Tattoo Scarring: Can You Get Rid of It?

Tattoo Scarring: Can You Get Rid of It?

Jun 12, 2023 | Bridget Reed

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Numbing Cream
Numbing Cream


A healed tattoo should look similar to a painting on your skin. Scarring and distortion aren’t normal parts of the tattoo healing process, and they can significantly impact how your tattoo looks. It’s best to take the proper steps to avoid tattoo scarring. 

If you already have scars, there may be a few things you can do to make them less noticeable. 

What Causes Tattoo Scarring?

Tattoo scarring is usually caused by one of two things. Good news! Both situations are avoidable. Thoroughly researching your tattoo artist and properly caring for your tattoo can help to prevent tattoo scarring.

Tattoo scarring can sometimes be the fault of an inexperienced tattoo artist. Tattooing too deeply, applying too much pressure, and making excessive passes over the same spot can lead to noticeable scarring. 

That’s why it’s so important to take your time to find an experienced, skilled tattoo artist. As much as you love your buddy, you should never be his first “client” for a home tattoo party. It’s a recipe for disaster.

Scarring can sometimes be the result of improper tattoo aftercare. Picking, peeling, and scabbing will remove the top layer of healing skin. This can damage or remove healing layers of the skin that contain tattoo ink pigments, leaving scars and pits on the skin.

Can You Get Rid of Tattoo Scarring?

Tattoo Scarring: Can You Get Rid of It?

There’s no real way to get rid of a scar. Scars can naturally fade with time, but it’s likely that you’ll always be able to see them a little bit. 

Surgical procedures and laser treatments can be used to remove or reduce scars. They work very well, but they’ll also damage your tattoo. Surgical removal to refine or reduce scars involves removing the surrounding skin and suturing it back together. 

This will remove pieces of your tattoo. Tattoo ink is also very sensitive to laser treatments, which can shatter ink particles and cause them to be absorbed by the body. 

Can You Tattoo Over Tattoo Scarring?

The answer is a vague “sometimes.” It depends on the type of scar, the location of the scar, and the surrounding area. 

Tattooing over a raised or keloid scar won’t do anything to flatten the scar. It may actually irritate the scar or make it appear more noticeable. The same goes for very deep scars. You can color over them, but the depth of the scar will always be noticeable. 

How To Reduce the Appearance of Tattoo Scarring

It may not be possible to completely eliminate tattoo scarring without destroying your entire tattoo, but you can do a few things to make the scars less noticeable. It all depends on the type and severity of your scars.

Silicone Sheets

Silicone sheets can reduce the appearance of scars by protecting the skin and eliminating friction. They’re intended to be worn almost all day, removed when you shower, swim, or bathe, and reapplied when your skin is dry.

Silicone sheets can have promising results, but it takes a long period of consistent use to notice a real difference. Some people use silicone sheets daily for up to six months before seeing a noticeable improvement in their scars.

Silicone sheets require a lot of patience and maintenance, but they’re one of the least expensive ways to reduce the appearance of scars. Best of all, it’s totally safe to do it yourself at home. 

Dermal Fillers

Some people have had success visiting aesthetic dermatologists for dermal fillers. The same fillers used to make lips appear more plump can be used to fill in deep scars, helping to make them a little more level with the surface of the skin. 

Dermal fillers are made of hyaluronic acid, a natural substance that the body can produce on its own. They’re typically harmful when properly administered by a licensed professional, but their effects are temporary. 

Most people report a complete loss of volume anywhere from four months to a year after filler injections. Keeping up with the process might be expensive, so consider whether or not you’re willing to commit before you start using fillers for your scars. 

How Do I Prevent Tattoo Scarring?

Tattoo Scarring: Can You Get Rid of It?

The best defense is a good offense. It’s very difficult to deal with scars after they’ve already happened. It’s much easier to prevent tattoo scarring. 

Keep Your Tattoo Moisturized

If your tattoo becomes dry, it will become visibly irritated. It may crack and scab up. Scabs can cause problems for your tattoo even if you don’t pick them. 

They may retain some of the ink, peeling it away as they naturally fall off. It’s gross, but they can also get stuck to your clothing or bed sheets. Moving the wrong way can cause a scab to rip off, leading to bleeding and scarring.

Don’t Scratch, Peel, or Pick at Your Tattoo

Your tattoo will become flaky or peel as it heals. It shouldn’t become scabby if it is properly moisturized. This stage can be very itchy. Scratching, peeling, or picking your tattoo can introduce infection-causing bacteria. It can also lead to scarring. 

The temptation to scratch or peel can be pretty intense when the itching starts. Try using some tattoo-numbing cream on your healing tattoo. 

Most people think of numbing cream as something to reduce discomfort, but it often works just as well for itchy sensations. If the itching sensation subsides, it’s a lot easier to resist the urge to scratch, peel, and pick.

The Wrap-Up: Aftercare Is a Great Preventative Solution

Tattoo aftercare can help you avoid issues like scarring and infections. It’s very important to follow the instructions your tattoo artist gave you at the end of your session. 

Our aftercare set contains everything you need to support your tattoo through the healing process. If you already have tattoo scarring, there may be a few things you can do to make the scars a little less obvious. 


Scar Revision | Johns Hopkins Medicine

Keloid scar - Symptoms and causes | Mayo Clinic

Hyaluronic Acid: What It Is, Benefits, How To Use & Side Effects | Cleveland Clinic

Everyday Cuts and Scrapes: How to Prevent Scarring | Johns Hopkins Medicine

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