Tattoo Scarring: Why Does It Happen & How To Avoid It is reader-supported. When you buy via the links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you.

Everyone has heard of/is interested in tattooing. Having a tattoo is one of the newest forms of self-expression. But no matter how small, large, intricate, or symbolic your tattoo, they all have one thing in common: scars.

So if you want to start showing off those tattoos and embrace them as part of who you are, it’s important to understand how tattoos scar and how you can prevent them. 

In this article, we provide you with everything you need to know about what causes tattoo scarring, how to reduce their visibility, and the factors that contribute to scars after tattooing.

Why Do Tattoos Scar?

Tattoos can cause permanent scars and this is one of the reasons why many people don’t like tattoos. But if you want to get a tattoo, it’s important to understand that scars are part of the process and they play an essential role in your body’s ability to heal itself.

When you get a tattoo, your skin is broken and your tattoo artist inserts the ink. This process will be sore and swollen for a few days, but most people can still function with no serious problems. 

However, when you get a tattoo it is not only the skin that is broken; in most cases there is also damage to your deeper skin layers such as sweat glands and hair follicles. These deeper layers play a role in the formation of scars after tattooing.

There are many factors that contribute to tattoo scars including:

The location of the tattoo

This is probably one of the most important factors, as certain areas are more prone to scarring after tattoos than others. For example, tattoos that are situated on areas with thicker layers of skin like your lower back or chest are more likely to scar due to the extra thickness in these areas.

Ink colors

Tattoo inks have been specifically formulated to be easily absorbed by the body and avoid scarring, but this isn’t always the case. Inks can sometimes get trapped under a scab formed after tattooing, which may cause discoloration of your skin or scarring.

Tattoo treatment

You should tell your artist any creams or medications you might be taking at the time of tattooing so they can advise you accordingly if there are any contraindications. It is especially important to speak with your doctor should you have been prescribed blood thinners, since this could potentially cause bleeding issues that should be addressed before getting a tattoo.

Age & general health status

As we age, our bodies’ ability to heal and repair skin can be compromised, which makes older people more vulnerable to the formation of scars after tattoos.

tattoo scarring

How do you prevent a tattoo from scarring?

If you’re worried about the appearance of scars after tattooing, here are 7 ways you can reduce the likelihood  of them happening:

Choose a reputable tattoo shop

Find an artist that is experienced, skilled, and knowledgeable about how to properly apply tattoos. Ask your tattooist for recommendations on artists they’ve worked with in the past or who they personally work with now.

Have realistic expectations about tattoos.

Tattoos are permanent marks on the skin, so it’s important to know what you’re getting yourself into before getting one done. Although tattoos can alter their appearance over time, they will always leave a mark on your body .

Allow adequate healing time between sessions

Be sure that you give your tattoo some time to heal after each session before having another session done until it’s completed. Also ensure that you follow all post-tattooing instructions provided by your tattooist including A+D ointment for at-home care.

Choose lighter colors for smaller tattoos

Lighter colors like white, yellow, and red are best suited for smaller tattoos as they become less visible or not noticeable when healed. 

On the other hand, if you really want deeper color pigments such as blues, greens, and purples, then keep your tattoo small since it may be more difficult to hide these types of ink during the healing process if it scars.

Avoid getting a new tattoo while you’re already experiencing scarring from an older one

Getting a new tattoo on top of an old one that’s still in its healing stages can lead to thicker raised scars as opposed to smooth flat ones so wait until all your previous tattoos have fully healed before embarking on another journey.

Avoid re-tattooing over scarred skin or previously tattooed areas.

Getting a new tattoo over existing scars, previous tattoos, or just the general area of where it’s located can lead to more raised and thickened scars than you initially experienced so it’s best to avoid unnecessary risks by getting another tattoo in the same location.

Follow your tattooist’s aftercare instructions.

Post-care is vital if you want to reduce any kinds of scarring so ensure that you’ve done everything properly before leaving their shop. A+D ointment for optimal post-tattoo healing along with saline rinses for the first two weeks will do wonders on minimizing visible scarring.

Does tattoo scarring ever go away?

Tattoo scars are permanent but can be effectively reduced through various treatment options available today. Laser tattoo removal is probably the most popular scar reduction solution for tattoos since it’s effective and non-invasive. However, it can be expensive, depending on how many treatments you may need to undergo to achieve your desired results.

Skin lightening creams like Amaira Natural Skin Lightener are another way to reduce the appearance of scars after tattooing. These topical products work by lightening dark patches, which reduces the contrast between colored areas and naturally fairer skin around them, making them hardly noticeable or even invisible altogether.

There are other successful methods like microdermabrasion (scaling at very high speed), chemical peels, and dermabrasion that can help reduce scars after tattooing, depending on the extent of their severity.

In Conclusion

Getting a new tattoo is fun and exciting but it can also be dangerous if proper precautions aren’t taken before, during, and after the procedure. The risk of having scars increases dramatically when getting tattoos done at parlors that don’t follow hygiene procedures or deciding to get one over an old scar tissue making it more complicated, especially if you’re planning on getting another one in the same area again.

Living with tattoos can be very fun, but you should make sure that all of them are done properly to avoid any future problems like unsightly scarring which might draw unwanted attention and permanently ruin your overall look in the long run. After all, tattoos are supposed to be an accessory that makes you look better than you already do. 

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