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Cutting a decent chunk out of my arm.

Awhile back I had been browsing BMEZine and I was checking out the scarification photos and stories.  I have gotten plenty of scars on my body throughout the years, and, to my dismay, they were kind of gross.  However, I noted that if I could control how the scar looked, it would make for a really unique body mod.  I have a few piercings, no tattoos yet (I'm very picky) and I figured the pain wouldn't be a problem.  After all, I'm tough.

So, as I was browsing through the stories I came across one about a girl who had done her own on her ankle while listening to soothing music.  It sounded like something I would have done on a whim.  I'm not suggesting anyone dive into their own body modifications unless you really think you can do it well.  By "well" I most certainly mean "cleanly" and "safely."  Sanitation is a huge part of a successful modification.

I began sketching and sketching different ideas of what I might want etched into my skin.  I finally decided on a random design I had drawn myself.  I tried to keep the lines clean and simple so that I wouldn't mess things up too much.  I figured that if I screwed it up I'd take care of the wound really well (Neosporin, the whole shebang) so as to minimize the scarring.  Short story: It ended up well, no Neosporin needed.  Now that I had decided on a design I needed to clear up a few questions.  How deep should I go?  Does the skin just peel off or will I need to literally cut it out?  I didn't have any real experience removing sections of skin and these unanswered questions are really what made me skeptical about the entire process.  After some reading up, I decided I was prepared enough for the actual procedure.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized I had forgotten one crucial detail.  Where am I going to carve this thing?  I had plenty of those nasty raised up scars (keloid, I believe) on my ankle so I was thinking maybe I would cut over them.  This posed a new question: can you even do that?  I'd always heard with piercings that scar tissue is hard stuff, not easy to pierce through or do much with.  I thought this might hinder my ability to cut well but I had always wanted something to cover them up.  After some deliberation I chose not to risk my first body mod experience by placing it someplace that wasn't exactly conducive to what I was trying to accomplish.  That ankle was out, so now where?

I needed a place that wouldn't get rubbed too much as it healed (ouch) and that I could conceal for jobs, etc.  I finally decided on the side of my wrist/arm pinky-side.  I re-drew some of the design to fit into the space I had.  I figured if I needed to I could cover it up with shirt sleeves, bracelets, watches, and so on but I could also have it out in the open for my own enjoyment.  I've always been a firm believer that, for myself, I want tattoos and piercings in places where I can see them and enjoy them.  The spot was perfect for me.  The design meant something to me.  I had all my questions answered.  I was all set.

I decided that the next day I had nothing to do and no one to disturb me so I would do it then.  When the day came I was a little nervous but not too badly.  A shaky hand would not have been good for this.  I put on some of my favorite music, washed the area well and drew the design on.  Of course it came out horribly the first time I sketched it on there so I had to wash and re-draw a few times before I got it right.  Now it was time.  I took my razor and started carefully tracing along the lines.  I was so intent on concentrating on the task at hand and getting it right that the initial pain took a backseat to my determination.  Before long I was about halfway done.  There was some blood so occasionally I'd dab it away with a Q-tip.  The hard part came next when I had to actually remove pieces the skin.  For a moment I debated whether or not I should even go through with that aspect or just leave it as the cuts.  I figured it would look crappy without the cut out parts so I went for it.  I started peeling back the skin and it was really a sensation I hadn't felt before.  Most times when I get scars its because of something cutting or scratching my skin but this was actually skin being peeled off of my body.  It made for an excellent adrenaline rush.

Within a few more minutes I had finished.  It really didn't bleed as much as I thought it would and I let the healing process begin.  I was excited for a long time about how the scars would turn out.  I'd seen some where the scar stays faint and almost unnoticeable and some where the scar was raised fairly high off the rest of the skin.  It was exciting.  Mine turned out to heal really well and very uniformly which made for a really good looking scar.  It hasn't completely finished since I only did this a month ago, there is still some scabbing, but much of it is finished.  I'm really happy with the results and I'm glad I did it.  The scars are pink when I'm warm and purple when I'm cold, which is something you can't get from normal tattoos.  I'm sure with time it will fade like all scars do, but that's fine with me.  I'm proud of the work I did and the way it turned out.

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submitted by: Anonymous
on: 10 Jan. 2005
in Scarification

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