There is no more bold a statement as a human scar. Scarification is becoming a more common practice in the body modification community. Could you handle sitting for several hours as flesh is slowly carved from your body?
What Is Scarification?
Scarification is the act of placing a scar on the human body for a purely aesthetic purpose. The scars are created in a controlled process and should not be confused with self inflicted scars used to deal with pain.
History Of Scarification
Using scars to mark the body as a right of passage or to mark an event has been going on for thousands of years. Even today scarification is a common practice in Austrailia, New Guinea, and West Africa.
Facial scarring was a popular practice among the Huns during the 4th to 6th century.
The M?ori of New Zealand used a form of ink rubbing scarification to produce facial tattoos known as “moko”. Moko were considered to make the body complete. M?ori bodies were considered to be naked without these scars. Moko were unique to each person and served as a sort of signature. Some M?ori chiefs even used the pattern of their moko as their signatures on early land treaties with Europeans.
Methods Of Scarification
Abrasion – Scars can be formed by removing layers of skin through abrasion. This can be achieved using a tattooing device without ink, or any object that can remove skin through friction (sandpaper, cheese grater, belt sander, etc).
Chemical Scarification – The use of corrosive chemicals to remove skin and induce scarring on the skin. The effects of this method are typically very similar to other, simpler forms of scarification. This is not a common method of scarification and not a whole lot about it is known.
Ink rubbing – This is where tattoo ink, or another sterile coloring agent, is rubbed into a fresh cut. Most of this ink will remain in the skin as the wound heals. The result will have the same basic effect of a tattoo. The general public often interprets ink-rubbings as poorly done tattoos.
Packing – This is an uncommon practice in the West, but has traditionally been used in Africa. A cut is made diagonally and an inert material such as clay or ash is packed into the wound. Massive keloids are formed during healing process as the wound pushes out the foreign substance that had been inserted. Cigar ash is commonly used in the United States for more raised and purple scars. It has also been somewhat common to use the ashes of deceased loved ones to pack the cut.
Skinning (Skin Removal) – Cutting in single lines produces relatively thin scars. and skin removal is a way to get a larger area of scar tissue. The outlines of the area of skin to be removed will be cut, and then the skin to be removed will be peeled away. Scars produced from this method often have an inconsistent texture once healed.
Results Can Vary Greatly
No matter what method you use to produce the scar the end results can vary greatly from one person to another. Generally most people want raised scars which are actually keloids, an overgrowth of scar tissue.
The darker your skin the more noticeable scarification will be on your body. People with darker pigment generally have much more significant keloid growth then lighter skinned people.
Body Scarification Aftercare
Irritation – The longer it takes a wound to heal, the more pronounced the resulting scar will be. In order to have very pronounced scars, the goal is to keep the wound open and healing for the longest time possible. This is done by picking or scrubbing away scabs and irritating the wound with chemical or natural irritants such as toothpaste or citrus juice. A wound may take months to heal using this method and the scar may be inconsistent.
Leave It Alone – Although it’s not the most common recommendation to heal a scarification it is by far the safest. This method is what a doctor would recommend for a fresh wound. Keep it covered, don’t pick at it and let your body run its natural course to heal the wound. The resulting scar may not be as pronounced but this method usually produces a more consistent scar.
As with any body modification there are serious risk with scarification. If you choose to modify yourself with a cool scar make sure you do your research and go to an experienced shop specializing in scarification.
For more great scarification pics check out modblog.bmezine.com where these images were taken from.