Dry Tattooing for Stretch Marks and Scars
Dry tattooing is an effective solution for reducing the appearance of scars and stretch marks by stimulating collagen production. Learn more about the treatment below!
Most scar and stretch mark camouflage treatments are focused on blending the scar with the surrounding skin with cosmetic or tattoo pigments.
They are effective in reducing the visibility of scars and stretch marks for a prolonged period of time, but they don’t treat scar tissue from within, so the texture remains the same.
Dry tattooing is a way to treat scars and stretch marks from within, and this is achieved by stimulating collagen production in the skin. The result causes the discolored scar tissue to gain a more natural firmness and tone.
Read this guide to find out what is dry tattooing and what are the benefits of this treatment for scar and stretch mark revision.
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What Is Dry Tattooing?
Dry tattooing is a technique used by permanent makeup artists as a form of skin rejuvenation, re-pigmentation, and scar remodeling. It is also known as MCA dry needling and inkless stretch mark camouflage.
This treatment is used to gently pierce the skin with tattoo needles creating micro punctures in the scar tissue, which then act as channels through which healing serums can reach skin cells and regenerate them.
It is also beneficial in stimulating blood flow and allowing re-healing to happen, as collagen, melanin, and elastin are actively forming within the scar tissue.
It is important to note that dry tattooing won’t completely remove the scarred area, but it can significantly improve the appearance of scars, stretch marks, and burns.
It may also be used in combination with other scar camouflage treatments, such as Brazilian stretch mark camouflage.
How Many Sessions Will I Need?
For the body to repair stretch marks and scars, it usually needs several sessions to restore the collagen and elastin sufficiently.
In most cases, 3-4 sessions are done as a series, with 4-6 weeks between them, and the results are revised after a few months. If needed, further treatments are done.
How fast you’ll see an improvement is very individual, and depends on the state of the damaged skin, and how your body reacts to the treatment.
It’s important to note that, unlike pigment/ink implementation which gives immediate results, with dry tattooing stretch marks and scars it can take several weeks before there’s any improvement. The natural processes triggered take time.
Does Dry Tattooing Hurt?
In most cases, dry needling scar tissue is considered generally less painful than regular tattooing, as scar tissue usually has no nerves and numbing creams are used during the procedure.
However, there are also cases where scar tissue is actually more sensitive than undamaged skin. If that’s the case, perhaps it needs some more time before it can be worked on.
Image source: Instagram @inkillusions1
Is Dry Tattooing the Same as Microneedling?
No. Although similar to microneedling, dry tattooing is a more specialized technique developed for the sole purpose of treating scarring and stretch marks.
Dry tattooing uses very thin tattoo needles focused only on targeting the scarred area of the skin. Compared to microneedling, which covers larger areas with multi-needle cartridges, dry tattooing is a more precise treatment.
Microneedling is usually followed up with regenerative serums on the surface of the skin after creating micro punctures, while with dry needling scar tissue repair serums are injected into deeper layers of the skin simultaneously.
What Are the Benefits of Dry Tattooing?
Although the results don’t happen overnight, the dry tattooing process has several prominent benefits:
- It improves the appearance and texture of scar tissue, stretch marks, and burns.
- It can slightly flatten and smooth raised and bumpy scars.
- Loose or sunken scars and stretch marks are filled up and firmer.
- Discolored scars regain their natural skin tone as a result of melanin production.
- Tight scars and burns can become more relaxed and supple.
Which Types of Scars Can Be Treated with Dry Tattooing?
Most scars can be treated as long as your body has finished healing naturally. Dry tattooing can be beneficial in treating different types of healed scars:
- Scarring after breast augmentation or breast reduction surgery.
- Scarring as a result of mastectomy, nipple and areola reconstruction.
- White, completely healed scars of various origins.
- White or discolored stretch marks.
- Burn scars.
Image source: Instagram @babexbrows
Who Is a Candidate for Dry Tattooing?
Before booking your appointment, it is essential that your scar or stretch marks are at least 9 to 12 months old.
Only scars and stretch marks that are completely healed and no longer pink or changing color are suitable for dry tattooing. Working on scar tissue that hasn’t completely healed can cause further damage to the skin.
Dry tattooing cannot disguise or correct extreme changes in skin texture, so if your scar area is bumpy or raised, the process may not be as effective for you, although some improvement can be achieved.
If your scar has dark edges or borders, that can be an indication of post-inflammatory hyper-pigmentation (PIHP) from the initial trauma or surgery.
Dry tattooing can possibly increase the hyper-pigmentation around the scarred area and create a wider, darker border.
If you are prone to keloid scarring, this treatment is not the best option as it can cause new scars to emerge.
Who Shouldn’t Get Dry Tattooing?
Dry tattooing is not recommended for people with the following skin conditions:
- Port wine birthmarks
- Keloid scarring
- Spider veins
- Unstable vitiligo (not in remission)
What Is Aftercare Like for Dry Tattooing?
Dry needling scar tissue requires proper aftercare in order to get the best and fastest healing results. Let’s take a look at what to avoid after your dry tattoo treatment:
- Avoid showering or getting the treated area wet in the first 24 hours after treatment.
- Avoid exposure to direct sunlight for at least 10-14 days after the initial treatment.
- Avoid excessive sweating for at least 10-14 days after the initial treatment.
- Don’t scratch or pick at scabs as the treated area starts to heal.
- Don’t apply any skincare products to the treated area for 14 days, other than the aftercare balm prescribed by your technician.
Image source: Instagram @ladyink.studio
How Much Does Dry Tattooing Cost?
It is very difficult to determine an average price of dry tattooing, as most technicians only give a quote upon consultations.
But if we have to give a ballpoint figure, you can expect to pay about $1000 or more for a series of dry tattooing sessions.
Some technicians charge per session, while others give a bulk price for a series of treatments.
Since the number of treatments you’ll need is individual, the total price will vary.
Dry Tattooing – Main Takeaways
Dry needling is a great option for those looking to improve the texture and appearance of their scars or stretch marks naturally.
By stimulating the natural production of collagen and melanin in the skin, scar tissue gets flattened and re-pigmented, which makes it less visible.
If your scars or stretch marks are light in color and at least 9 to 12 months old, you are a good candidate for the treatment, but keep in mind that in order to achieve the best-looking results, you will need at least a few sessions.