Dolly Parton, 73, is appearing in a new Netflix TV series – Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings, and prior to it being released, the country singer revealed the reason behind her multiple tattoos. The star divulged she’s been inked with flowers and butterflies, and the reason being is to cover up “scars or things”.
In an interview with Vanity Fair, she said: “I don’t really like to make a big to-do of [the tattoos] because people make such a big damn deal over every little thing.
“But most of the tattoos, when I first started, I was covering up some scars that I had, ‘cause I have a tendency to have keloid scar tissue, and I have a tendency where if I have any kind of scars anywhere then they kind of have a purple tinge that I can never get rid of.
“So mine are all pastels, what few that I have, and they’re meant to cover some scars.
“I’m not trying to make some big, bold statement.”
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The singer doesn’t tend to have her tattoos on show, and their placement is not certain, but in 2014 she did hit back at claims she had snake tattoos all over her.
Speaking to Today, she said: “People said the other day that the reason you wear sleeves is that you have snake tattoos all over you, and I said, ‘No, I don’t.’”
What are keloid scars?
When wounds heal, they leave a scar, but with a keloid scar, the skin becomes thick, lumpy, raised and larger than the original wound.
The NHS advises: “Anyone can get a keloid scar, but they’re more common in people with dark skin, such as people from Africa and African-Caribbean and south Indian communities.”
How can you tell if you have keloid scars?
The health body says keloid scars are usually:
- Raised above surrounding skin
- Hard and rubbery
- Red or purple at first, before becoming brown or pale
It adds: “This can last for years, and sometimes do not form until months or years after the initial injury.”
What causes keloid scars?
It’s not fully understood exactly what causes keloid scars, but experts believe they happen when there’s over production of collagen, which is found in the skin.
The British Association of Dermatologists (BAD) explains: “Most people’s skin scars normally, and only a minority of people develop keloids. Keloids are not contagious.
“There are some risk factors that increase the likelihood of a person developing keloids.”
The BAD says keloid scars, as well as people more common in people with dark skin, are more common after skin injury on the upper chest, breastbone (sternum), shoulders, chin, neck, lower legs and earlobes (especially after ear piercing).
They can also form following burns, acne scars and wounds that become infected or are under tension while healing, or may develop from surgical scars.
How can keloid scars be treated?
There’s no cure for keloid scars, but there is treatment available to flatten them and reduce irritation.
The BDA says treatment options include steroid injections or applying a steroid cream, radiotherapy, cryotherapy and laser therapy.
It adds: “People with risk factors for getting keloids are advised to avoid skin trauma such as tattooing, body piercing and unnecessary surgical procedures/cosmetic skin surgery, particularly on high-risk areas such as the chest or earlobes.
“In the case of acne, prompt and effective medical therapy is important to limit the risk of scarring.”