We have plenty of fun and creative ways that people have made the best of the bad situation – maybe you need a little inspiration for your next tat. Or, you just want to see how some people have adapted. Either way, there are plenty of examples here.
Nothing Left on the Bone
Let's get the obvious question out of the way first – you're looking at his back. The tattoo is on the left side, at about rib height. The bit of skin at the top of the frame is his arm. There, now we can get to the meat of the matter.
This guy apparently had to have quite a number of medical procedures done, but he decided to do what he could to have some fun. He turned a narrow white scar into a picked-clean fish skeleton, complete with a skull and a bony tail. Even in this picture, you can see a few more scars, too.
Zipping Back Up
If you have to have a C1 and C2 fusion, as this guy did, you're left with a pretty hefty scar. This guy knows that for a fact, but he decided to have a little bit of fun with it. This intricate and detailed tattoo is apparently his first ink – nothing to sneeze at.
You can see the vertebrae that have been fused together, even if it's just an artistic representation. We also have some brain, some skull, and a big zipper to lock it all down. Sure, it might not be perfectly anatomically correct, but we think we can give them points for artistic license.
I Will Never Be Cut Down
There are lots of reasons why somebody might have scars at certain places on their body, and we doubt we could even list all of them. Some of them might be for accidents, but some of them might be for even worse reasons.
People who get through seasons like this come out a little stronger, and sometimes they can even make jokes at their own expense, such as getting a little stick figure with a chainsaw next to their scars. It might be a little slapdash, but it still probably took a lot of time – just look at the detail on the chainsaw.
Just to Make Sure
A tattoo after surgery doesn't have to be something big and extravagant. We're going to see plenty of those. How about a scar that is small and simple, like this one? It's just a little safety pin, but sometimes that's all you need to make sure nothing falls apart.
This lady had a fused T4-L3 vertebra in her back, and that's the sort of work that leaves some leftovers. You might think that there needs to be a big set of ink to make that all better, but sometimes less is more.
Nobody Ever Has to Know
Here's an interesting fact about the human body – it's pretty elastic. The skin, muscles, and stomach can all stretch and change based on a lot of different factors. Sometimes, however, those parts of the body aren't able to be elastic enough. For instance, this woman has lost a lot of weight, and she has some loose skin – it's something that happens to a lot of people.
Unless she wants to go under the knife, a tattoo seems to be the simplest solution for getting everything shipshape. This flowery design has enough to draw the eye but not too much to get people looking too closely.
Most of the tattoos on this list are for the express purpose of hiding scars. Sometimes they're just there for camouflage, sometimes, they're there to mark the occasion or add a final cap to the look. This one seems to be different. The sharp, colorful dagger looks like it's slicing right through where the scar is.
The scar is from a dog bite – a particularly messy injury, all things considered – and it seems to be on display. We all have different coping methods for something like this, and this is just one of the many ways somebody might deal with something traumatic.
The All-Seeing Owl
If you took a look at that...arm, we're going to say you might not have any idea that there was scar tissue hiding underneath. We don't know where all those scars could have come from, but now we don't have to wonder about it at all. All we have to do is look at that cool creature of the night and wonder why it might need three eyes.
To better see mice running through the underbrush? To make sure that no rabbits can get away? Maybe he just wants to make sure he doesn't miss any of the good bird feeders.
Be Careful With Axes
We got the shivers looking at this one. If you're ever swinging an ax around for any reason, make sure you know where your feet are. Thankfully, this ax was swung during a competition, so it was as sharp as possible. The scar is still pretty bad, but we're told that the injury didn't actually hurt all that much.
That didn't stop the bleeding, but at least it's better than it could have been. This person decided to mark the occasion with an ax head, which is quite the choice, though we support it. Have to tell those axes who's boss.
Getting Some Work Done
After multiple shoulder dislocations, a guy needs a couple of surgeries to make sure things stay in place. Once he made sure everything was stable and he wouldn't have to go under the knife again, he decided to get a little ink to have some fun. The choice of an undersea welder is an inspired one, and we're not sure why he would pick it, but it's quite an artistic sight.
Hopefully, there isn't a great deal of hair on the chest there, or this person will have chosen a smaller piece of work. Or maybe it's one of those hair seas that we hear so much about.
We All Need Some Sun Sometimes
Having to deal with your mistakes is one of the big reasons why tattoos are such a draw for people that have scars left over from the past. Tattoos can be adjusted, resized, or added to cover a wound of any shape or size, so no doubt there are far more examples than we could ever fit on this list.
