Inside: What is a Keloid Scar And what Tattoo Will Work To Cover It.
You may be prone to a keloid scar if you have sensitive skin or the tattooist doesn’t have steady hands. This raised pink or red scar can appear over a skin injury that penetrates deep enough to cause bleeding. A tattoo needle can also cause this scar.
The lumpy scar can vary in size as per the extent of the injury. Most of these are formed when there is a disruption in the natural wound healing process. A keloid scar forms when the body produces too much collagen, a protein found in bones, skin, and tendons, over the injury. This can happen for a variety of reasons – they can be created most often when you get new piercings or tattoos.
Who Can Get Keloid Scars?
You may be susceptible to keloid scars if you:
- Have black or brown skin.
- Are genetically inclined to get one.
- Are under 30 years old. You may easily get a keloid scar over a serious injury or tattoo as your skin loses elasticity with age.
Tattoos Can Cause Keloids
Tattoos can cause keloids since the process makes tiny injuries on the skin as the ink is pushed in. These usually occur on tattoos made on the upper chest, shoulders, neck, and head. The scar usually forms on tense skin.
This includes areas of the body where joints and muscles are prominent. A skilled tattooist has higher chances of ensuring a keloid scar doesn’t form, but if you are worried, avoid getting inked on those areas.
If you still want one, ask the artist for a patch test by tattooing a small line or a mark that matches your skin tone. When it heals without forming keloids, you may be able to get tattooed safely. Go with a small one on the tested area first and add more if the results are scar-less. A slow and steady approach is better if you have sensitive skin.
How to Prevent Keloids from Forming
The good news is that you can still get a great tattoo on those areas without worrying about scars forming with some solutions. Here are some things your tattooist can do and use if they think you are prone to keloid scars:
Use Pressure Bandages
While there is no way to avoid keloids altogether, you can use pressure bandages if you are worried one will form over a tattoo. Ask your physician and tattooist about these. The former can tell you if you should use these on your particular scar, and the latter can tell you what to do in the meantime.
Avoid UV Rays
While a fresh tattoo needs air to heal correctly and quickly, it should be kept in the shade as much as possible, uncovered. UV rays can burn the exposed derma and cause keloids.
Use Silicone Sheets
Even if months pass after you got the tattoo, you are not out of the woods yet. Place silicone sheets on the area to prevent keloids. These can reduce collagen production, which can otherwise form scars. The sheet will also protect the tattoo from bacteria which can trigger excess collagen production.
How Keloid Scars Can Be Removed
If you have a keloid scar from a tattoo, don’t worry. Several treatments can soften and reduce it significantly, such as:
Steroid or corticosteroid shots can shrink the scar and soften it as well. You need to get one every 3 to 4 weeks. Ask your dermatologist if you are a good candidate for these first.
Laser therapy can lighten and reduce these scars, but the treatment works best if the shots mentioned above accompany it. Remember that this treatment may not suit you if you have light skin. Your dermatologist will let you know.
Freeze or cryotherapy freezes the scar using liquid nitrogen. This treatment is best for small scars.
Surgery and radiation
The process is a bit invasive, but you can opt for surgery if you cannot stand looking at your keloid scar. The surgeon can cut out the keloids. High-energy X-rays often shrink keloids after surgery as the wound heals.
Always pick a trained and experienced medical professional for any scar treatment!
Keloids and other scars are part of the tattoo process, but that doesn’t mean you should choose any old tattooist for your first ink. Check out their reviews first. Clients will mention if they were injured or had scars afterward. Check out our other articles for more information on all things tattoos.
Learn More About Tattoos
- Tattoo Peeling Tips – Tattoo peeling is one of the least fun parts about getting a new tattoo. Don’t worry though, it is a natural part of the healing process and will not have a negative effect on your tattoo long term. While uncomfortable and at times a bit alarming, peeling is no big deal. Read our expert advice on what to do with tattoo peel.
- All About Autoclave – Using an autoclave allows items to be steamed under pressure to properly kill bacteria and germs. It’s vital that the tools and things are heated to the proper temperature to achieve sterilization. We will teach you all about autoclaves and how you can benefit from using one. While they are normally used in healthcare, they can be used to clean and sanitize tattoo equipment.
- Sleeve Filler Ideas – Perfecting a sleeve tattoo can take years of work, tons of inspiration and A LOT of time in the chair. But it’s totally worth it, right? I think so! When working on full sleeve designs you can often find yourself trying to fill those small spaces with ink that completes your sleeve perfectly. Finding the right art and designs for your sleeve tattoo is really the hardest part, I mean besides the pain. Here are 27 Tattoo Sleeve Filler Ideas for Women that we love.