These Invisible Tattoos Cover Up Burn Scars

Paramedical tattooing is an emerging field helping burn victims rehabilitate.

Basma Hameed covers up Samira Omar's scars with tattoos that match her skin color.

The kinds of tattoos Basma Hameed creates are not immediately discernible to the naked eye. In fact, she tries very hard to make sure you can’t see them at all. She’s an expert in the emerging field of paramedical tattooing—these tats are meant to cover up unwanted scars. And her specialty has become particularly significant to survivors of burn attacks.

The burns inflicted by acid and boiling water attacks often require painful skin grafting treatment procedures and a long, arduous process of rehabilitation—and even after the skin is repaired, the physical scars that remain are often permanent. Survivors suffer perpetual psychological anxiety as well, and the scars serve as a constant reminder of their trauma. Paramedical tattooing allows women to camouflage these scars. In an interview with the CBC, Hameed consults with a patient named Samira Omar, who was victim to a boiling water attack. The 17 year old suffered burns all over her head, but Hameed has been helping her cover up the scars by tattooing her with ink that matches her original skin color.

"When she told me she could actually get my pigments back and find a skin colour that could match my actual skin colour, it's just a big sigh of relief," said Omar to the CBC.

Hameed’s entry into the field of paramedical tattooing was also very deeply personal. She was involved in a hot oil accident that left the left side of her face severely burned at a very young age. She had to endure a number of procedures and treaments, but the scars remained. When she discovered the possibilities of paramedical tattooing after a procedure to restore one of her eyebrows, she recieved training in the field and transformed her own face. Now people all over the world flock to her Canadian clinic for her special skills.

via Library of Congress

In the months after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt authorized the military to move Japanese-Americans into internment camps to defend the West Coats from spies.

From 1942 to 1946, an estimated 120,000 Japanese Americans, of which a vast majority were second- and third-generation citizens, were taken in their homes and forced to live in camps surrounded by armed military and barbed wire.

After the war, the decision was seen as a cruel act of racist paranoia by the American government against its own citizens.

The interment caused most of the Japanese-Americans to lose their money and homes.

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via Michael Belanger / Flickr

The head of the 1,100-member Federal Judges Association on Monday called an emergency meeting amid concerns over President Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr's use of the power of the Justice Department for political purposes, such as protecting a long-time friend and confidant of the president.

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North Korea remains arguably the most mysterious place on Earth. Its people and modern day customs are shrouded behind a digital and physical wall of propaganda. Many people in the United States feel that North Korea is our "enemy" but almost none of us have had the opportunity to interact with an actual person who lives in, or has lived under, the country's totalitarian regime.

Even more elusive is what life is like in one of North Korea's notorious prison camps. It's been reported that millions live in horrific conditions, facing the real possibility of torture and death on a daily basis. That's what makes this question and answer session with an escaped North Korean prisoner all the more incredible to read.

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