Courtney’s Scarification Story

So a few months back, before the great technical breakdown, I asked a great friend of mine to document her scarification adventure for me. Scarification is something even I’m not very well educated in, and since she’s the only one I personally know who’s had the procedure done, I asked her to tell me her story.

And now I will share it with you.

It was the best of time, it was the… I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist. I’ve been asked to write about my experience with the scarification process. I’m horrible at these things, so I guess I’ll start with some back story? This is gonna be a long one: 

I’m Courtney and I am 24 years old. I was that kid who watched Discovery and read National Geographic between my cartoon fix. So by age 16 I had some knowledge of ritualistic scarification in other cultures. I didn’t know that the Western body mod scene had embraced these as an art form; that happened around age 19. Google is a wonderful thing. I really didn’t have an interest in getting it done, most of the images I saw were of branding and the scars didn’t appeal to me. Then I found cutting/skin removal and LOVE! So around age 22 I started playing with the idea of someday getting it done, but I stopped researching and photo admiring to really let it sink into my head without the influence of the interwebz. 2 years later, after pros/cons I’m pretty set on SOMEDAY going through with it. 

Funny thing is when I found the artist in Pennsylvania I was looking to get sub dermal implants. A few miscommunications later and I had an appointment for cutting. So I waited nervously (but excited) for a month, drove the 3 and 1/2 hours with my pregnant sidekick, and arrived 2 hours early, oops. So I had to wait an hour for the artist to eat, nervous as all. Luckily the sweet sweet sound of a tattoo machine was there to calm me. ONTO WHAT YOU CARE ABOUT! 

Set up went like any tattoo or piercing. He laid down the awesome blue medical grade whatever (technical term) on his tray, pulled out his scalpels, slapped on some gloves, green soaped me up and applied the stencil. Got his chair wrapped, I sat down WHEN SUDDENLY! A wasp flew in the room (no joke). So that took about 15 minutes to take care of, then we began. Initial scoring felt pretty much like a smooth, drawn out papercut. No worse than a tattoo. The artist was amazing and hilarious which just helped even more. Some stripper friends showed up, we talked about how he builds Cafe Racers (the bike I want), the suspensions he does, how he entertains at fetish events, blah blah blah, basically, I have a huge crush on the guy, okay. Initial scoring finished he rubs me down with some sweet elixir known as lidocaine! Now the fun part, widening and deepening the cuts, which I can’t feel at all! Was a little sad, but I’m sure it is necessary. At about the 4 hour mark (and some preggo baby mama drama later which brought down the mood) he “compliments” me on sitting so well and not bleeding everywhere. Immediately after he cuts a part that wasn’t scored and my leg spasms! I didn’t really notice pain, but apparently my leg did (mind over matter?). So he took back his compliment =( And we’re finished, cleaned and happy! YAY! 

Aftercare, uuugh: 
Day 1-3: wash in AM with antibacterial soap, pat dry with paper towel, slather on the A&D ointment, and wrap in plastic. Washed again when I got home, repeat. By day 3 I was noticing a vinegar smell from the sweat and had developed heat rash. The most horrible thing ever, worse than the cutting! 

Day 4-7: Clean, take half a lemon cap with sugar/sea salt, squeeze and rub that baby into the cuts! No burning, there’s a nice layer of skin already formed. Basically this acts as an abrasive to raise the wound and changes to PH level to darken the scar. A&D and wrap. 

*I added something I found off Ross’s blog to this, sesame seed oil. It’s an irritant, and honestly I’d rather smell like peanut butter (oddly enough) than vinegar. 

Then for the next 3 weeks, nada. Leave her alone. Let your body do what it wants to. Just like a tattoo, or any wound really, no submerging in water, keep your grubby hands off. No bodily fluids near it or other peoples’ nasty whatevers. 

TL;DR: Do your research, sit and think, find an awesome artist, pain varies but I was fine, listen to your artist, follow aftercare and love what you’ve just been through.