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Tattoos to help coverup disfiguring surgery.

27 Aug 2016 12:53

Have any of you had a tattoo to help disguise a difiguring scar caused by surgery. I have a very disfiguring scar on my head from surgery to remove a tumour and a skin graft. I am very self concious about this to the point of turning down invitations to social events. At one point I did think about making a feature of it with a tattoo. I have not done so though.

Then today whilst browsing the BBC website for news I came across the following article about a woman who had a tattoo to cover scarring caused by surgery for breast cancer. Its quite a good read and an uplifting story.


Tattoos to help coverup disfiguring surgery.

30 Aug 2016 21:32 in response to kimchoson

Hello Kim,

Thanks for sharing this article. I found it a very interesting read and an uplifting story indeed!

I am sorry to hear you have been feeling self-conscious about that scar to the point of turning down invitations to social events and I am sure given how eloquent you are that you are very much missed at these social occasions!

Many on our forum will feel the same as you and they may have some tips for you whether they had a tattoo themselves or found other ways to live with or cover their scars.

I'd be interested to read our members' experiences on this.

Best wishes,

Lucie, Cancer Chat Moderator

Tattoos to help coverup disfiguring surgery.

30 Aug 2016 22:43 in response to kimchoson

Hi Kim,

Not something I've come across personally but I remember seeing an article about a guy in the US who specialised in 3D tattoos as part of breast reconstruction. 

In a past career, I did come across the use of both specialist make up and tattoos to camouflage scarring following incidents of self-harm. i guess similar techniques could be used for surgical scars.



ps here's a useful link - Changing Faces might also be useful.


Tattoos to help coverup disfiguring surgery.

13 Sep 2016 11:59 in response to davek

Hi Dave

Thanks for the link. Its amazing what can be done to camouflage scars. I did look into the changing faces website but did not go any further. A tattoo was out as the area is an extremely thin skin graft right next to my skull. I think I just need to brave up a bit and ignore the stares.

Also thanks for the supportive words from those who have commented on this in various threads. It means a lot. Kim

Tattoos to help coverup disfiguring surgery.

23 Sep 2016 17:07 in response to kimchoson

Hi Kim,

I too have a very large scar but on my hip and down my leg and I felt very self conscious about this for a long time. People will always look at scars because they are different. You will find though that very rarely people are judging you but instead wondering what your story is - they just don't realise how damaging it can be for someone who is trying to recover and get their confidence back. 

It takes time to accept a scar but one day you won't even notice people looking. Once your friends and family have seen it a few times they'll accept it too - and will naturally just stop looking, if they even were in the first place. Your loved ones would rather have you here any day of the week and they are the people who matter. 

Personally whenever I had strangers being a bit nosey with my scar I had a bit of fun with them; I knew I didn't have to tell them about my treatment so I made a different story up everytime, the wilder the better. Shark attack is my personal favourite, but ultimately it's none of their business!

All the best,

MidgetGem93 x

Tattoos to help coverup disfiguring surgery.

6 Oct 2016 22:20 in response to kimchoson
Hi I too have thought about tattoos to cover my scars. I am 43 and had a double mastectomy 3 years ago and have rejected more ops to reconstruct. Thank you for posting the link it's really interesting.

Tattoos to help coverup disfiguring surgery.

7 Oct 2016 15:43 in response to kimchoson
I too have facial disfigurement, so I completely understand how you feel! I had a carcinoma on my top lip. It was treated with bracytherapy, which is a kind of radiation administered directly into the tumor, via catheters inserted surgically into my lip and radiation applied 2 X day, for 5 days. My lip took along time to heal and 6 months after treatment the Dr's started to suspect a reoccurrence. I had another biopsy done 10 months after treatment, which came back negative, but I was left with a hole in my top lip that looked like I had a cleft! It also affected my speech and eating.! This year in May I had a lip reconstruction , using a lip switch procedure called an Abbe flap done, basically a piece is taken from the bottom lip and sewn to cover the defect in the top lip, the lower labial artery provides blood flow to the flap now on the top lip. Meaning I had my mouth sewn shut for 6 weeks, I then had a second op to separate my lips and finish forming the top The first 2 months after were hard. ...looking at the swollen, bulbous, middle part of my top lip I just thought "what have I done!" It seems I gone through 6 weeks of hell for nothing! Now 3 months post op and it's starting to look better! I have no philtrum (the groves that run down from the middle of your nose to the cupids bow) and no cupids bow as well as the scars! It's definitely hard when it's your face that is scared because it's in full view, no hiding the scars with clothing! You don't say exactly where the scar is, but if it wasn't my lips but another part of my face I would probably think about a tattoo! The camouflage stuff is worth looking into too. Sending support and hugs!