Tattoos

Kentucky's Proposed Ban on Tattooing Over Scars Would Hurt Those Seeking Second Chances

The Public Health Department wants to ban a common tattooing process. Artists say that the concern is unscientific and harmful to clients.

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Paige Spear is a paramedical tattooist in Bowling Green, Kentucky, where she helps her customers use tattoo art to camouflage scars and vitiligo, and recreate areolas and nipples for customers who have undergone mastectomies. Spear isn't performing medicine and she and her clients both understand the risks of tattooing on sensitive types of skin. Nevertheless, Spear says a new regulation from the Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) would be "devastating" both for her shop, THE STUDIO Tattoo Co., and for her clients.

WLKY reports that the DPH has recently proposed new regulations that would ban tattooing over scars. Several tattoo artists in the state have already spoken out against the proposed regulation. Not only is the practice common in their line of work, but the new rules do not appear to stem from medical concerns.

In fact, the DPH has yet to give its reasoning for wanting to ban the practice. A statement from the Cabinet of Health and Family Services simply says, "Regulations in this area have not been updated for about 15 years."

Spear tells Reason that there are two "major concerns" associated with tattooing over scars.

Some clients are prone to keloidal scarring, in which the skin overreacts to an injury and produces a raised mass of scar tissue. The American Academy of Dermatology explains that keloids are not cancerous and that not everybody gets them. Simply put, not every scar is in danger of overgrowth.

Spear says the second concern is tattooing a scar that is too fresh. A scar should be older than 12 months before going through the tattooing process.

"Other than those two major things, there isn't really a reason someone couldn't tattoo over a scar," she says.

Spear believes that the regulation is too vague and she would rather see it reworded to include the two specific concerns. Prohibiting the practice altogether would leave artists and their customers in the lurch. "Imagine if you were someone who wanted a sleeve tattooed on your arm and had a carpet burn near your elbow when you were [five] and had a scar so you couldn't get tattooed in that one specific spot—that would make for an awkward tattoo."

Spear also tells Reason that the ban would impact those trying "to feel better about themselves." She's helped women with mastectomies "feel a sense of normalcy," covered up scars on veterans that evoke traumatic memories, and empowered people who have engaged in self-harm to move forward with skin art. A blanket ban on those services would likely hurt more people than it helps.

A public hearing regarding the changes is scheduled for May 28.

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61 responses to “Kentucky's Proposed Ban on Tattooing Over Scars Would Hurt Those Seeking Second Chances

  1. FYTW – Scars are used as identifying marks by law enforcement.

    1. So are tattoos. Your point is?

      1. Covering up an existing scar with a tattoo may render obsolete police records. There may be another dumb reason, but I’ll opt for paranoia.

        1. Can people change their hair color?

          Asking for a lady friend.

          1. Asking for a lady friend.

            Do stretch marks, like the ones at my bicep and pec insertions, count as scars?

            Totally asking for me and not any lady friends, none of whom have stretch marks they’d love to conceal if they did have them.

          2. Yes, but they should change all of their hair (TIWTANFL).

            I myself have changed my hair color from brown to a mix of brown and gray.

            1. Carpet/drapes coordinated for optimum effect.

              1. I prefer a… smoother surface, but really, it’s nowhere near a deal breaker.

              2. Hardwood floors are better.

      2. I thought he was addressing the “but the new rules do not appear to stem from medical concerns.” line.

        It was a bit odd to me to wholly acknowledge that the motivations are non-medical and then expound on the medical reasons why people wouldn’t tattoo over a scar.

        1. That was my point. Maybe I should have been more clear.

    2. That was my first assumption on reading the headline, that it was the cops wanting the ban so their facial recognition program database wouldn’t require constant updating. Next up, bans on cosmetic surgery, botox, colored contact lenses, beards, make-up and weight loss.