This example shows us the main character of the video game “Okami,” a wolf who is the incarnation of the sun goddess Amaterasu. Many people find the game to be quite beautiful and uplifting, so people who have gone through traumatic events might be drawn to it.
Facing Your Demons
A sad fact of the matter of tattoos that cover scars is sometimes those scars will be self-inflicted. Our heart goes out to anyone that finds it necessary to do such a thing, and we delight in seeing the tattoos that help people push past whatever challenges they face.
This stirring piece of bodywork might just have given us a chill when we laid eyes on it. A small child's hand embraces a dark, long-nailed fist in an effort to bridge the gap and come to an understanding. There is almost certainly more that went into this than just that, but we can't tell what it is from here.
Imagine the Questions
We're not sure why this person has a scar on his leg in the shape of a carrot with a bite taken out of the side, but now he doesn't have to worry about questions of that manner. He DOES have to worry about people asking him why he has a carrot tattooed on his leg, though, which will inevitably lead to the scar.
The shape of the scar looks almost exactly like a carrot, so of course, the mind will go exactly there, but just look at the detail. Even if there was no scar, this seems like a good piece of ink to add.
An Apex Predator
We don't know for sure if this person's knee scar is because of a meeting in the water with one of these deadly sea creatures, but it's a fairly unpleasant scar one way or another. No scars are very “fun” to look at, but this one has an extra sort of ick factor that can turn the stomach.
Why not cover it with a shark? It's a solution to all of life's problems. Being able to incorporate a little bit of the scar tissue into the actual design is a nice touch to make it a little more personal.
The Work of a Dream
A circular little scar right between the shoulder blades could have come from a lot of different things – surgery, a falling icicle, a poorly thrown can opener – but the reason for the scar doesn't matter that much when you have such a good choice of tattoo to add to it.
Just like the Dreamworks logo, the tattoo has a person sitting on the end of the crescent moon and dangling a line down to catch a dream. The lad appears to be of the Missouri Tom Sawyer type, but there are a number of things he could catch down there, not just fish.
We're Taking You With Us
Being able to take a scar and actually incorporate it into a unique tattoo design takes at least a little bit of thought. A long, straight scar such as this one (which seems like it's from some sort of surgery, but don't quote us on that) has any number of possible interpretations, and we applaud whoever designed this for their fun bit of ink.
Actually, using the scar as part of the design is an uncommon option since most people would rather cover it up. However, this scar is quite big, making that tactic a lot more difficult. Prepare to meet some little green men, lady.
A Staircase Made of Stars
It seems like the kind of thing that would be found in a classic Disney movie. Like “Cinderella” or “Pinocchio” or something like that. A beautiful, graceful character that comes out of the velvety night sky, descending the stars with light, dainty footsteps.
While the reality of this tattoo is far less Disney and far more dramatic, this person seems to have chosen to do what she can to make the best of a bad situation. Once the red area from the tattoo fades, people might not even be able to see the scars anymore.
I Am the Wind
The detail on the left side of the picture is a little hard to see, but it looks like this person has plenty of small scars of one manner or another going up and down the arm. Instead of sitting there and inspecting them in the mirror, this person decided to add a colorful horse.
It looks like it could be about to both dispense some much-needed wisdom or get stuck in a drain pipe chasing an apple that fell off the cart. Horses tend to have that sort of dichotomy. Well, one way or another, it covers up some scars, so we're here for it.
No Longer a Caterpillar
The little crawling caterpillar turning into a beautiful flying butterfly is a common metaphor for getting past trials and coming out better than before, and this person has gone directly to that idea for his or her scar tattoo. The scarred tissue in the center looks like it could be a butterfly's body, but it could also be the cocoon it emerges from.
The design is simple, it's eye-catching, and it just might make people think for a little bit. It even looks like there are some sparkly bits or something like that in the “eyes” that are on the wings.
More Than Enough Reasons
Tattoos are divisive, sometimes. Some people don't like the idea of adding an image to their bodies that they can't change unless they pay more to get it removed. However, some people find the idea of adding something important to their bodies bigger than that.
This person, for instance, has decided to cover up the scars on her shoulder with a trio of birds, representing her three children. This sort of piece comes from a deep place of pain and triumph, depression and success. Those things never go away, but they can get covered.
Breaking the Chain
Seems a bit backward to have the scar breaking the tattoo, but what do we know? Maybe they just wanted to incorporate the scar into the design in a new, fun way, and this was what they came up with. Maybe the scar is, for some reason or another, an important part of the growth that this person has seen in the most recent part of life.
