In January, the inspiring story of Basma Hameed, a young woman making a difference in the lives of burn victims, was picked up by various media outlets. As a toddler in Iraq, Basma was badly burned in a kitchen accident. She survived with severe facial scars, starkly pink against her pale skin. After more than 100 procedures to minimize the look of the scarring, she was told there was nothing more to be done.
But Basma had her own ideas. She began to research a form of cosmetic tattoos after using the procedure to tattoo on the eyebrow she had lost to the burns. If tattoos could replace her eyebrow, why couldn’t they be used to replace the pigment she was missing in her burned skin?
“This idea came to my head. I thought ‘why can’t we just get skin tone colours, something that will match the rest of my face, and we match it to the burn?’ At the time nobody was sure about it. I did whatever I needed to do to understand it,” said Basma.
Clinics, a Product and a Foundation to Help Burn Victims
She attended aesthetician school to learn the tattoo trade for herself. Then, she began to test out her ideas on her own face. Thrilled with the results, Basma set out to help others like her. She opened her first clinic in Toronto, Canada in 2011 and recently opened a second clinic in Chicago.
Through her foundation, the Basma Hameed Survivors Foundation, she provides paramedical tattoo services free of charge to patients who can’t afford her services. The Foundation also educates fellow survivors and the public by advocating available treatments for burn and scar survivors.
She also developed a unisex Scar Camouflage Concealer as an alternative to the micropigmentation procedure. The product is designed for burns, scars, birthmarks, acne, viriligo and can be used as a base foundation.
Basma is an inspiration for her determination and advocacy. We hope she’ll be able to continue helping burn victims for many years to come.