Cover Up

Paramedical Tattoos: Ink Artists’ Latest Innovation to Aid Body Trauma

"It really made me have a different outlook on life."

2. 17. 20 / Dan Robitzski
Image via Pxhere/Victor Tangermann
Image by Image via Pxhere/Victor Tangermann

Instead of expensive or risky cosmetic surgeries, people are taking a new approach to covering up injuries: “paramedical” tattoos.

Tattoo artists have offered post-mastectomy tattoos to breast cancer survivors for years. Now, artists have started expanding outward to other medical procedures, The New York Times reports. A man who lost two fingertips in a workplace got fingernails tattooed on. A woman with severe dog bites on her face had them camouflaged with flesh-colored ink rather than corrected with surgery.

“I went to plastic surgeons that were supposed to be the best in Memphis,” the woman, a dog breeder named Leslie Pollan, told the NYT. “They gave me no hope, so I started looking for other options.”

Instead, she found a tattoo artist who could mask her scars, a process she found crucial to emotional healing and restoring her self-confidence after her injury.


“You don’t understand until you’ve been through it,” Ms. Pollan said. “It really made me have a different outlook on life.”

Her tattoo artist, Eric Catalano, offers this sort of restorative, paramedical tattoo for free, financing them through his more conventional work and a crowdfunding campaign that brought him $12,000, the NYT reports.

“Financially it doesn’t make sense, but it’s just something that I love to do,” Catalano told the NYT. “Every time I see that emotion, I’m 100 percent sure this is something that I can’t stop doing.”

Care about supporting clean energy adoption? Find out how much money (and planet!) you could save by switching to solar power at By signing up through this link, may receive a small commission.



Copyright ©, Camden Media Inc All Rights Reserved. See our User Agreement, Privacy Policy and Data Use Policy. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with prior written permission of Futurism. Fonts by Typekit and Monotype.