Shoulder Surgery Scar Tattoo: Everything You Need to Know

Shoulder surgery may be required by your healthcare provider when the pain or weakness start to hinder your everyday activities. Some shoulder surgeries may leave scar tissue that may fade over time, but some don’t. If you have a scar from your shoulder surgery, you may want to consider a camouflage tattoo that will cover it. 

While some people wear scars with pride, some may be too conscious of its presence. Here at Studio Conceal, we offer tattoo covering for after surgery scars, stretch marks, and even self-harm scars. Read further to know more about the camouflage tattoo services of Studio Conceal. 

shoulder surgery

Photo of a shoulder surgery scar with stitches Image from Here

What is a scar camouflage tattoo?

A camouflage tattoo is similar to a regular tattoo, except the color pigment matches your skin tone. A skin-tone colored pigment is placed in the upper layer of the scar so it blends to the surrounding skin. 

The purpose of a camouflage tattoo is to cover up or disguise the scar. Just to be clear, a camouflage tattoo is not a procedure that heals or removes scars. Who wouldn’t want a scarred skin to be less noticeable? 

A camouflage tattoo falls under the category of medical or cosmetic procedure. Other than covering up scars, a scar camouflage tattoo is also used to cover stretch marks, scars after a breast cancer surgery, or any skin discoloration.

The Benefit of Shoulder Surgery Scar Tattoo

There’s one reason why people with scars get a scar tattoo — to make it less noticeable and have a positive self-body image. With a less noticeable scar on your shoulders, you’ll be more confident wearing a sleeveless top. 

Some people wear cover ups to cover those scars, but that won’t be the case anymore, thanks to the help of a camouflage scar tattoo. People won’t be asking too much of your scar when you have it covered up. 

What’s not to like about being self-confident of the way you look and having flawless skin? You only want professional tattoo artists to work on your camouflage tattoo to gain back that self-confidence. 

Does a camouflage tattoo look natural?

Yes a camouflage tattoo looks natural especially when a professional tattoo artist works on it. A camouflage tattoo is minimally invasive aimed for natural-looking results. With the micropigmentation and flesh-toned ink used, this will make the scar less visible. 

A professional tattoo artist knows how to choose the right colors to complement your skin. Scar camouflage is meant to improve the scar appearance, and the main goal for it is to ‘camouflage’ and blend into your skin.

If the camouflage tattoo doesn’t look natural, then your tattoo artist isn’t doing it right. That’s why you need to get tattooed by experienced professionals at Studio Conceal. 

How long after surgery can you get a tattoo?

If you intend to get a tattoo to cover your surgery scar, you have to make sure it’s fully healed. According to the peer reviewed studies of the National Health Service, surgery scars may take six months to up to two years to fully heal, depending on the depth. 

The scar may gradually fade or flatten for up to two years, the period exceeding that, the scar won’t undergo any change. Here’s a point you need to remember – scars from surgery is a surgical wound, so you want that to fully heal before opting for a camouflage tattoo procedure. 

A camouflage tattoo procedure itself, or tattooing in general, is an open wound. That’s why you need to make sure full healing of the scar before having a camouflage tattoo. It is best to talk to your healthcare provider or a professional tattoo artist at Studio Conceal before undertaking this procedure. 

Why do people get camouflage tattoos over scar tissue?

Many people get their scar tattooed to hide the ‘battle scars’ to make it less visible. The point of this procedure is to conceal any skin discoloration or blemish you want to cover up. Sometimes it’s more for emotional reasons to help move on from a past story or memory.

Aside from surgical scars, camouflage tattooing is also the concealing procedure of choice for stretch marks. With a camouflage tattoo, you have the option to have the scar itself tattooed, the scar’s surrounding area, or both. 

Am I a candidate for a scar camouflage tattoo?

This section will help you determine if you’re a candidate for a scar camouflage tattoo. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women are not allowed to undergo camouflage skin tattooing. You may consult for an appointment after your pregnancy and once your baby has fully weaned from breastfeeding.
  • The majority of those who have surgical scars of more than two years old are candidates for a camouflage tattoo. 
  • If your skin is tanned, it is best to wait for the tanning to completely fade before undergoing a camouflage tattoo procedure. This is to ensure the pigment used mimics your natural skin tone, not your tanned skin tone.
  • People who have chronic skin disorder may be contraindicated to get a camouflage tattoo.

That’s why it’s always best to consult your healthcare provider or book a consultation at Studio Conceal to determine if you’re a suitable candidate for camouflage tattooing. 

A pre-screening is required of all clients of Studio Conceal to ensure your safety and prevent any health issues that may arise from the procedure. 

What to expect during a camouflage tattoo procedure

In a camouflage tattoo procedure, you can expect initial consultation. The procedure will be explained to you, the aftercare and touch-up appointments in the future. A camouflage tattoo procedure is a life-changing commitment and you should commit to professional tattoo specialists that will help you achieve what you aim for. 