      1. That would make more sense if it were a ban on facial tattoos or something like that.

        1. You’re not paranoid enough if you think “facial recognition programs” are limited to just the face. You know those backscatter whole body scanners you go through at the airport? Yeah, they can now ID you by that hairy mole you’ve got on your left buttcheek.

          1. You’re not paranoid enough if you think “facial recognition programs” are limited to just the face.
            ====

            How about the Johnson? Do they scan your junk?

            1. The Johnson should have head his head scanned when he picked Weld as a running mate.

            2. So just get an Insane Clown Posse tattoo on your Johnson. Problem solved.

          2. Well, then they can identify scars that have tattoos over them too, I would think.

      2. Next up, bans on cosmetic surgery, botox, colored contact lenses, beards, make-up and weight loss.

        You left off aging. Can’t have people who were criminals in their teens slipping through any loopholes just because they aged 40 yrs.

        1. Just require tattoos of everyone’s SSN on their forehead. Or maybe forearm.

        2. No, they have software for aging. The software for tattoos would require a bigger expense account which we can expect in next years budget.

  2. Tats hardest hit.

    1. Don’t you be hitting me hard in my tats!!! I’m SURE that this that them thar kinda thingee is some sort of saxual harassment or some sorta thang along those lines!!!

      LEAVE MY TATS ALONE!!!

      1. I appreciate your replying to my cry for help, but you’re wrong about tats. Getting inked is the ultimate personal expression. Of art or something. You know. Like, I can’t personally make the Mona Lisa and shit but putting that thing on my back makes me feel like, I don’t know, it makes me feel free and shit. I’m expressing myself and shit. You know?

        1. AOC? Is that you?

        2. In their defense, the law would pretty obviously and egregiously trample the 1A.

          1. Ass long ass yew don’t twist mah tats and give me a purple nurple, ah will be OK with it… MeThinks fer now at least…

            1. Some of my favorite porn sluts have tats.
              Come to think of it, they all do!
              Not that correlation implies causation.

              1. TMI!!!

                Some of my favorite porn sluts have hard-ons for some of my OTHER favorite porn sluts, and some of my favorite OTHER porn sluts have hard-ons for some of my OTHER-OTHER favorite porn sluts, and so it all gets VERY cumplicated VERY rapidly…

                And we end up with Der TrumpfenFuhrer and Stormy Daniels!!! And Bill Clinton and Margaret Thatcher and Linda Tripp and Monica and Sox the Cat and Billy the Kid and Caligula and… (Sorry, I can NOT share my fave video of THAT with you!!!)

                1. PS, do NOT ask me about me and the chickens and the blue paint and the dwarfs, and all, because all of that… It did NOT happen! Der TrumpfenFuhrer and Stormy Daniels will personally testify for me, that they saw it all NOT happen!!!

                  1. Tatted porn sluts have enough to worry about without bringing the dwarfs into the mix.

                  2. No clown porn then?

  3. How long until Kentucky, and other nanny states, simply appoint a team to accompany every individual 24/7 to make sure that person’s decisions don’t conflict with what the nanny state believes is best for them?

    1. Me personally, ah believes that Government Almighty knows whut is BEST fer YE! Say, fer instance, that ye believes that YEW, personally, should decide whut is best fer YEW, as it cums to, say, shall ye seek acoustic-mechanical assistance, or not, when it cums to expelling phlegm from yer respiratory system… Ye might think that ye might be able to make these kinda decisions on yer own…

      YE WOULD BE WRONG!!! See all about that them thar “lung flutes”…

      To find precise details on what NOT to do, to avoid the flute police, please see http://www.churchofsqrls.com/DONT_DO_THIS/ … This has been a pubic service, courtesy of the Church of SQRLS!

    2. That gets crowded when each member of the team also has a team following them around. Etc. etc.

      1. Just use the buddy system, but pair up people who hate each other.

  4. Is all body modification, including scarification, covered or just tattooing?

    Given the fact that they seem to have overlooked the idea that this law should apply (falsely assuming it should apply at all) only to known/wanted felons, I can only assume they overlooked other rather obvious loopholes.

    1. Or maybe it was just some regulators noticing that they hadn’t done any regulating in this particular area for a while, so they figured they had better do something.

      1. “the Cabinet of Health and Family Services simply says, “Regulations in this area have not been updated for about 15 years.”

        I do believe you’ve nailed it.

      2. “Or maybe it was just some regulators noticing that they hadn’t done any regulating in this particular area for a while, so they figured they had better do something.”

        For the children.

  5. Your body is not yours to do as you please except in cases of abortion even though a baby is also not yours.

    stupid rule by someone who clearly hates tattoes

    1. I hate tattoos myself and feel they should only be allowed on prisoners, marines, sailors and indigenous peoples. However tattooing over or around scars seems like a sound additional exception in my assorted authoritarian fantasies.

  6. OT / The Shih Tzu in the neighbor’s lawn has been barking (if a loud and annoying squeak may be considered a bark) for the past hour at the free dogs in the park. Is it OK to eventually liquidate said squeaker if it never stops squeaking and if its “parents” are oblivious to modern societal norms? Asking for a paid dog murderer.

    1. Just bring your speakers outside, point them at your neighbor’s house, and blast something horrid at full volume.
      Or you could go knock on their door and introduce yourself, be all neighborly, then casually mention the dog barking.
      You could also SWAT them, but, personally, I think that might be counter productive.

  7. Why is my comment awaiting moderation? Is it the two links? Is it that one of the two links is to that disreputable rag Reason magazine? Is it the Robbie snark? It’s the Robbie snark, isn’t it.

    1. I don’t work here but if your comment is awaiting moderation on a site that doesn’t moderate comments (“We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate…”) then maybe you’re having a psychotic episode. Or maybe you’re still commenting on a site that, in 2019, looks like it was designed in 2002.

      1. Or maybe you’re still commenting on a site that, in 2019, looks like it was designed in 2002.

        Hey! They just rolled out an “upgrade”!

  8. Your KY tax money is paying for this silliness.
    I reckon it is time to hold legislators personally financially responsible when they propose ridiculous and/or illegal bills.

  9. Let me try this again:

    In other news, that YA author hounded by the SJW mob into canceling her book publication has decided to publish after all – but not before bowing and scraping and begging forgiveness and attempting to appease the unappeasable.

    Reason had an earlier story on this which you can find by doing a site search for “Amelie Wen Zhao”.

    1. Seems to me that a writer could attract an audience by telling the SJW mob to fuck off. There has to be a market for that.

      1. There are a couple of authors who will happily tell any SJW to fuck off on any occasion. Larry Correia, for example.

        -jcr

      2. Not for people are are moronic enough to think that YA literature is worth reading. Except for the ones required in school, I think it’s mostly middle aged who read them to get all tingly from certain passages wishing they were that young again.

    2. Apparently we are now limited to one link per post and including a link to the earlier Reason story in the same post caused the moderation gate to slam shut.

      Either that or the trigger warning that it was a Robbie post.

      1. Nobody needs more than one link. -Bernie Sanders

      2. Comments are closed, Bitch.

  10. Unconstitutional on its face. First amendment, motherfuckers.

    -jcr

  11. “Artists say that the concern is unscientific and harmful to clients.”

    So what has that go to to do with passing a law to control individual actions? They pass stupid laws because they can.

    “In fact, the DPH has yet to give its reasoning for wanting to ban the practice.” See, there you go. No reason, just because we can.

  12. “They pass stupid laws because they can.”

    Didn’t you read the article. They clearly stated that they have to pass this regulation because the regs. haven’t been updated in 15 years. If that’s not an example of an absolute necessity, I don’t know what is.

  13. Does anyone have a link to the actual text of the proposed regulation? Because I didn’t see it or anyone quote from it in any of the stories and that kind of seems like it would be helpful to know.

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