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my first professionally done scarification (skin removal)

After thinking about it for a while I decided to get an x in a circle scarred onto my left thigh. I always liked the warning symbols that are on the back of chemical bottles, and went with the x meaning 'irritant' as it's a bold, simple design.
I have always liked the way skin removal looks, more so than just cutting, but I didn't know of anyone that I would trust to perform it. Then I got in touch with Samppa and looked at his portfolio and decided that it had to be him who did it.
I arrived at Harlesden station in North London incredibly nervous. I was really scared by the thought of getting this mod as all had so far was tattoos and piercings. I have cut and burned myself many times, but that was in a self-injury way rather than as something that was meant to be pleasing to the eye. I have tried cutting in designs on myself too but that didn't work at all well and has since been covered by tattoos. Basically, it was time to leave this to a professional, although the idea terrified me.
Samppa and I made our way to Ben (iam:lefrog)'s house, where he is currently staying. We got in and Samppa started to set up the bench and to get his tools prepared and then it really hit me: I was going to have a large design carved into my leg. My mind was racing with 'ohmygod what the hell am I doing?', but once the transfer was applied to my leg and I got to check the placement in the mirror I knew that I would put up with almost anything to get this, it looked so beautiful.

Ben was there too by this point and he put on some music and I lay down and Samppa started to cut. The first cuts were shallow and just to break the skin so the design would still be visible when blood obscured the marks of the transfer. These cuts didn't feel too bad at all, the pain was less than a tattoo. Then once this was finished he started to cut deeper and pick up the skin with tweezers, peel it back, and slice it off. The cuts on the edges were still ok, painful but bearable, but the slicing off the pieces of flesh was a lot more intense, It felt sharp and hot, almost like something was burning me. After removing the skin from three more sections we had a break and headed out into the garden for a cigarette. I had to borrow a pair of Ben's trousers, which looked ridiculous and we laughed about it, which kind of took my mind off the fact that blood was running down my leg.
After five minutes we headed back inside and samppa kept on removing the skin in the outline of the x. This felt fine at first, but hurt more and more as time went on. I was talking to Ben and trying to take my mind off the pain but my legs were twitching involuntarily and I was feeling really light headed. Once the x was done it was time to cover it up, put on the stupidly large trousers and have a break. I was shaking violently all over and my teeth were rattling. I think it must have been the adrenaline.
We then were on the home stretch, there was just the circle to do. This time, when the scalpel went in, I swore and shouted a bit, this was AGONY. I knew I wouldn't be able to take much more, but I did want to get it finished, so Samppa injected xylocaine all the way around the circle. I felt kind of silly having anasthetic at this point, I mean, two thirds of it was done, but once the xylocaine was on things went a lot faster. Ben mopped the blood as Samppa cut and peeled. At one point I ate a blood clot that was forming on my thigh. I don't know why I did it, it didn't taste of anything in particular.
Then it was done. 3 and a half hours, several cigarettes and lots of bloodloss later, it was finished! I couldn't get over how beautiful it was. Or how much it was possible for me to bleed. There was so much blood everywhere. It didn't look real, almost. I was bandaged up and then we all headed out to see Hellen (iam:deletia) perform at a club. But as we got to the train station I noticed there was blood all down one side of my dress. The cling film had come unstuck at the top and fallen down. This happened several more times during the evening, and we did get funny looks from people. I guess a girl on a train sitting with her skirt up around her waist, covered in blood from crotch to knee, with two guys frantically trying to fix the dressing that's fallen off her leg, does look pretty odd.

It's been 36 hours ish now and I love it. This is one of my favourite mods so far and I am so glad I got the courage to have it done. I'm already planning another piece to go on my other thigh! I'm really grateful to Samppa and Ben for making my first experience of skin removal a good one.

Details

submitted by: Anonymous
on: 06 June 2005
in Scarification

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Artist: Samppa+%28iam%3Amadmax%29
Studio: +
Location: London

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