Self-Injury Scar Cover-Up Procedure


I posted quite recently about a self-injury to self-love transformation through scarification, and Ron Garza sent in this story about the customer pictured in this entry.

After filming for Discovery Channel in Canada last year, and working and speaking with the plastic surgeon on the show, I discussed ideas with him for scar cover-ups done the same way tattoo cover-up custom designs are done on a larger scale. He thought it was a great idea and suggested we consult with local surgeons in our area and see about going in after surgeries and making the surgery scar into a design, decided upon by the patient and myself before the whole surgery. I thought it was a great idea, and it only reinforced my idea that this was totally possible.

I started playing with it, doing a few small removals in different designs to cover surface piercing scars and that healed amazing. Well… then at the scar class that Gillstrap and myself taught Erik Dakota, Gillstrap and myself all collaborated and removed a huge brand that was deep on this student’s sternum. While it takes much more work to get even and consistent it showed me it can be done. Yes, it’s true — it is a complete pain in the ass but I have been pretty stoked on the results.

This piece was done as a reclamation of self-piece and a way of covering over the self-injurious past scars with a healthier new beginning. Originally a phoenix was requested but when we started drawing the design on, with all the old scars a koi just seemed to fit much better with the scales in the direction of her scars. I actually removed some of the old scars to get things level and tried to create a level scar in a field of uneven scar tissue. As you see in the drawing, some scales were also going to be removal for a spotted koi look, but some of the scars’ roots were just to deep to do all at once, so we got the outline done. I’m quite pleased with the results thus far. I’m sure when we add some grey wash to the piece it will give the entire piece more depth and really take the emphasis off the old scars.

Next week we begin the other arm — I’m stoked!


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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.

29 thoughts on “Self-Injury Scar Cover-Up Procedure

  1. i like the idea of taking something that is painful and making it into something beautiful, particularly in this case where the medium is the same for the most part – scars become scars.

  2. I used to self injure but I haven’t hurt myself in almost two years. I got a tattoo on my left forearm to cover up my scars and to remind me not to hurt myself again.

    The koi is beautiful. I really like how the scar looks.

  3. This brought tears to my eyes.
    As a recovering self-injurer, it’s wonderful to see other people who have made it through, it gives me hope for my own future.
    Not to mention that’s just beautiful. I’m glad their have turned something that they may have felt ashamed of into something so gorgeous.

  4. It’s absolutely gorgeous. I love ideas like this and koi fish just always seem to work really well on the body.

  5. I’m doing the same thing right now; a full floral sleeve to cover self-injury scars. It’s wonderful to see how well people can turn self-hate into self-love. :D

  6. what i enjoyed about this piece was the how the previous scarring was such a focal point…it gave it a life that may not have been possible without that scarring…touching story and lovely piece…

  7. I have nasty self harming scars on my legs (which feel nice if you rub your hand over them if you forget the reasons they are there to start with) but I plan on getting them covered up with leg sleeves. Does anyone know if th scar tissue from the deeper cuts will make it difficult to tattoo over?

  8. greetings, thank u for posting this, cause i have similar desire in the future to cover up scars, this is very inspirational and makes me feel good, thank u. peace

  9. This is by far my favorite post:)

    I doubt I’ll ever get this done, just because I don’t think I’ll ever stop SI’ing.

  10. This is beautiful. I really like how the old scars add to the texture of the new piece and are transformed into something new. As a reformed self-injurer, these pieces hit close to home.

  11. this is beautiful!
    I had scars covering the entirety of my arm from my wrists to my shoulders, but i just covered them with 2 sleeves……. to bad i didnt think of doing some scarification

  12. absolutely gorgeous, and it gives me a lot of hope about covering my own scars, when i’m ready for it.

    would love to see further pictures of this when it’s healed.

  13. wow, 10 out of 25 posters on here are/were cutters. i didnt know it was so prevalent. i found out recently that my lil sis-in-law has been cutting, and it broke my heart.

  14. If you’re cutting for reasons other than pain, Hullwork, it’s not so bad. Really.
    …but it’s rare you’ll find someone who cuts, especially young, for honest aesthetic reasons.
    This tattoo has really inspired me… I enjoy looking at my scars as they are right now, because they’re reminders to me of what I’m slowly overcoming. I have some severe scars on my legs and not so severe but very noticeable ones on my left arm. I really, really like this idea, and it’s given me some inspiration for what I would like to do if/when I decide to cover mine up.

  15. I’ve been a cutter for 9 years now and I’ve chosen to cover some of my scars that aren’t as raised w/tattoos. I think for myself scarification would be triggering but I love the idea of it. That koi is beautiful! Thanks for sharing it:)

  16. Absolutley gorgeous piece!

    And yay for pre-planned designs with surgey scars :)

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