One way or another, it's a fun design. The dark shadows on the chain are particularly appealing – that must have taken quite a while. And the little shards where it breaks are cool, too.
I'm Ready to Take Off
There are generally two types of tattoos on this list. The first is the kind that works to cover the scar, and the second is the kind that incorporates the scar into the design itself. We might see more of the former, but for our money, the latter has a bit more weight to them.
Instead of just hiding the past, you're working with it, learning from it, and growing from it. This one has a very fun design of a spaceship jetting through the wild black yonder, past planets of all shapes and sizes, onto bigger and better things.
Drawing Attention in the Right Way
Scars, being an aberration on the skin that isn't usually there, can catch the eye. A lot of people who have them don't like that. They will hold their bodies to obscure the marks, wear long clothing, or do some other things. Getting a tattoo over the scars is another way to hide them, but it's a little different.
A tattoo also catches the eye, but it's supposed to – they're meant to be beautiful. So is this tattoo trying to cover up the past, or is it trying to reclaim it? One way or another, it's a great design.
An Ancient Egyptian Tattoo
We have no idea what it actually means – and that's if it even has a meaning – but this tattoo is a fun look one way or another. What appears to be hieroglyphs trail down the inner arm to almost the wrist, covering up scars big and small and giving both the person with the tattoo and other people something else to look at besides the old injuries.
The shapes and characters almost look like they're trying to spell something out, but we're having a hard time interpreting them. There's also a bat-dog at the end, and who knows about that?
This large, colorful tattoo looks like it's covering up a large, colorful scar, and we bet both events ended up being pretty painful. We do see that there's a design in the center of the tattoo, but it's a little hard for us to make out what it's supposed to be.
The hashtags that are attached to the picture tell us that this happened in Genova, and we looked into it a little bit, but we couldn't figure out the symbol. Seems to be related to football in some form, but it doesn't seem to be a flag or anything like that.
A Voodoo Tattoo That You Do
We might not be experts on cat breeds or anything like that, but we're pretty sure that most cats only have two eyes. They also don't generally have a moon symbol on their forehead or carry a key ring with attached shrunken heads in their mouths, but we think some could be trained to do so.
No, this very voodoo tattoo is a way to cover up quite a collection of scars on the inner thigh. The scars are still visible, but the cat at least gives this person a little bit of coverage.
Getting Plenty of Work Done
That's quite the amount of scars to cover, which means the end result is quite the tattoo, creating an entire sleeve of burning villages and angry German words (We can't work out the full translation – it seems to be “revolt in the heads” or something).
More scars mean more tattoo work, and honestly, this looks like the kind of tattoo that is built for covering an arm full of scars. There are lots of shadows and a good amount of detail, and the buildings can use the scars as part of the structure, like brickwork. We bet this took a while, but it seems like it was worth it.
The Healing Power of Nature
Just because something has a scar – be it a bit of skin or a piece of land – doesn't mean there can't be any good things that come out of it. People who find our hectic modern life too stressful flee to the relative peace of the wild woods in order to get away from it all, and there are few places more naturally relaxing than a forest.
This person has decided to cover up a scar (we believe we can see it among the roots near the bottom) with a calming scene of pine trees. It's simple, it's beautiful, and it's meaningful.
Finding the Right Fit
Tattoos come in all shapes and sizes, just like people, and sometimes those people want to be a different size. Their bodies might not always adjust in a way that looks the way they want, but there are a couple of procedures that can be done to help out.
Some of those procedures leave behind scars such as this intense injury, but that's where a tattoo comes in. Even if it's just stretch marks that won't go away, a tattoo is a great way to add to your personal flair and keep yourself looking your best.
From Top to Bottom
It's obvious that the bigger and more complicated a tattoo is, the longer it takes, the more pain you must endure, and the more you'll have to pay. That being the case, it must have been quite the session getting this intricate and large tattoo added to more than half an arm.
As we can see, there are quite a number of scars to cover up, but the skeletal details mesh with them quite nicely. It looks like it might not even be finished just yet, and we wish we could see the finished product. It would make for a bomb metal album cover.
Simplicity at Its Finest
Getting a little bit of ink on the ankle as a statement is one of the more common ways people get into getting inked, but most of them are just to add a little bit of color to your look. This person decided to let the tattoo pull some double duty by getting it to cover up an attention-grabbing scar.
