmetic’ by the FDA (meaning they’re not regulated)

  • Ink (black and bright colors) derived from a variety of chemicals, including metals

  • Injected deeper into the dermis

  • Cannot be broken down by the body (i.e. they’re permanent)

  • May fade slightly and/or become fuzzy over time

Cosmetic Tattoos

  • Considered a ‘cosmetic’ by the FDA (meaning they’re not regulated)

  • Micropigments (neutral skin tones adjusted with white) made primarily from titanium dioxide, as well as organic and inorganic substances

  • Injected more superficially into the dermis

  • Partially broken down and faded by the body (i.e. they’re semi-permanent)

  • Likely to fade completely over time

What Type of
Scars Can Be Camouflaged?

Stretch Mark

When evaluating a scar for corrective micropigmentation, the source of the scar is not as important as its look and feel. Once fully healed, any type of pigment loss is generally amenable to micropigment color correction, including:

  • Scars (from surgery or injury)

  • Stretch marks

  • Areas lacking pigmentation 

Stretch marks

How to Prepare for a
Scar Camouflage Treatment

If you think skin color correction may be the solution for your scar, there are a few things you need to know beforehand:

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