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Scarification and the eraser burn

My experience begins back in the day....and I mean that. Back in the day as in 5th grade style. Looking back on it, it coincided with the beginning of my interest in body mod, as I was starting to pierce my ears multiple times in my bathroom at around that time. I was always looking for attention back then, and piercing seemed to work; my friends AND their parents were taken aback that I did them myself and not with a GUN. But what got me interested in scarring were two classmates with fresh scabs on their hands.... I had asked them how they got them (I was asking both of them in unison, as they were sitting next to me at the time). I knew they were self-induced because they were those fat ass bump scabs, the ones you only get from falling down. How many people do you know fall down on the back of their hands and scrap themselves in a straight line?? Didn't think so.... "Eraser burns", was the answer they both gave me. They proceeded to demonstrate how they went about it, by rubbing the eraser of a pencil in a rapid back and forth motion until the upper layer of skin is rubbed or "burned" off.

So I decided I'd try it. I've always been the type of person who'd rather do something myself than trust another person to do it, but I think this was a bit more out of necessity, because I didn't think anyone would be up for helping me with THIS. I began that day after school. I headed right up to my room and cut to the chase- I was actually kind of excited and anxious because in my mind I was making myself cooler by doing it (I was 11! Give me a break). Sitting cross-legged thinking of what to put onto my left hand (my left was only chosen because I am right handed), I figured I'd put my initials on there.
The first letter presented kind of a problem, being that G is a round letter. I sold out and started doing it box-style. The first line was made at the top of the letter and was only about an inch long. It took a couple minutes for the eraser to break the epidermis (upper layer of skin). The "burn" description was mildly accurate because the process did include a burning sensation. It wasn't really painful at all, being that I was only 11 and this didn't make me cry or anything. After I made my way around the spiral that is the letter G, I started on my second initial, N. This was a piece of cake- 3 straight lines. By this time my right arm was getting carpal tunnel syndrome from all the rapid motion that the rubbing required of me. The G was starting to sting by the time I finished the N. I attributed this to the fact that it was an open wound and didn't worry about it. The next morning I had a nice puffy scab- you know, the ones you used to show off to your friends after your BMX accident?? Two, actually, exactly the same shapes as I had created. G N. I was proud of it and I treated it as a trophy for my efforts. My parents didn't share in my opinion. Needless to say they were disappointed with me, but being the concerned but understanding parents that they are, they didn't get mad at me and ground me for a week. I'm going to skip talking about school that day, as it was uneventful and really not too important to our story. I took a bath that night, and stayed in extra long to saturate the scab so it could be peeled off with minimal pain and effort. This caused another scar that seemed to be a clone of the first, only a tad smaller in size, but not depth. I repeated this cycle for the next week. Rinse, repeat. Finally after two weeks of waiting the scar was fully formed. My initials were now imprinted (and i say this because instead of the normal scarring result of a raised line, mine was indented, probably as a result of the constant removal of the scab), into the skin on the back of my left hand. They were reddish-pink, the normal scar color when the wound is not all that deep. I never regretted it, even to this day. Ten years later, the scars are now faded and stretched, victims of growth and time. Whereas originally they had been centered, they now reside off-center, slightly to the right. I can still see them, but only because I have a point of reference- I knew that they were there. Most people would not notice them unless I point them out and they look very carefully. I figure that if anyone feels the urge to scar him or herself but are afraid of future repercussions, they shouldn't do it. But if it is really, really important to you, then I suggest not going deeper than the epidermis....this way the scar deteriorates over time, and wont be so noticeable when you grow out of this stage. As for myself, I plan on finding other ways of utilizing this method to create designs, however its not very precise so I think I'll stick to places that aren't going to see much light of day.....save the rest of the canvas for more refined art.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 02 April 2001
in Scarification

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Artist: myself
Studio: my+room
Location: Temecula%2C+Ca

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