We're not sure what kind of scar that is, but it looks like it could be a burn. Still, with the addition of a cute little bird in front of a cloud, nobody will even have to know that the scar is there.
Making Use of Every Technique Available
The person who got this tattoo could decide on what kind of design to get – go for something intricate and detailed. Something with a bit more simplicity to it? Blocky? Narrow? Well, why not go for all of them and make something truly unique? A silhouette of a powerful deer head with big antlers, some swirls and twirls, and a hanging chain at the bottom.
Each disparate part seems to work in tandem with the others to make a design that not only covers the scars that were there but will have people marveling, too.
A Bird on the Ankle Is Worth Two in the Bush
We think that's how the saying goes, anyway. What? A hand? You have to work up to getting tattoos on the hand, that hurts quite a bit. This person just wanted a funny little owl to cover up a scar that stands out against the rest of the foot, and that's exactly what we see here.
The branch it's sitting on, the details that the owl has on its feathers, and the pose it's pulling all tell us that someone good at their craft was on-hand to supply this ink – you'll never know there's a scar there.
Scars can be in plenty of different shapes and configurations, which makes tattoos the perfect way to cover them up. Pretty much every tattoo is custom-made for the person that ordered it, so they can easily be adjusted to provide the proper kind of coverage. We see here a set of gnarly scars on what appears to be the upper thigh, but it's nothing a needle and some ink can't help.
If the person already has that kind of scar, we bet getting poked a thousand times to cover it up is nothing worth worrying about. There's already been plenty of pain, but this is for a good thing, not just because of an accident.
From the Ashes
The phoenix is a mythological creature that, when it perished, would form back into an egg until its rebirth. The story has been around for a long time, and it's been seen as a story about how even tragedy can create something good – or how you can get back to where you were after anything.
This big, detailed tattoo might just be trying to communicate the same thing if the size of the scar it's covering is any indication. Remember, even if you're on the ground, don't be afraid to fly.
Birds are a common ask when it comes to tattoos. Even if you don't have an entire bird, you can just get a single, colorful feather, and the imagery will come to anyone who lays eyes on it. This little tattoo, which covers a scar just as little, has a few very small birds to go along with the bigger feather that makes up most of it.
We don't know what kind of scar that is – we can barely even tell where on the body it is – but now nobody has to worry about it even a little bit.
Everybody Has Something
By the time you've reached adulthood, there's a pretty good chance you have at least some kind of scar on your body. Maybe it's from a car accident, maybe it's from a run-in with some hot oil, or maybe it's from one of a million other reasons. Everybody has something.
There are plenty of reasons to get a tattoo to cover a scar in that case. This person has chosen to get a couple of patches of mermaid scales on her legs to take away from the power of the scars and get some fun color.
The Knee of Tiger
Not exactly the song that Survivor played, but it's close enough for our needs. It looks like somebody had to have their knee worked on, and it left quite a collection of scars on the joint. Well, nothing a little bit of ink can't fix. Or a big bit of ink – you can't make a tiger face that fierce out of just a short session.
The face might not be the most realistic we've seen, but it has a nice cartoony feel that works with the angle at which the face is. Maybe that was necessary because of the movement that the face will go through, being right on the knee.
Nobody Ever Need Know
It's nice to see a tattoo that so fully accomplishes its job of covering up a scar. This woman won't need anything else – only the most eagle-eyed or the biggest tattoo fans could tell that there's something under there. Who would fault a lady for getting a tattoo of her favorite flower, a pink lotus? Even better, once the swelling goes down, the scar will become even harder to see.
Once a little bit of time has passed, it will look like a pretty tattoo, and only a pretty tattoo. The sort of thing that makes a woman a little mysterious.
A Flower for Your Troubles
Wrapping the belly button in a couple of pink roses feels like a missed opportunity – you could have made the belly button one big rose. Yet these tattoos still get the job done of covering some gnarly scars and helping this person, hopefully, feel a little better about her appearance.
As we can see, there are a lot of areas where she might want some coverage, and this might just be the beginning. Even if it isn't, it goes a long way toward helping somebody recover from whatever might have happened.
Wings to Fly
We couldn't tell you why this guy has a big, uneven scar on the back of his head, but we're guessing some sort of surgery. Such a procedure will end up leaving some leftovers no matter who it is – that's just how that part of the body is going to work. But that gives a lot of people an opportunity for some sweet tats.
Like this guy, who got a classic bit of ink – a big, gaudy cross with angel wings. We all want one, don't try to disagree. His hair might cover up most of it, but his real friends know it's there and why.
