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A Second Spiral Cutting

A month has passed since I had my first cutting done. With a better knowledge of the after care procedures and the "pain factor" I went in to have my right hand cut. The design is a perfectly symmetrical spiral that mirrors the one on my left hand. Because I was better prepared this was a much more casual experience. Now that I know about after care I can give a little history on what happened the last time I had a cutting done as well as how the procedure went this time around.

The after care of my last spiral cutting was a completely new experience for me. I had no idea what anything would look like, feel like or how it would react! I started out the cleaning routine by irritating it from the very first night that I had it done. First I would use a clear, anti-bacterial soap to wash my hands with. Then I would scrub down the area with a gritty facial scrub to soften things up a little bit. I wanted to make sure that I cleaned all the grit out of the cut so I would use a toothbrush (with a little bit of soap on it) to push out anything that the scrub had left behind. When I was finally done with all the 'preparatory' work I would get on with the more serious, and more painful, part of the cleaning. I would soak a synthetic facial puff in water, apply some soap, and then begin scrubbing away at the cuts. It would always hurt like hell at first but I learned that if I started out slowly and then worked my way up to a vigorous scrub it would not hurt quite as badly. In the beginning my goal was to make my hand bleed (at least a little bit) every time I scrubbed it. As my hand began to heal up my goal switched from trying to make the cut bleed to trying to pull of as much scab and/or new skin as possible. I usually did these cleanings about twice a day...sometimes more and sometimes less but I always did at least one scrubbing a day. The general routine was quite mundane but I did try a few other things just to see what would happen. I bought iodine free sea salt to see what the reaction would be on my hand. It basically hurt like hell. I expected that. I also tried a vinegar wash but couldn't really see the advantages of that one either. In the end I just stuck with the boring cleaning method. I guess I missed out on all of the funky sounding kitchen created pastes!

The way the cutting looked and felt while it was healing was also new to me. The first day or two the line was very thin and looked like it wouldn't scar at all! I was incredibly nervous about what would happen. As the days progressed my hand started swelling and there was red surrounding the cutting. The lines began to pull apart and had a kind of crusty look to them. I could see the underlying skin layers and how my body was trying to form a barrier over them for protection. My hand became even more swollen and the lines started taking on a sort of ridging. It was all very weird, although I now realize that it is a normal process. When the new skin started forming it was stringy and kind of gross to touch when wet. I pulled as much of it off as I could during this time. When the swelling finally went down completely most of the cut was healed together. Picking at any of the loose skin usually caused bleeding. In the final stages of healing my cutting looked like it had very dry skin that was peeling. Now it has a puffy red look to it that is very distinct and very pleasing. That entire healing process took a little over two weeks to complete. When I went into Fry St. Ink to show Justin and Holly they teased me over how quickly it had healed. At first I was worried that the scar from the cutting wouldn't be visible but it definitely is! Armed with the knowledge of my first cutting experience I went into Fry St. Ink to have the second part of my cutting 'project' completed. I didn't like walking around with only one hand cut. It felt very unbalanced. The shop was surprisingly busy for a Wednesday evening so I hung around to let Holly finish piercing and taking care of everyone that was already there. I also needed to get something to eat before it started. I opted for bagels (with some crazy cream cheese that tasted vaguely of smoke!) from a near by coffeehouse. Luckily for me they also sold grapefruit juice. When I had eaten and had time to settle down I went in for the cutting. I was a lot calmer this time. Holly had saved the original copy of the spiral stencil so we would have an exact replica. It took a little bit of time to make sure the placement was perfect, something I consider well worth the time spent. Justin came in to talk to me while my hand was being cut. I felt like a dork but after seeing him dance I knew I wasn't alone. I didn't feel like I was going to faint at all during the process. There was one particular spot that hurt worse than anything but it didn't have to be gone over too many times. When everything was done I was bandaged up. I stayed around a little bit just to make sure everything was chill before I left. I bought more supplies for cleaning before I went home. When I took off the bandage I found that not only was this second spiral close to mirroring the first but that it was completely and perfectly symmetrical! All I have left to do is finish the healing. Yay!

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submitted by: Anonymous
on: 04 Sept. 2001
in Scarification

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Artist: Holly+Vickers
Studio: Fry+St.+Ink
Location: Denton%2C+TX

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