Tattooing Over Scars

I’m working on a new feature that should (hopefully!) be ready by the morning, but before then, I wanted to share these shots of some hand-poked tattoo work over scar tissue that Ferank Manseed of Mudra Tattoo did while on the road. Some more procedural shots after the jump.

See more in Tribal and Blackwork Tattoos (Tattoos)

40 thoughts on “Tattooing Over Scars

  1. very nice. quite impressed with how the tattoing healed on top of the scars… gives me some ideas

  2. very nice. quite impressed with how the tattooing healed on top of the scars… gives me some ideas

  3. That is awesome. I love dot work, I like the texture it has over the scars too.

    Again, awesome.

  4. I would love to do something like that, but I feel as if I’ve spent too much of my life covering up my scars because I was ashamed of them. I don’t see how a tattoo would be any different than the long sleeves I used to wear, except for permanent. I’ve been playing with the idea of tattooing over them because I hate having the scars and having the constant questions about them, but I can’t get past that thought in my mind. I’d love to hear other takes on it.

  5. Hand poked tattoos and pointillism in tattoos immediately reminds me of Dan Dimattia.
    I don’t think there’s many people out there that want to look down and see a reminder of something there not proud of (I assume if there covering them up)

    I love this, it’s turning something that (might have) been done out of anger or self hate into something beautiful and simple.

  6. This tattoo demonstrates some serious skill and attention to detail. Its nice to see since many artists will turn away preople with giant scars as the keloid tissue is very difficult to tattoo over and still look really nice and clean, hats off to Ferank Manseed.

  7. Katy: But does not being proud of something automatically mean it needs to be covered up? I guess my mindset has always been more along the lines of: Its not something I’m proud of, but its something I’ve been through. It was a lesson and though part of myself wants to make my scars go away because I don’t need the reminder anymore, a part of me fears that by hiding the physical reminder, I might forget what I’ve learned from it. Eh, maybe I’m just not letting myself get over it.

    I do like your take on turning something that might have once been done out of hate and anger into something beautiful, its why I’ve always found such appeal in these types of tattoos.

  8. I concur with Phil. Very clean work. Kudos to Ferank Manseed for having the determination to not turn a client away who has heavy scarring and to finish off what must have been a very long project.

  9. &: My right thigh is an absolute mess of scars.Like Katy said,if I ever decide to get them (or my forearm scars,which aren’t as bad as my thigh)it will be because I want something I did out of self-hatred,anger,or whatever other emotion I was feeling when I decided to do it,into something beautiful and positive.It will be a part of the healing process for me,and also a deterent (after all,why would I cut over a beautiful piece of art?). I see it the same way as you:its not something I’m proud,but its something I’ve been through,and I like the concept of turning a negative into a positive.

    And this is STUNNING! Huge kudos to the artist!

  10. I was glad to see this. I have a friend with a lot of scars on her arms and nice to see it is possible to cover them with lovely work :)

  11. this is absolutely beautiful. i know of a lot of people (myself included) who are at peace with their scars but are still judged by others. what a way to turn something born of hate into beauty!

  12. my arms were covered in scars and i was told at one point that they couldnt be tattooed over,ive had them both blacked out and the scars are pretty much invisible now,i also had implants in one of them with no problems

  13. &:
    I got some scars too, from that “stupid” period during the teenage years. Not many, and barely visible now, but still, some people ask.
    I stand for them, myself. As you say, it’s something I learned a lot from, I’m not proud of them, but I stand for them.
    I think it might be harder to stand for them if they are many and really visible, like these on the pic were.
    At the same time, I don’t think covering them up will lead you to forget. You will probably always remember WHY you got just THAT tattoo – to cover up the scars… It will never be forgotten…

    Freakingly nice tattoo, I would love a handpoked one too, anyone knows where to find such a tattoo artist in Sweden?
    It looks so GREAT! ^_^

  14. what a beautiful tattoo!! it also works well to cover the scars.


    I also share your sentiment in a way– I don’t believe we should cover our scars but be proud of them instead, just like any other modifcation! In the 10 years that I’ve had very large/visible scars on my forearms I’ve come to understand that they bother other people more than they actually bother me! And the only way they bother me now is when people ask silly questions or stare in an obvious way. More and more though, I find those instances amusing rather than annoying. When I look down and see my arms with all the scars, I only see my arms–it actually takes a conscious effort to see them. They just became a natural part of me…

    I’m not sure if it’s the same in your case, but I would hide my scars only to avoid a reaction from other people. In that sense, I’m also hesitant to cover my scars with tattoos because the motivation would only be to camouflage them….because if in the end, I’m actually fine with my scars, so should I cover them because I’m afraid of what other people might think? it doesn’t seem right…..

  15. &:
    There’s so many reasons for not covering/covering up scars. I need the reminder of them to never let myself get to the point of where I was. But I think if I refused to cover them up I might dwell… There’s so many points. Blah, maybe I’m being repetitive. Either way… Nice tattoo :p I think I would just live as SOMA25 and let them be part of me, you know? Not accepting them but still accepting them? Like you would if you didn’t like your eye colour. You’d just live with it… I dunno… Does that make sense to anyone else but me haha?

  16. Wonderful, dedicated work. I couldn’t have that dedication.

    As far as scars go, it was my decision to put them there. You don’t have to do it with the intent to cover it up. But if I want to put something prettier and more ‘positive’ there, why not?

