Scar revision by tattoo

There are times when a picture is worth a thousand words – or more!  And this subject surely asks for pictures even more strongly than my previous post on scar reduction surgery.

In a Comment on this previous post, Wendy stated (in my words) that she would not want any more tampering with her pyloric stenosis scar because of the complex feelings she has had about it all her life.  From my own journey after the same surgery I’m pretty sure I know just what she feels.  I want to explore this after time for more reflection.

And like Wendy I belong to today’s older generation, many of whom regard body art including tattooing in a very different way from much of our younger set.

However, I have been blown away by the creative and effective way in which some people have combined their surgical body scar with art, some to hide their scar and some to embellish it, even with humour, but always with the clear aim of reclaiming their abdomen as their own.  Why should the scar on my abdomen represent for the rest of my years the workplace (and all-too-often a rather unsightly one) of perhaps a long-ago surgeon who had little care for how I their patient would think and feel one day, or of my own body after it has gone somewhat berserk in dealing with the damage from a surgical assault, resulting in a collection of hideous keloid scars, troughs and pits?

For what it’s worth (and we are all so different), I have found that my own very limited efforts to modify my scar would be regarded by many as self-injuring, but they were also my attempt to claim some authority and ownership over what had happened to my body very early and without any of my involvement.  This may seem weird to some, perhaps – but it’s true.

As with scar-revision and reduction or “plastic” surgery, it is not hard to find websites advertising “scar tattoos” or “tattooing over scars”.  Here are five of the best results I found from a limited search; click on the image to enlarge it.

Cobertura cicatriz Elaine - Flickr EspScar w tattoo covering01

Scar w tattoo surround01Soobie - midliner w cherry-tattooScar revision tattoo01

5 thoughts on “Scar revision by tattoo

  1. Fred Vanderbom Post author

    Editor’s Comment:
    The above Comment is actually spam that is advertising a product but it may be of interest to some readers – although the claim that surgical scars disappear is quite incorrect.
    I’ll leave this Comment here to await Jerrod’s promised contribution.

  2. Wendy

    Wow! Impressive. Some gorgeous images. And sure enough, one would not know a scar were there. The zipper image was hard for me since, as a child, I was afraid that my guts could spill out of the incision site or scar. I wasn’t real conscious of my fear then but I know it’s one of the reasons that I didn’t crawl. I would drag myself around on my butt by digging my feet into the rug and pulling my body forward. The scar art is wonderful to imagine, but that’s as far as I’d go. I just thought of a cool image for my scar though: an open book. The midline of the book–the place between the two pages– would cover my vertical scar and a horizontal line of type would cover each stitch. How’s that for rewriting my scar story!

  3. Fred Vanderbom Post author

    I’m on your page, Wendy. I found the art for this post a lot of fun to find and select, and it’s sent me on flights of fancy also. Your suggestion of a book seems so tailor-made for both of us who love writing, and even more so as you are re-tuning your career path.
    But I believe that my scar as it is keeps me connected with my pyloric stenosis story better than any later-life superimposed art work could, no matter how creative, humorous or escapist it might be!


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