The Classic Flower
Ah, a rose. It's the obvious choice for any flower fancier that wants to add a little bit of ink. This rose, however, does more than just spruce up the place. It's hiding quite the noticeable collection of scars on this woman's sternum, and even that big bud isn't able to obscure absolutely everything. But what else is she supposed to do?
We think this is a pretty good first step, if anything. Maybe she doesn't want to cover everything – maybe she just wants to cover the worst of it. It is a conversation starter if nothing else.
Let It Grow
Incorporating the structure of a scar into the tattoo itself is a perfect choice a lot of the time. It can work a little better and put the scar beyond notice, but some people might be able to pick it out. It means a little more – it's special.
This person is showing off some flora, and the vine that winds across the skin is guided by the long scar. Add a bunch of leaves, a flower or two or three, and you have a design that will have people talking for all the right reasons. There's plenty more that could be done, too.
Making Good Use
An appendectomy is the kind of surgery that so many people have had to get, it barely counts as a surgery anymore. Still, it can and often does leave a scar, and some people are not too pleased with that fact. This person, in particular, wanted to do something cool with it.
She came up with a design of a knife cutting through the scar right where the incision was made by the doctors. Hey, you work with what you have. Maybe she found out the scar was never going to fade completely, and she was looking for a reason to get some new ink.
Nothing Left but Skin and Bones
Is it just a coincidence that so many scars end up looking like the bones that lie underneath the skin? Is it just the way it knits together, or does it actually have something to do with the bones? Regardless, this person wanted to do something special with the curved scar on his arm.
He or the tattoo artist or someone else came up with the idea of adding skeletal bits to either side, creating this look. That bony good boy is on his way to whisper a little secret into this guy's ear, though it's probably just about food.
Helping to Heal
Tattoos are, in their own way, kind of a scar. A small incision that just so happens to be filled with ink. Just like a regular scar, the body can't heal them, but that's a good thing for many people. A lot of tattoo artists jump at the chance to cover up scars of any kind with their work, and this intricate and detailed collection of swirls and bugs is no exception.
We're told this is an unfinished piece, and we wonder what else could be added. The amount of work put into each little detail is striking. It doesn't seem like it needs color, but maybe they'll add something like that.
Caught the Big One
Here we have two pictures side by side, and both of them show us something big. The first one is of the scar, a gruesome example of how much damage can linger on the surface of your skin after something has happened. The picture on the right is what this guy eventually got to cover the scar. A big, colorful fish of some kind.
It looks kind of like a koi, but there is plenty of other fish it could be – we aren't experts on tattoo fish. You can still see the scar on the tail since it's hard to totally obscure something of that size, but it sure helps.
You Can Fly Again
There are some parts of the body that have trouble healing when they get scars. Especially if the person in question is no longer in his or her youth, some scars will have more trouble healing than others. The knees, which so often have to have surgeries to repair joint damage, are a common place to see them. That, of course, is where a tattoo will come in.
This person has decided to add one of the more common tattoo elements to a leg – a feather and a few birds. Unless you inspect the leg closely, there's no evidence of scar tissue.
The Best Tattoo Ever
There are a lot of tattoos on this list. A lot of great ink that someone has chosen to cover up an unfortunate mark. None of them could possibly compare to the absolute majesty that is this work of art. We want everything to have the cowboy frog now.
Every movie, every video game, and every poem should include a reference to this good old boy. Even songs should throw it in there, just to make sure people don't forget. And, of course, if you need to cover a scar, then this tattoo is the optimum choice. People won't care about the scars anymore.
Just Add Color
This big tattoo goes a long way toward covering the scar on this woman's leg, but we all know that this big and varied collection of blooms needs some color to get up to the heights it strives for. Not only will this display become even more beautiful, but it will do an even better job of covering up the scar that is wrinkling the skin on this woman's leg.
Add some bright blooms, some darker shades, and a little bit of greenery around the edges, and you have an A-plus design that is going to get people talking and ignoring the scar.
Big and Beautiful, and Still More to Go
Those look like some pretty nasty scars – and on a part of the body that, while usually covered, is hard to ignore if it isn't. If this guy wants to have a beach day or take his shirt off during yard work, he exposes the scar for all to see. So, why not get it covered?
A huge collection of flowers and leaves is the way to go, and there's now a big tattoo on display instead of scars. We're also told that this isn't even the finished product – there's work to be done yet.
