That is a LOT of skin to remove

I think this scarification by Josh Burgh at Blue Horseshoe Tattoo in Virginia Beach really pushes the limits of how much skin is safe to remove at once. That’s a lot of exposed flesh to ask the body to heal, and would put enormous strain on the immune system. I think if it was me I’d do it in sections, but, at the same time I’ve seen other large removals heal very nicely.

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About Shannon Larratt

Shannon Larratt is the founder of BME (1994) and its former editor and publisher. After a four year hiatus between 2008 and 2012, Shannon is back adding his commentary to ModBlog. It should be noted that any comments in these entries are the opinion of Shannon Larratt and may or may not be shared by LLC or the other staff or members of BME. Entry text Copyright © Shannon Larratt. Reproduced under license by LLC. Pictures may be copyright to their respective owners. You can also find Shannon at Zentastic or on Facebook.

18 thoughts on “That is a LOT of skin to remove

  1. I also worry about the health of the exposed underlying tissues. Getting and maintaining healthy granulation beds for reepitheliation can be quite difficult. Does anyone take contracture into account in both short and long terms? I just wonder if people who get these works really understand what this could mean for the rest of their life if something goes wrong.

  2. xanatos, you could say the same thing about any of the millions of things people do that could be life-altering if something goes wrong.

  3. I personally wonder if people realize the infinate health risks they take when they get into the driver’s seat, or any seat for that matter, of an automobile.

    For some reason, removing a great mass of skin tissue, on purpose, and in sterile conditions (presumably), pales in comparison to moving over a mile a minute in a steal box next to hundreds of other people doing the same. I forget where I left my soda half the time, imagine how many near death misses I’ve had from not looking a certain direction in my car! I probably don’t even realize how close to death I am most of the time!

    Life is short Xanatos, so don’t sweat the petty things, and don’t pet the sweaty things.

  4. Xanatos: Help out by adding to the skin removal risks section of the BME encyclopedia. I plan on adding my own first-hand experiences to it when I get a chance.
    You’re right in that skin removal can be fucking brutal and extremely dangerous if not properly researched.
    Stuff like this can take months and sometimes years for the skin to fully close over, and even then the new tissue is weak at best.
    Seeing stuff like this, and the nape one a few days ago scares the crap out of me.

  5. I have to admit, some of the examples I have seen of removal do scare me. It can be easy to get carried away creating a piece of artwork but ultimately we must remind ourselves that we are dealing with an organ which is part of a system, when combined with the other systems is responsible for maintaining life.

  6. There’s varying degrees of risk in everything of course, so it seems to me that the important thing is to fully understand the potential risks of any elective procedure and then behave in such a way as to mitigate those risks as much as possible. Removing a certain amount of skin may involve more (or less) risk than some other mod, but I feel like the important thing is for people to understand the risks, know the early warning signs of complications, understand how their body is responding, and so on. Especially if part of the mod involves prolonging or extending the healing time, the added stress to the immune system (of which the skin is certainly a part) should be monitored and taken into account.

    What’s scary to me is people who elect and undertake high(er) risk behaviors recklessly and/or without a reasonable degree of preparation and understanding (and the practitioners who take their money anyway).

  7. As I said, I just hope the people who get such large skin removal pieces understand risks of what they do, (just as I understand the risks I take when I operate my car).
    And when an artist is looking at the placement of these pieces, contracture causing limited mobility should be taken into account.
    Don’t undervalue your skin. Just ask a burn victim.

  8. I appologize, I should not have made that last comment. It was out of line, but “great mass of skin tissue” bothered me. That being said, I should have kept that last sentence to myself.

  9. whenever I see any scarification or skin removal, the first thing that comes to my mind is the tightness and reduced range of movement that that person may experience due to scarring. With my piece, tightness of the area is what I have noticed the most in my daily life. However, it has gotten much better over time and I believe will continue to do so. It has not hindered my life greatly, however I do think it should be a large factor in deciding location and design of any scarification. Constant tightness and limited range of movement can be very frustrating as well as painful.
    Just a heads up!

  10. It was a little harsh xanatos but it makes the point. We don’t usually think of it that way but out skin is an organ and too much trauma to it compromises it’s ability to do it’s job. I think large scarification like this should probably be done in stages giving the sections time to heal to reduce the chances of infection or similar complication and to see if motion is being limited so in the case that it is the design can be adapted to prevent the problem getting worse. I have a lot of scarring on my hands, arms, and legs from some accidents and certain motions feel tight and uncomfortable because that skin isn’t as elastic as the rest of my skin.

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