alexquintas said:How many sessions did it take for the wormwood, and, do you wait for it to heal up before doing another session? It looks all kinds of awesome and I love how delicate it is.
Two sessions to get it the point that the photo was taken. If I wanted it to be raised/indented more, then I could definitely go over it again!
I usually wait 6 months after the initial surgical cutting phase, just so it has time to develop and properly heal. I agitate my scarifications in their healing process with a clay pumice stone (much easier to sanitize than a real pumice stone) for 2-3 months every time I shower, and a little smear of petroleum over the scar for the first week makes the healing slower to allow proper scarring. We also used old-fashioned iodine during the procedure, which actually develops scars (thanks, doctors of yesteryear), as well as sanitizes the area. Hydrogen peroxide is an excellent cleanser while it forms, because it also discourages proper healing and contributes to scarring (it’s slightly toxic to bacteria, but that also means it inhibits new cell growth — which is why it is only encouraged for cleansing minor wounds instead of larger areas).
You can always do more agitation for longer to develop bigger, more raised scars, but for how delicate the linework was, that process seemed just about perfect!
Actually, not at all! (And thank you!)
While some people prefer keloid scars for their 3-dimensional look, a lot of scarifications heal to resemble whitework tattoos — no largely raised, puffy skin, just a slightly different texture (sometimes indented, like some of mine) and color to the skin. Of course, those types of scars are a little more apt to heal away over time, but going over them once or twice creates permanence (I had to go over mine twice).
Also, how you let the scar heal will make a big difference between subtle scarring and larger keloid scarring; the longer you agitate the fresh scarification, the more your skin will develop raised scars. The more flesh you take away (flesh removal), the bigger the scars. I have some slight keloids on my back from a section where we did skin removal (weird TMI: loose lines of skin feel like overcooked spaghetti), but the rest mainly looks like a scar you would get from a minor injury or a lightning strike.
And all of this is dependent upon the person, too. Like you said, a lot of people who get scarifications are already prone to keloids, so it stands out more immediately. Personally, I’ve had my ankle sliced open (by accident) rather severely and never developed a keloid, despite the 3-6 months it took to heal it.
It’s more of a personal (and sometimes genetic) choice if you want something very delicate (like mine, or like this or this or this) or a larger keloid, not a rule for scarification. Everyone scars, it’s just how they do that varies.
Not offensive at all, it’s a great question!
1. Delicately lined tattoos tend to blow out on me, no matter how professionally and carefully they’re done.
2. Scarifications feel very different from tattoos. Parts of my scarification (like the thin lines) feel like pieces of rigid thread/yarn, while other parts feel indented or almost like stickers against skin (especially the flesh removal bits). Generally speaking, tattoos feel “puffy,” which is fine, but I prefer the more graphic and easily-felt scarification on my own body.
3. Scarifications look very different. Since it’s all new skin, it acts like any other scar — it’s shiny to the naked eye and reflects sunlight. My own scarification glows outside in the summer, it’s very noticeable under the right circumstances, but easily overlooked in other lights. Basically, think of any scar you have and how often people notice it when it’s visible vs. how often they don’t notice it unless you point it out. It’s a little like an optical illusion, especially since I chose not to keloid my scars (making them puffy/pink).
4. No maintenance. Tattoos usually have to be touched up or completely redone as a person ages, while scarifications don’t really need any maintenance. However, while a tattoo is usually done in one session, a scarification (especially one with thin lines) sometimes has to be gone over again, but it’s a small price to pay for a literally permanent piece of art.
5. White ink is tricky. Unfortunately, white ink tattoos really haven’t been perfected, and there are a million different schools of thought when it comes to getting them. They sometimes blow out more easily, they sometimes turn yellow as the ink ages, and they sometimes require blue mixed in with them to not look “antiqued.”
6. TMI: I really enjoy pain, but only very specific kinds of pain. Slow, steady pain is my favorite, especially cutting by another person, so getting a scarification is not only a way to explore my masochism in a safe, sterile environment, but also a reminder of happy feelings. Tattooing just doesn’t do it for me in that respect.
Basically, there are a lot of reasons, both personal and logical for getting a scarification or a tattoo, but when I weighed the pros and cons of both tattoos and scars, scars just came out on top for me. Seeing a scarification in person is a very visceral experience, but unlike tattoos, not always noticeable upon first glance. Scarifications just seem to jive with me, my skin scars very easily and in a way that I can appreciate the appearance of it. That’s not to say that I’m not a fan of tattoos (I definitely am!) or that I won’t get tattoos in the future (I would love some blackwork!) but I have a personal connection with my scars that makes me feel content.
And for the curious, this is me with my wormwood (Sweet Annie) scar going down my left arm: