Former Burn Victim Basma Hameed Uses Revolutionary Tattooing Technique To Cover Scars

You may not know it by looking at the above image of entrepreneur Basma Hameed, but half her face has been tattooed. It’s not the typical tattoo most of us know from our local parlor, but something unique and revolutionary that has become a procedure helping thousands of people around the world, and also changing the way certain people in the medical field look at scar tissue.

Canadian-based Basma, who now also has a clinic in Beverly Hills, began her inspirational career journey after a long and personal struggle stemming from a childhood accident. When she was 2 years old, she suffered third-degree burns to 40% of her face after a pan of hot oil was accidentally spilled on her by her older brother. She subsequently received over 100 surgeries to reconstruct her face and skin, as is normal after most horrific burn incidents.

But at 17 years old, growing weary of the surgeries that did not leave her with complete confidence in the way she looked, she knew something had to change. She asked her surgeon what else she could do to re-shape the features on her face so she did not have to go through life always looking like a burn victim. Despite having so much work done after her accident, she would constantly get people asking her what happened to her face. Basma decided she had to take control and do something about her situation.

As a teen she came up with the idea of using a tattooing technique to cover her burn by implementing skin-tone pigments into her scar tissue. She worked for 2 years to develop the specialized tattooing technique on her own face. Eventually Basma began working on other clients and knew she was onto something unique and life-changing. For the past decade she has been working on people from around the world and giving them a sense of dignity and confidence again.

At her clinics she performs her signature treatment not just on burn scars, but also surgical scars, birthmarks, vitiligo, skin discoloration as well as doing full areola reconstruction. Some of the clients that come through her door even have an impact on Basma herself, and she offers some procedures pro bono.

One woman who came to seek her treatment was born with a port wine stain birthmark on her face and struggled with it her whole life. In a TEDx Talk Basma gave in 2015 in Canada, Basma shares how the woman recalled being bullied at school by other kids when she was younger. During one lunch break, a group of students pinned her to the ground, grabbed a pencil with an eraser on one end and started scrubbing at her face as if to try and erase her birthmark. This incident left a lasting emotional scar on the woman, but it was Basma’s tattooing technique which has helped changed her physical condition and give back a little bit of confidence to her.

Another young woman she spoke about in the same video came to her with an Alopecia problem. She too was bullied in school and would wake up every morning spending hours doing her makeup so that no one would notice she didn’t have any eyebrows. After using the tattooing technique on her face, the young woman’s mother shared with Basma how her daughter’s self-esteem level changed, and she even posted a selfie on Instagram (something she was too afraid of doing previously) sharing her story with the world.

But it’s not just among clients that this unique technique has been having a lasting impact. Basma says she has had plastic surgeons from all over the world contact her to learn what she is doing so they can also help their patients. They even refer people to her because of how revolutionary her technique is.

Her work has been getting recognition in the media, being featured on CNN, CBC, ‘The Dr.s’ TV show, and The Huffington Post. She has also received multiple young entrepreneur awards in her field. Her story is one of hope, innovation and inspiration, showing that when the outcome of a situation looks bleak or at a dead end (in her case, over 100 surgeries not being able to restore her face the way she wanted) having determination can open up new opportunities.

This master micro-pigmentation specialist is not only an expert at her craft, but a master an empowering clients in a unique way. Of course, fixing physical or outward appearances is only part of restoring a person’s full sense of dignity. However, we’ve seen how people like Basma, as well as British-Pakistani plastic surgeon Dr. Mohammad Jawad who performs reconstructive surgeries on victims of acid attacks in Pakistan and two American tattoo artists helping breast cancer survivors and domestic violence victims, are using their skill to help people in need.

You can learn more about Basma and her life-changing work in the videos below, and also by visiting the Basma Hameed Clinic website.

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