4 Tips On Camouflaging Self-Harm Scars So You Can Feel Beautiful & Empowered

Don't let your scars hold you back.

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When someone is dealing with negative, overwhelming, and painful emotions but have no way of emotionally releasing those emotions, they may engage in self-harm.

This behavior can take the form of intentionally cutting their skin, punching walls, slapping or punching themselves, scratching or picking at their skin until the point of bleeding, or pulling out their hair.

Typically, self-harm connects to anxiety or depression symptoms so it's essential to consider meeting with a trained therapist who can advise strategies to replace self-harming acts with activities to distract, tolerate, and relieve you from emotional pain.


RELATED: 4 Tips For What To Do When You Discover Your Child Is Self-Injuring

Scars can often bring the self-harmer shame and embarrassment. 

In the moment, self-harm may make the person feel better. But that doesn't last. And the scars make them want to hide their bodies out of fear of being stared at, judged, or ridiculed by others. 

People with scars from self-injury may feel compelled to wear long sleeves or clothing that don't reveal the afflicted body part, even in warm weather. Sometimes, they may even wear a lot of bracelets to hide their forearms. 

But, once a person learns how to change their emotional state in skillful ways to tolerate stress and overwhelming feelings, how do they make the scars go away?


Once they learn how to feel their emotions adaptively and heal their emotional scars, what comes next? Will they eventually be comfortable enough to wear tank tops, shorts, or whatever else they'd like to wear?

Here are 4 ways to camouflage your self-harm scars, so you can feel beautiful and empowered again.

1. Cover the scars with flesh-colored waterproof stickers, concealing tape, or makeup. 

These babies are affordable and easy to apply. You can purchase them on Amazon, or search for the product in your internet search engine.

The drawback? Although they have "flesh-colored" in the names, they don't always reflect in the colors available. This product may only help those who are of European descent or with very fair, light-colored skin.

The self-harm phenomenon crosses color lines. Hopefully, the manufacturers of these products include deeper skin tones at some point in the future. 


2. Get a tattoo.

This is a long-lasting approach that could be desirable for those interested in tattooing over their scars or having their scars be the focal point of their body art.

This route offers an experience of mastery in their ability to overpower their urges to self-injure. They turn an area of their body that once displayed their pain into a work of art.

The possible downside of this idea is the permanency inherent in having a tattoo, and the likelihood that the raised portions of the skin will still reflect self-injurious behavior. It can also be a little pricey, depending on what kind of tattoo you want, of course.

RELATED: How My Tattoo Saved Me From A Life Of Self-Harm


3. Try medical tattooing.

Also known as "camouflage tattooing," this option is pretty cool. This technique has been proven successful for those with a history of self-harm. 

It's used for those who have experienced burns, lost their breast tissue due to cancer, and for those who want to hide their stretch marks.

This technique helps people of all skin tones, and does a pretty good job of hiding scars. The drawback is that it requires more than one trip to have the procedure done.

If you're interested in undergoing this procedure to cover your self-harm scars, please do your research to find a licensed professional who can help.

4. Try laser or skin grafting.

This medical intervention helps hide the appearance of scars by coloring the affected areas to match the pigment of your skin and will even out areas where self-harm has elevated or "depressed" the skin, aiding in smoothing the affected area. 


The con of the procedure is the requirement to pay for several skin-graft treatments to get the desired results.

Now that you have these options, figure out what's best for you.

You deserve to feel beautiful and empowered. 


RELATED: Why People Cut Themselves & The Best Alternatives When You Feel The Need To Self-Harm

Vena M. Wilson, LCSW is the owner of Honey Bee Behavioral Health in Las Vegas, where she focuses on helping people in rebuilding their lives after experiencing trauma. She is passionate about teaching ways to take self-injury and suicide off the table as an option to managing painful emotions, and her commentary about self-injurious behaviors, parenting, and utilizing skillful means has appeared on The Washington Post. You can connect with her directly on her website.