Barely Even Noticeable
On a list like this one, for every picture, you're probably going to be looking for two things. Obviously, you want to see the tattoo, but you're probably looking for the scars, too. Maybe it's the angle, maybe it's the lighting, or maybe it's something else, but the scars in this picture are a lot harder to make out than in some of the other pictures here.
Maybe we just can't tear our eyes away from the rad Mother Mary, wreathed in black flames and barbed wire and ready to intercede. It's just the kind of thing that should cover a set of scars.
What's Up, Dude?
This chill sea creature is not only telling us that things are ready for some fun, but it also covers up a little bit of unsightly scar tissue, which should be visible in the second image. We say it should be visible, but we're honestly having a hard time picking any out other than the normal wrinkles that will form under the arm.
You can see a little bit of white tissue, but it must be in shadow because there doesn't really seem to be much there. Still, that is no reason not to get a sea turtle tattoo.
A Calming Scene
A lot of tattoos tend to be very...vibrant. Energetic. Some might even say busy. That's for a couple of reasons, of course. They are there to be noticed, after all. This one, however, is a little different. Instead of big, bright flowers or skulls full of black fire, all we see on this ankle is a woman sitting by a placid lake, watching the sun go down.
She could be sitting on the dock, the bank, or inside a canoe, but it's clear this is a place of relaxation. Especially since the tattoo is now covering a big, hard-to-miss scar.
A Tattoo Is Worth a Thousand Words
And there are plenty of tattoos to talk about here. We see at least three separate additions to these scarred arms that seem like they have plenty of tales to tell, but we may never know what they are. One arm has most of the ink, with a collection of what appears to be feathers wrapped around the words “Still I rise.”
There is a little more lettering, but being in Spanish (or a similar language) makes it harder to make out. Finally, a small fetal shape with a red heart wrapped in a stethoscope. Each of them seems like a long tale to tell.
It's Gotta be Under There Somewhere
Well, color us impressed. We've been looking and looking, and we can't see any evidence of a scar that couldn't be explained away by post-tattoo inflammation. There's a little bit of redness, but as we said, that could just be because of the coloring that the tattoo has! Well, one way or another, it's a great little dragonfly that we assume is pulling time to cover up a scar that needs to be hidden.
Unless you're inspecting that upper thigh as close as this camera is getting, you have no chance of seeing the underlying skin damage. And we bet few people will be getting this close.
A Lot of Work Required
These scars, likely from something like chicken pox, cover a wide area on the leg, which means this person has to get a big tattoo to make sure it's all covered. This is one of the bigger tattoos we've seen on this list, and we bet that there's plenty of work that went into it. The detail and layering alone must have taken hours.
We can see it both right after it was applied (the middle image) and after all the inflammation has receded (the rightmost image), we see that this big set of ink is something that anybody could be proud of.
Let's Make Things Cute
Scars are not cute. We don't think that's a very shocking thing to say. They're sudden, they're wrinkly, they don't have the right color, and they don't really ever go away. So, what better way to obscure them than to get some tattoos that are, in fact, cute? Like this person, who now has little winged kitties playing and gamboling on her arm. As well as a tree branch with some fruit on it.
They look kind of like lemons but also a little bit like pears for some reason. Without the color, it's hard to figure that part out. Still. Very cute.
Taking a Walk Through the Wild Side
That's quite the long arm you have there. If we want to cover that entire arm with a nice, colorful image from the elbow all the way to the wrist, we'll have to come up with something that has so much overlapping detail that no one will ever think there are scars underneath.
How about a magical purple potion surrounded by flowers and leaves and blossoms? Yeah, we think that will do the trick. That isn't even the finished product – once it's done, it's going to have a lot more color
That's Some Nice Shading Right There
This is a great example of a tattoo that goes from the elbow to the wrist and covers up some unfortunate scarring. Go ahead and try to find another tattoo of this size that features a magical raccoon gathering enchanted wildflowers. We'll wait.
We really like the work of shading and shadow on this tattoo – look at the area around the raccoon. It really gives the animal weight and form. It makes it look like it's far more than just your normal raccoon. This raccoon has been around the block a couple of times – he knows where all the good flowers are.
Tying Things Up
We don't know why a person would have a scar all the way across his chest other than some kind of surgery, but we bet there's any kind of scar you can imagine out there somewhere. Well, this guy has this one, which means he needed a special kind of tattoo to cover it up.
He chose a braided rope going all the way across his chest, starting under his arms, knotted in the middle in the shape of a heart. It's hard to miss, which means that any time this guy is going shirtless, people are going to wonder.
