There are some things in life that come with a trade off that can’t be avoided, like like plastic surgery and scars. But just because you’re left with a scar after surgery doesn’t mean you have to live with it forever.

Besides camouflaging plastic surgery scars, according to cosmetic medical micropigment expert Basma Hameed, a treatment known as micropigmentation (which uses a proprietary blend of mineral pigments combined with medical tattooing) can help hide your scars. “We implant the pigment into the layers of the skin to camouflage the discoloration in the damaged tissue,” says Hameed.

During the 30- to 120-minute treatment (the larger the area being treated, the longer it takes to complete), pigments are mixed together to create an exact skin tone match and then tattooed on to the skin to camouflage the scar.

“We’ve seen a lot of success with many cases since this procedure works on both surgical and accidental scars. It is also successful on correcting burns and birthmarks,” she says. “But, unfortunately, we’re unable to preform the procedure on melasma.”

Said to be a relatively painless treatment—Hameed says some clients describe it as a hot sensation vibrating on the skin—since it works on damaged tissue and scar tissue so little, if anything, is felt.

To really get the best results, a few treatments are needed. “Some clients will notice a slight improvement after the initial treatment. However most will see a significant improvement by the third or fourth treatment,” she says. And in terms of how long the results last, you can expect your skin to be appear virtually scar-free for about three to five years. “You can always do a quick touch up, too, to continuously maintain that final result.”