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Amateur cutting, from the cutter's POV

this is an experience involving cutting and scarification, from the point of view of the cutter. I don't recommend doing any of this, since it took a long time, was probably not a good idea, and mainly, because I don't want to be responsible if anyone tries this shit. So, let me tell you about myself and the girl I did the cutting on, as well as the circumstances involved, and where it was done. I'm a teenager, but big into bod-mod. I sport multiple piercings, and small scars from such things as attempted surface piercings. I also have scars on my outer left thigh when I was expirementing with cutting, and also, as an sort of S & M type of thing. I'm one of those people who reads medical texts for fun. The girl who I did this on was a good friend of mine at the time, who adored lady bugs. That's how we decided the cutting would be done into the shape of a lady bug. I told her that I wasn't sure how to do this, but I'd do my damndest, and, since she didn't mind the pain, we decided to try it. So, what did I use? An X-acto knife, with multiple cutting heads, (since we couldn't get a scalpel), alcohol, Bactine, Hydrogen Peroxide, distilled water, guaze, medical tape and small sponges. It was done in her bedroom, with nice soothing music playing. The first cutting was simple enough. I had her take off her shirt, so she was just wearing a bra. I let all of the blades soak in Bactine for several minutes. Before I used one, I wiped it off, and then soaked it in alcohol, before doing the cutting. As I cut, the blood and alcohol soaked into a towel that I had next tucked next to her shoulder. Although I didn't use latex gloves, that was my decision, knowing that she was disease-free. The process was simple enough. I first drew the image on using a pen. It was to be a simple ladybug, with antennae and a dot on each wing. (The dots were, BTW, a pain in the ass to do). So, I dipped the blades in alcohol, and sitting next to her, I did the cutting. It was slow and painful, and I had to rinse the blood off with water about every few minutes. I went over each line multiple times, probably cutting about 1/16"-2/16" inch deep. I later noticed that deeper lines scarred better. After the first cutting, I rinsed it in Hydrogen Peroxide, then, after leaving that until it stopped foaming, I cleaned the cut with water. The final stage was alcohol, and then a guaze pad was taped into place. We decided to see how it healed, and then do another cutting. As for aftercare, I suggested Hydrogen Peroxide and alcohol, whichever she happened to have available. Both of them would promote scarring to some small degree. I alsotold her to feel free to pick at it if it scabbed. The second cutting took place weeks later. The original had left nice scars, except for the antennae and one of the dots. These were recut, and to do the dots, I used multiple small slashes and gouges. Again, it was bandaged. I think we did three or four cuttings altogether, since she didn't scar easily. On one of the cuttings, she asked me to do a small cutting at the base of her back so she could have fun rubbing it up against stuff and feeling it hurt, so I did a gridwork pattern, after doing the lady bug that day. This was a lighter cutting, and was taken care of with Bactine, since we didn't want to promote scarring. After all the cuttings, what she's left with is a ladybug on her right shoulder, light pink, with slightly raised scars. I would've liked to do an ink rubbing, but that seemed too difficult for it. If you want to do a self-cutting, or a cutting on another person, (which I do not recommend), I do recommend sterilising everything as much as possible. Keep in mind, also, what you're working with. Things like alcohol and Hydrogen Peroxide will promote scarring slightly, as well as irritate the cut. Saline is probably a better choice than distilled water for cleaning. Scapels and X-acto knives are WAY different. An X-acto knife is not designed for cutting flesh, and therefore, doesn't have as precise an edge. This means extra irritation and tearing on the cut. This is a good thing for scarring, but bad for pain. I also found that the smaller the blade, the better. It bleeds a lot, once you hit 1/16" so be prepared for that. (And BTW, 1/16" is deeper than you think). You will probably have to do multiple cuttings for the desired effect. And, most importantly, keep in mind how incredibly dangerous this whole thing is. If you're working with someone who may have blood-bourne diseases, get a LOT of latex gloves, and don't contaminate them. Also, there is a risk of infection, which is a bad thing, so cleaning is important. While an infection can promote a keloid scar, it can also be VERY incredibly dangerous.

One question that people want to know about cutting, is how permanent is it? It's pretty permanent. Although a scar will fade over time, and creams and lotions might help, if it's there, it's there. It'll show up more if you have a tan, or very dark skin. As for removal, there's really no way to remove it. Some tattooists can cover it up, but many won't want to, particularly if its big. One can be cut out by a doctor, but that often leaves scarring, too. 
One method, and the one I'm most familiar with, is a route that a friend of mine was forced into when his parents discovered the word "Satan" carved into his left arm. (They found out before he was able to carve "Jesus" into the other.) They took him to a doctor who used a laser to cover the scarred word with even more scarring. He now has a scar in the shape of a box on his left inner forearm, but if you look close, you can still see the markings.
So, all in all, scarring is pretty permanent, so keep that in mind before you do it.
Know the risks before you do anything to your body. That goes for piercings, cuttings, and tattoos...
I hope you learned something from my experiences. I would've killed for a lengthy explanatory experience before I tried the cutting. It would've been nice to know the risks and know what to expect. So, that's about it. Don't be dumb, and respect your body.

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submitted by: Anonymous
on: 15 Aug. 1999
in Scarification

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Artist: self
Studio: +
Location: Southern+RI

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