At just 2 years old, Basma Hameed was horrifically burned by hot oil in a kitchen accident in her native country, Iraq, CBC News reports. The incident left half her face covered by red discoloration, even after undergoing over 100 different procedures. Her plastic surgeon suggested that she "take [her] money and go on a vacation."
This advice didn't sit well with Hameed. After replacing one of her eyebrows through cosmetic tattooing, she wondered why the same couldn't be done for skin pigmentation. Before beginning work on her own face, she began researching the emerging field of para-medical tattooing, went to school, and opened her own Toronto clinic in 2011. Since then, she's treated people with vitiligo, breast cancer survivors, and burn victims like herself.
"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," Hameed says."I am proud of myself for not giving up, but what I'm mostly proud of is the reaction [I get] from people."