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Woman Tattoos Her Own Face To Cover Scars, Starts Business To Help Other Burn Victims

This woman rose above the challenges of her own experience to help others in similar situations.

Basma Hameed, originally from Iraq, was severely burned by hot oil in a kitchen accident when she was 2 years old, CBC News reported. Although she underwent more than 100 procedures in an attempt to conceal her third-degree burns, parts of her face were still scarred and discolored. After getting her eyebrows permanently tattooed on, Hameed had an epiphany.

basma
Left: Hameed, before having tattooed herself Right: The tattoo specialist, after having tattooed herself

"I saw the result immediately," she told Mic.com of the procedure, which she underwent following failed eyebrow transplants. "I was so happy that I thought to myself -- why not do the same procedure using skin tone pigments on my scar tissue, to camouflage the discoloration."

Hameed received training and cosmetically tattooed her own face, closely matching her original pigments. Today, Hameed, who has clinics in Toronto and Chicago, lends her skills to a variety of patients, including other burn victims, like Samira Omar -- a 17-year-old who was beaten and had boiling water poured on her by bullies, CBC News reported. Omar, who is being treated free of charge by Hameed's foundation, says the paramedical tattoo specialist has renewed her sense of hope.

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

It's exactly the emotion Hameed set out to inspire in her clients.

"When I first meet my clients they can be so shy and insecure about their respective skin conditions, but once we do few treatments they are like brand new people," she told Mic.com. "They smile, they laugh, and most importantly they feel like they can live again."

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BEFORE YOU GO

  • In this Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014 photo, tattoo artist Ashley Neumann, left, watches as breast cancer survivor Mari Jankowski
    Morry Gash/AP
    In this Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014 photo, tattoo artist Ashley Neumann, left, watches as breast cancer survivor Mari Jankowski smiles as she talks about her new tattoo in West Allis, Wis. For women who have survived breast cancer, reconstructive surgery can be a first step toward looking like their old selves. The P.ink organization is helping some of those women with a step in their emotional healing - through tattoos to help conceal their scars. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
  • In this Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014 photo, breast cancer survivor Mari Jankowski takes a photo of her new tattoo that covers a s
    Morry Gash/AP
    In this Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014 photo, breast cancer survivor Mari Jankowski takes a photo of her new tattoo that covers a scar in West Allis, Wis. For women who have survived breast cancer, reconstructive surgery can be a first step toward looking like their old selves. The P.ink organization is helping some of those women with a step in their emotional healing - through tattoos to help conceal their scars. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
  • In this Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014 photo, breast cancer survivor Mari Jankowski cries after seeing her new tattoo that covers a
    Morry Gash/AP
    In this Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014 photo, breast cancer survivor Mari Jankowski cries after seeing her new tattoo that covers a scar in West Allis, Wis. For women who have survived breast cancer, reconstructive surgery can be a first step toward looking like their old selves. The P.ink organization is helping some of those women with a step in their emotional healing - through tattoos to help conceal their scars. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
  • In this Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014 photo, tattoo artist Ashley Neumann is hugged by breast cancer survivor Mari Jankowski after
    Morry Gash/AP
    In this Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014 photo, tattoo artist Ashley Neumann is hugged by breast cancer survivor Mari Jankowski after giving her a tattoo over her scar in West Allis, Wis. For women who have survived breast cancer, reconstructive surgery can be a first step toward looking like their old selves. The P.ink organization is helping some of those women with a step in their emotional healing - through tattoos to help conceal their scars. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
  • In this Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014 photo, tattoo artist Ashley Neumann tattoos over a scar on breast cancer survivor Mari Janko
    Morry Gash/AP
    In this Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014 photo, tattoo artist Ashley Neumann tattoos over a scar on breast cancer survivor Mari Jankowski in West Allis, Wis. For women who have survived breast cancer, reconstructive surgery can be a first step toward looking like their old selves. The P.ink organization is helping some of those women with a step in their emotional healing - through tattoos to help conceal their scars. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
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