  17. I have a half-sleeve covering up some serious scarring. You can barely tell that there were scars there before. The only way to tell is if you seriously study the texture of my skin, or actually touch my arm. It has been liberating for me. I used to always dress to cover them, but now i don’t need to worry about it. It’s not about worrying about what other people think. It just makes every aspect of life easier. I am very happy with covering the scars on my arm and am considering continuing to cover scars I have in other places.

  18. Is it common then for artists not to tattoo over scars? I was planning on covering mine up when they heal.

  19. Awesome artwork on this one. The stipple effect is great, and I’m sure that took a lot of patience to complete for both artist and person getting worked on.

    I personally would choose to cover up my scars. I have gotten started on it, but there’s alot more to be done. It’s not really a matter of wanting to forget, as I will always remember why I made them. I’d just rather look at artwork on myself than a bunch of jagged scars. It also keeps me from doing any more damage to myself. I’m still looking for an artist who’s willing to attempt to go over some of my deeper scars.

  20. &:

    I have a tattoo on my leg that covers quite a few of my old scars. I didn’t get it done specifically to cover them, but I’m glad it does. It lets me know that I no longer care about these scars. They remind me that I was at a really low point in my life, but that I’ve moved on. The scars on my arms are not as pronounced as the ones on my legs, but I hope to get them covered as well. Not because I want them gone, but because I simply want tattoos on my arms. Maybe if you thought of it that way, you would see a different perspective. Think of what tattoos you would want there, if there were no scars, and then don’t let the scars stop you from getting them. Idk. That’s just the way I think of it. My tattoos are not going to completely cover every scar, but they will accentuate them, and I will never forget them. Even if I can’t see my scars clearly, I can still feel them, and I still remember them.

  21. I recently got my cutting scars covered with a beautiful tattoo. I think the process helps you heal emotional by covering something you find “ugly” or embarrassing with art that’s beautiful and unique is amazing. I find the scar tissue less sensitive than average skin, it will swell but eventually flattens out as it heals, with mine being flatter than before the tattoo.

    Magnificent Tattoo Darling 10/10

  22. I have a very “normal”, straight-up-and-down friend that was in a car accident and has a massive scar running up her thigh where she had to have a metal rod put in. She was saying she’d love to get a tattoo over it to turn something awful that she had no control over into something beautiful and positive. She would love to see this.

  23. Pingback: BME: Tattoo, Piercing and Body Modification News » ModBlog » Three Parts Optimist

  24. Pingback: BME: Tattoo, Piercing and Body Modification News » ModBlog » Three Parts Optimist

  25. hey thanks everyone for appreciating my very dedicated to my craft.surprisingly it didnt take too long,only about six isnt just a pattern …it is the sacred geometry pattern FLOWER OF sure if you research that a bit on youtube and google you will understand why it is perfect in this case.
    handwork is very diferent,much more personal.
    i like every piece to be magical……….

  26. Hi, this is my arm and tattoo in the picture, didn’t even realise it was on here until I saw Ferank today and he informed me. I very much appreciate all the lovely comments about the art, as I myself think it’s absolutely beautiful.
    However, I would very much prefer it if people didn’t jump to any conclusions about why I may have gotton the tattoo or my experience of self harm in general. I have actually found some of your comments slightly insulting and a little upsetting. I can only assume the photo was put up here to show off some amazing art work and the skill and effort that goes into handpicking, rather than for people to discuss my mental health problems and reasons behind getting this tattoo.
    I really do appreciate all the comments on the tattoo itself, and am hoping to get it extended ASAP when I save some pennies and Ferank draws me something amazing, as the upper half of my arm is just as scarred as my lower.

  27. Hi

    Would anyone please be able to give me names of artists who will tattoo over self harm scars?? I have a design but am worried about finding someone who will do it.

    Thank you


  28. hey i had a question … have this bad scar on both my feet from wen i was 3 years old .. my nanny by accident dropped an entire pot of hot water on my feet … i was wearin woolen socks and canvas and so u can imagine how bad it was .. my entire skin got stuck to the socks and i have a really bad scar .. am it is am senstive .. scars dont heal too fast on me … am now 27 … and scars still bad .. esp on right feet..thing is its not too even .. skin’s lil stretched … i dunno wat to do .. am from india .. i stay in a really hot state of delhi .. which goes upto 50 degrees c and can u imagine i wear canvas or stockings all the time … am soo conscious … i cant get over it … i’s give anything to wear nice cute gurlie sandals … thing is i have a tattoo artist fren who’s done 2 of my tattooes he said he could do a cover of the scar and it would not show .. but thing is its my whole feet and the right side has few stretched areas and the skin is not too smooth looks like burnt plastic sheet layer …. just wanted to get a second opinion ??? would it look better ??? if u can advice cos i know u’ve done this kind of stuff before. would realli appreciate your response

  29. Beautiful work.

    Basically, I feel like, I got my tats for me, not anyone else…(did a few of them myself) and I’ll change my body however, and whenever I want. Tattooing over a scar doesn’t need to be a group / consensus decision. And, my tattoos are not a visual invitation for you to judge me. They aren’t for you. I got my tattoos for me.

    So, if you don’t like the way your scars look, does there really need to be an online poll before you change it? No. Just be sure you’ll like *more*…whatever you put on top. People change, minds change, abstract designs are usually pretty hard to get tired of, but magic marker yourself up for a month to test out anything before you commit.


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