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Shingles Scars

 Warnings:  What I did up this was overall not safe or a very good idea.  Boiling is does not properly sanitize and cutting should always be done by a professional where everything can be done in a safe and sanitary way.  Also the knife I used (x-acto knife) is not the best option, this is mentioned on the Scarification FAQ on BME as to why.

Cutting all started for me as a screwed up pre-teen. I took my anger out on my body, as most self mutilators do. Except for me it was never in the normal slice or just cut, even as a twelve year old I made intricate little designs, etched first by pen and then knife.

At age ten I got shingles.  For those of you who don't know it is quite similar to chicken pox but is quite often along one area of the body-a nerve somewhere (often the back).  I got it along my inner left leg.  Normally shingles doesn't scar, but for me the first patch of blisters left upraised scar in a 5 shaped pattern.  The spot is high up on my inner thigh, and not visible to the public unless I am in a bathing suit.  Even though it's not oblivious to many people, I always got comments on it when it was seen, and I hated it.  It is a very abnormal looking scar and most people are not surprised I got it from some sort of illness.

One day a friend commented on it when we were out swimming.  Except she gave me the idea to "Get a tattoo" to cover it up.  Being my age at the time (sixteen)  that was completely out but it brought on a lot of thoughts.  And for me cutting was the main thought.

I went out about a week later and got 3 good x-acto knifes and different blade shapes.  I had always used x-acto knifes due to the sharpness they normally have and also because I knew light x-acto cuts would not scar, and that was important in case I somehow messed up.

So I went home on a Friday night after hanging with my friends.  I was in perfect mind and felt odd to be cutting myself when not upset.  This actually in the end turned out to be a major help because for once I had good judgment and patience.

At about 2 am I went to the kitchen and  boiled all of the blades.  I went into my room with them and cleaned my leg off with anti-bacterial followed by alcohol wipes.  I took a surgical pen I had from my friends work and drew in the area.  After a bit of thought I noticed that the shape of the scars could be connected in a way to form a snake or a lizard.  Easy concept and with some pen markings in looked correct.  I decided to go with the lizard idea in the end.

SO I took the blade and cut each area lightly,  just enough to get a line of blood from each spot.  The actual scars I left alone, just played a "connect the dots" game with.  When I had the outline done I washed the marker away and just stared.  The scars were something finally.  Little dots along lines of red.

But each cut was so light that in a few days they would be healed.  And I didn't want that to happen.  I switched the blades on the knife to a new one and went over each cut until it went deeper and deeper.   I felt more pain doing the over-cuts than any of the original cutting.  Each time the blade went over and into the flesh, the cut hurt more than the last.  By the end I had put a shirt in my mouth to clench my teeth on.  I finally had to stop, not because I felt I was done, but because I felt like I was about to pass out. 520

The blood loss was not very extreme but there was enough to make a mess.  I had sat myself on a dark towel and was using paper towel and water to clean my leg off as I went along.  The towel I was on stayed clean but I did go through a decent amount of paper towel.

The next day when I woke up the marks had dried and the swelling was down.  The outline was there and I was pleased, so I went to the detailing.

For and hour and a half I drew scales and eyes onto the lizard and cut them out.  The area was tender as hell thanks to night before but I kept with it.  The blood was about the same as the night before, some but not enough to worry me to much.  After an hour I felt I was done and the marks seemed about as deep as the night before.

My leg was sore for about a week following this.  This may have been in part due to the pants I was wearing and my inability to leave my leg alone.  I always took the scabs off instead of letting them come naturally off.  It was about 3 weeks until it was fully "healed" if you would call it that.  The scar was there, light and visible.

Since I did the cutting it has been about nine months.  Much of the scar has faded but it is still there and visible if one looks close enough.  I was fully prepared and expecting the fading so it never came as a disappointment.  I do plan on one day getting it done professionally, just I have to wait the extra year and find a nearby artist who has experience and skill.

Details

submitted by: Anonymous
on: 06 June 2002
in Scarification

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