Consultation With the Tattoo Artist

Just like any procedure, the first thing you should expect before undergoing a camouflage tattoo procedure is the assessment or consultation stage. During the consultation phase, your tattoo artist will determine if you’re the right candidate for a scar tattoo.

If you’ve booked a service for a camouflage tattoo, and the specialist didn’t conduct a consultation, you should start to question their integrity. During the consultation stage, it is the best time to ask questions on what to expect during the procedure.

If you’re from Arizona, you can book an in-person appointment at Studio Conceal located at SanTan Village Mall, 2212 E. Williams Field Rd. Suite 200, Gilbert, AZ 85295 or call (480) 680-9966. 

If you reside outside Arizona and plan to book a procedure at Studio Conceal, you can set a virtual appointment. Our professional tattoo specialists are here to guide you every step of the way. We will help you achieve the flawless skin you’ve dreamed of. 

Pain Level

On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 as the most painful), the consensus of previous clients of Studio Conceal on the pain level of the camouflage tattoo procedure is between 6 to 7. During the procedure, there will be minimal yet tolerable discomfort to expect. 

Surgical scars are less painful to be tattooed over as compared to other scars like keloid scars and burn scars. However, if there’s nerve damage in that area, the scar tissue may be less sensitive to pain. That’s why it is best to talk to a healthcare provider before a camouflage tattoo to determine if there’s a presence of nerve damage.

So you may ask, does a camouflage tattoo procedure require the use of a topical anesthetic or numbing cream? The answer is no. Numbing agents are not used to avoid interference of the purity of the pigment used. This is to ensure the tattoo is closest to your skin color. 

The Immediate Afterlook

Right after the procedure, you can expect that there’s little to no downtime. You can resume with your daily tasks or go back to work, right after the procedure. Easy breezy! 

However, you can expect minimal redness and swelling 1-3 days after the procedure, which is normal. The complete healing time varies from person to person. 

It will depend on your age, diet, sun exposure and overall general health. On average, it takes between 45 to 60 days for the total healing of the camouflage tattoo. 

The Aftercare

During the first 3 days, swelling and inflammation is expected. For the aftercare, your tattoo artist will educate you on how to minimize inflammation, how to keep the area clean and proper ice application.

After several weeks, the redness will start to fade, which means skin healing starts. Tattoo care also includes the use of an antibiotic ointment, gentle washing, avoiding swimming and scratching. Make sure to take down notes on the tips on aftercare of your camouflage tattoo. 

Just a heads up though if you’re planning to get a tanned body after a camouflage tattoo, your whole body might get tanned, but the color of the camouflage tattoo stays the same. May it be a spray tan, a result of sunbathing, or in the tanning bed. 

Remember that the color of the pigment used is fixed when it penetrates to the skin, so the color stays the same even after tanning. When the tan fades, and your skin turns back to its original shade, your camouflage tattoo will look like the way that it should. 

The Lasting Effects

According to industry experts and peer reviewed studies in the field, its effects last for five years before you may or may not need a touch up. Some scar tattoos may fade faster. Everyone’s skin is so different. Provided that aftercare regimens are followed correctly. 

Will touch-ups be needed? Maybe yes, maybe no. Some people won’t be needing touch-ups, while some will do. Remember that even regular tattoos may need touch ups because of natural skin changes or a faded look. Getting a touch-up depends on your preference and the outcome of the camouflage tattoo after five years. 

Related read: How to Get Rid of Shoulder Stretch Marks

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you get a tattoo after shoulder surgery?

Yes, you can get a tattoo after the scarred skin on your shoulder surgery has completely healed. Your professional tattoo artist will most likely recommend camouflage tattooing two years after the surgery. 

Can you get skin colored tattoos to cover scars?

Yes, you can get skin colored tattoos over lesions, especially after a surgery. A scarred skin, may it be in the shoulders or in other parts of the body, you can get a camouflage tattoo over it. 

Can you tattoo over self harm scars? 

Yes, you can tattoo over self-inflicted lesions. Make sure to have it checked by a tattoo specialist if a camouflage tattoo is possible. There are self-inflicted wounds that don’t form a scar, that may not be possible for a camouflage tattoo. 

How much does camouflage tattoos cost?

The cost of camouflage tattoos for scars at Studio Conceal ranges between $500-$2,000 per area. Studio Conceal also accepts payment plans with fast approval. 

shoulder surgery scar tattoo

Before and after results of camouflage scars tattoo at Studio Conceal

Scar Camouflage Tattoo at Studio Conceal

If you think you’re a candidate for camouflage tattoos, don’t hesitate and book an appointment now with Studio Conceal. If you want to conceal that bothersome scar, a camouflage tattoo is the best procedure to cover that up. 

Other than camouflage tattoos for scars, Studio Conceal also offers Scalp Micropigmentation and 3D Areola Restoration services. Don’t forget to read our popular articles at our blog section to get more ideas of our services. Book a free consultation now!

share this post

Scroll to Top