Brazilian Stretch Mark & Scar Camouflage Tattooing

You may have heard of “Brazilian” stretch mark tattoo camouflage – so what is the difference between this and traditional scar camouflage?

Rodolpho Torres is the main reason why the Brazilian Stretch Mark & Scar Camouflage Tattooing technique for stretch mark and scar tattoo camouflage has gained popularity of the last few years.  It is now a sought after treatment and has only just entered the UK in the last year.  Give it a few years and it will be as in demand as microblading or eyebrow tattooing.

The Brazilian method is very similar to traditional tattooing, using skin tone inks to re-pigment scars to be the same colour as the surrounding skin.  This method itself isn’t a new concept and has been around for years, but the latest inks and methods means the treatment is much safer and more successful that previously.

The technique involves ink mixing formulas and careful ink placement, for re-pigmentation of scars, stretchmarks, and vitiligo, as close as possible to the colour of the surrounding skin. In this way, the treated skin becomes less obvious.

Older methods of scar camouflage use semi-permanent inks, so the ink fades after a few years.  In fact, many practitioners still only use semi-permanent micropigmentation inks, to stay “safe”.  The bottom line is, if you are experienced and skilled at matching skin tones, there is no reason not to use permanent inks, and your clients will be grateful to not have to come back for up to 10 years, rather than maybe 3 years with semi-permanent inks.  New practitioners can use semi-permanent inks until they feel confident enough to move on to permanent inks.  The ingredients in semi-permanent and permanent inks these days are practically the same – the difference is that the particle sizes of semi-permanent inks are much smaller, allowing the body to break it down faster.

So what skin conditions can be treated with skin tone tattoo ink?

STRETCH MARKS

Did you know an estimated 50-90% of women have stretch marks?  Men can get them too!   Women tend to suffer from stretch marks on their buttocks, thighs, hips, stomach, breasts, lower back whereas men can get them on mostly on their arms, chest, stomach, and hips.  Usually stretch marks appear as  a result of a growth spurt, which also includes pregnancy.  The elastic fibers in the skin can tear. and these damaged areas make long, thin scars called stretch marks. They can appear as pink, red, or purple streaks and eventually usually subside to a white or silvery colour. There is also thought to be a genetic link.   Stretch marks can also be caused by Cushing’s Syndrome.

Unfortunately, once you have stretch marks they don’t ever go away.  There are many treatments available to try to improve them, but most treatments don’t work and creams most certainly do not make them disappear.  Clients may try laser therapy but usually unsuccessfully and normally 20 sessions or more can be required to see a decent result (if any).  This ends up being quite expensive!  Thankfully, the Brazilian stretch mark tattoo camouflage pigmentation treatment can effectively reduce the appearance of stretch marks.

VITILIGO

Vitiligo is an auto-immune disease with no known cure.  It is thought to be helped by changing your diet to a healthy one, to boost your immune system.   Vitiligo causes whiter patches of skin missing pigmentation.  The skin basically loses the pigmented cells called melanocytes.   It is unclear whether tattooing the skin can cause other areas of vitiligo to appear but there are no clinical studies to suggest this.  The Brazilian method of tattoo camouflage can be used in many cases of vitiligo to disguise the areas of missing pigmentation.

SCARS – SURGICAL OR ACCIDENTAL

Most scars can be treated with the Brazilian tattoo camouflage method, with the exception of Keloid scars.  Ideally scars need to be smooth, flat and white before treatment can be done.  This may be aided by performing MCA needling or microneedlng on the areas first.  Scars need to be at least 24 months old before any ink can be inserted.  The reason for this is that the skin is still moving whilst healing and therefore if you insert ink, this will also move and you can’t predict how this will settle.

Conditions which can’t be treated

Clients who suffer from hyperpigmentation have to be treated with caution.  Tattooing the skin is also causing a minor injury which can trigger further hyperpigmentation.   It isn’t advisable to treat hyperpigmentation with skin tone tattoo camouflage for this reason.  If a client has an area of darker pigmentation but hasn’t suffered from general hyperpigmentation after injuries, they can possibly benefit from some lightening of the skin through skin tone tattoo camouflage.  A small patch test area should be performed first to see how their skin reacts.

Client’s prone to keloid scarring also can’t be treated.

How many sessions are needed for scar or stretch mark tattoo camouflage?

Scar tissue is compromised skin, so it isn’t possible to predict how well it will retain skin tone ink.  Skin tone ink has to be diluted in order for it to appear natural.  In this way we build up the ink over sessions.  Usually with stretch marks, 2 sessions are required.  With injury or surgical scars, this can take several sessions, plus more if MCA needling needs to be performed first to prepare the skin for inking.  You can read more about MCA needling here.

How often can you have scar tattoo camouflage sessions?

Healing times vary between clients as it depends on the client’s age, immune system, and aftercare.  For stretch marks the healing time takes a bit longer and at least 60 days should be left between treatments.  However, anyone prone to hyperpigmentation or slow healing can take much longer than this.  For other scar camouflage, again it varies between clients, but usually the next session can be booked 8 weeks later.

How much does it cost to have scar tattoo camouflage?

Pricing starts from £150 per session for a small scar.  For larger areas, it depends on the size.  You can email us photos and we can give you a cost per session.  The price for stretch mark tattoo camouflage starts at £300 per session and you can read the stretch mark tattoo price guide here.

Can you tattoo skin colour over stretch marks or scars?

Absolutely!  A medical tattoo artist can match your skin tone as closely as possible and insert the ink in to your skin, making your scars or stretch marks less noticeable.  A mix of colours is used, as well as dilution, to ensure a natural result.

Brazilian Stretch Mark & Scar Camouflage Tattooing is a very skilled technique that should be performed by a practitioner who has had specific training in this method, as it is isn’t the same as traditional tattooing.  Knowledge of colour theory, skin tone matching and ink mixing is essential, as well as recommending the best aftercare methods and products.  Different needle configurations and voltages are required, as well as ink dilutions for a natural look, and knowledge of ink depth placement.

If you are interested in training to be a Brazilian Stretch Mark & Scar Camouflage Tattoo artist, please see 
https://www.ink-illusion.com/online-training-brazilian-stretch-mark-and-scar-camouflage-tattooing/.  You can get started with our online training for scar camouflage today.

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