We'd Love to Know Why This Was the Choice
We guess a cartoonish bomb about to explode isn't the strangest kind of tattoo we've ever seen. Even on this list. But it's still an interesting choice. Especially on...such an interesting spot. Well, that's where the scar is, so that's where the tattoo has to go.
Additionally, we wonder why the scar is there. Mad, knife-wielding gnomes, perhaps? And this person wasn't paying enough attention to attacks from the rear. That sort of event also kind of goes along with the old style of explosive that we see here. No matter the case, this is quite the backstory.
A Partial Cover-Up
There are a lot of tattoos here that work to totally obscure a scar or a group of scars. Some of them, however, seem to be more of a compliment to the scar, like this bit of ink. It's a picture of a young man who has a collection of planets and star stuff for a head. Haven't we all known someone like that at some point in our lives? We sure have.
The kind of person that has big thoughts and wild ideas but doesn't know how to balance his checkbook. Or doesn't even have a checkbook.
Using the Scars to their Fullest
A lot of tattoos on this list try to use the scars as part of the design – it's a way to turn something unwanted into something a little more beautiful. We've never seen a tattoo like this one, however. You might not even have recognized it as a tat until you looked for a few seconds.
It almost seems like the scars are being incorporated as part of the texture of the flower in the middle, though the design is so well done you'd be forgiven for not seeing the scars at all. Masterful work all around.
A Sharp Look
There are a lot of tats that use elements or shapes of the scar they're covering to inform part of the design, and here's one of our favorites. Scars are usually caused by sharp objects, so why not make the design that covers it just as sharp? That's why we have a sword in this tat, but there is some more cool stuff, too.
Half of a fierce feline (a jaguar, perhaps?) and a few blooms on the other side round out this sick bit of ink. Since the scar goes right down the center of the sword, people will have a hard time seeing it.
Something Worth Fighting For
Scars are a memory of a time gone by, and it's rarely a good time. Is there any scar on your body that you can think about and say, “I'm glad I got that scar”? We wouldn't put money on it, that's for sure. But the memory of what you've gone through can help you be stronger in the future.
Having something you need to focus on is a big help in getting past these things. We can't be sure just from the image, but it looks like this person has added a couple of loved ones – kids, perhaps – to her tattoo. It lets us know what's important to her.
Always Ready for a Night Out
Getting some of the extra stuff in your belly removed is a common enough procedure these days, but it can still leave a mark. That's why this person decided to get a big, flashy tattoo right at the spot of the cut to help him or her feel ready to show off again. There are plenty of options for something like that, but this person has decided to go with something that is quite flashy.
A big string of jewels and a couple of bright blue flowers might draw the eye quite a bit, but you can barely even tell that a scar is there at this point.
Seems Like an Apt Choice
If you're looking for something to help cover your scars but you still want a dark and dreary look, Edward Scissorhands seems like the perfect pick. If anybody asks, you could just make a joke about how the scars are all his fault.
The details on the character and the way it's been added to this leg also help to camouflage the scars to make them a little less noticeable. It might be a little Hot Topic for our tastes, but it seems like the kind of character that would sympathize with someone who has so many scars.
We Need a Magnifying Glass
If you can make out what that teeny tiny lettering says, drop us a line and let us know. No doubt the reason for such a long scar directly on the spine is a rough story, but it was probably for surgery – and if you're opening up the entire spine, it was probably an important one.
We'd love to tell you what the tattoo means, but we just can't make it out. It looks like it's also in a different language, which adds another barrier to our understanding. We assume that it's something very important.
Just a Bit of Art
The image on the left might show us a lot of scars, but thanks to the new tattoo, you can hardly see them anymore. The geometric design is inspired, showing us something that manages to be both chaotic and hectic, as well as designed and intricate. We would hazard a guess that some of the lines and shapes came from the scars themselves, which adds yet another layer of meaningful story.
Every part of this design is cool – the fading black shape on the right, the radiating circles at the top and bottom, and the vague ship-like shape
A Long Time in the Chair
Getting all that ink in one single tattoo must have been quite the trial. We don't know if it was a single session or several, but that's a lot of needles. It looks like there are quite a number of scars to obscure, however, we can't figure out what is the design.
We're not exactly sure, but we have a few guesses. It looks like it could be the side of a mountain, with veins in the rock. It looks like it could be from far above, showing us a number of rivers. Likely it's just an abstract design, but it's still cool.
