Gone are the days when tattoos are just for biker dudes and rock stars. Nowadays, the method of putting ink on one’s body is already considered art.
While many opt to have tattoos as a way to design their bodies, one artist from Toronto use it for a different purpose – to help cover up injuries. Basma Hasmeed is a para-medical tattoo specialist and most of her clients seek her out to treat their scars, vitiligo and chemotherapy patients.
Hameed is no stranger to having a tattoo cover up your scar. When she was younger and still living in Iraq, she sustained scars when hot kitchen oil accidentally burned her. Even though she underwent plastic surgeries and laser treatments, half her face remain discolored from the accident. Doctors she spoke to said nothing more could be done with it.
She did not lose hope in spite of what the surgeon said. “For me, I felt like that wasn’t the end of the road. I truly believed that something else did exist,” said Hameed. She did a lot of research and stumbled upon cosmetic tattooing. One time, she had an eyebrow tattooed to replace the one she lost in the accident. It got her thinking if the same procedure could be done on her skin.
She went to school to learn how it’s done and took time to understand the procedure. “When I started working on my face, I was extra careful. I wanted to make sure that I going to get the right result,” she said.
What began as her journey to get over that tragic incident from her childhood has now blossomed into a business. The Basma Hameed Clinic currently receives many referrals from surgeons, dermatologists and other doctors because of her very empathic and compassionate way of treating patients. She said of her work, “I think that I’m good at para-medical scar camouflage because I was able to work on myself, and I was able to see the process of it.”
While she is currently pushing for her treatments to be considered as medical expenses, some who cannot afford it are done free of charge through the help of the Basma Hameed Survivors Foundation.
When asked about the foundation, she had this to say, “I’ve gone through a lot and I’ve suffered enough. And I know I’m not alone.” Adding, “There’s a lot of people who are going through similar situations, and I wanted to give back and help as many as possible.”