Adding a Little Bit of Magic
It's hard to see the scars that these tattoos are working to cover – though that is the point, of course. Tinkerbell from “Peter Pan” and the entire Disney universe are here making sure people pay attention to her, not the unfortunate wounds that just won't go away.
It looks as if the tattoo on the left was used to cover a scar (you can see it in the stardust), and the one on the right might have been added just to balance things out. You can't have Tinkerbell on just one leg. Everybody knows that.
Everybody's Favorite Space Whale
For some reason, space whales are quite popular. You'll see them in all kinds of works, from movies and shows to video games and tattoo art. Just think about the fourth “Star Trek” movie. It's all about space whales. Well, this bit of ink uses that strange sea and space creature to make it a little less obvious there are scars on that piece of skin.
It's a nice design – it uses constellations, stars, planets, and a whale to obscure the marks. Keep swimming, space whale, eventually, you'll reach home. But you're a mammal, how do you...you know what, we're overthinking again.
Showing Off Her Curves
The story behind this tattoo and the scar are one and the same. In fact, both of the stalks of grain mean something that will be quite obvious once we reveal a single detail: scoliosis. Yes, the long, bent stalk is the original shape of this young woman's spine, while the shorter, straighter stalk is the current shape of her spine.
There's no doubt that there was plenty of pain and suffering required to get to this point, so a little more for some tattoos will be nothing. It's a meaningful tattoo that doesn't exactly cover the scars, but we think it counts on this list anyway.
A Window Into Another World
Windows show us something other than a bare wall, but what if that window shows you something you don't expect? That might just be the idea behind this swirling, whirling tattoo, which could also be a bony mirror frame showing you the twisted darkness of your own heart.
Just a thought. Why did this woman choose to cover her scars with such an image? We can't say. It could be personal, or it could just be the kind of thing she likes. Yeah, maybe she likes bone mirrors that show unfathomable darkness, who's to say?
Beauty From Destruction
Whether it's intentional or an accident, a scar represents destruction. The skin is torn and can't heal correctly, and it's difficult, if not impossible, for the body to get rid of it altogether. A lot of people take the chance to change the idea, turning it on its head and making something beautiful out of it.
While we've seen plenty of flowers in one form or another, each one or pair or bunch that we see is using a natural beauty to cover up natural destruction. Yes, the scar is still there under those flowers, but it's a lot harder to see.
Having to get a mastectomy is a huge change in your life, but it's usually only done because it's what you need to stay healthy. This tattoo is commemorating the event with what is certainly a unique image. A hand, brimming with sunflower energy, covered the spot where there was once something else.
We don't know why this person chose such a design, but it's hard to deny the power it holds. Is that someone's hand in particular, or is it just the platonic ideal of a hand? That seems like a rather personal question if we're being honest.
Furry Friends Help All of Us
So you have a scar that you regret. It happens to many of us. But, now things are better. You have this four-legged pal that relies on you for walks and food and cuddles. Pets are one of the many things that people turn to in a time of need, but this person has gone a step further.
A couple of steps farther, it seems, since it took a pair of paw prints to cover that scar. There are other pictures that show off the very paws that are the inspiration for that section of ink.
Still Have an Angel
That's quite the bit of scarred flesh you got there, partner. Did you get that while robbing a stagecoach or something like that? Seems like the kind of mark that a western bandit would have, but we guess he could have gotten it while biking in the park or something like that. But at least he had a little baby angel to keep people from staring too much.
Also, the little baby angel has a rifle. Not the sort of artwork that you generally see, but angels with guns is probably popular enough to have its own little fandom.
The Bird of Second Chances
We're sure there's a scar under there somewhere, but we're just a little too wowed at the artwork of the tattoo. It looks like the kind of thing that appears to you in a dream right before you go off on a world-saving quest.
You'll have to journey through tunnels, clamber over mountains, and fight through enchanted forests, but your magical tattoo will give you extra power. Or, at the very least, it will keep people from peeping at your scars while you're on your quest. It looks like it's a little rubbed out, but this tattoo is still one of the cooler bits on this list.
Dragons Heal All Wounds
Is it just us, or is there no scar there? Maybe it's the large reddened patch that the dragons are flying through, or maybe it's being entirely covered. Or, maybe that's just how strong dragons are, even when they're just ink on skin. Few mythological creatures could hold the power that dragons do, even to this day, and even without actually existing.
We don't think that dragon tattoos can actually heal scars, but if this example is any indication, they're pretty good at covering them up anyway. They aren't your normal dragons, though, so maybe things are a little different.