Scarification by Lassi Sidoro (Graphic content)

Scarification is an ancient form of body art. Due to its nature, you can’t expect to have a very detailed design. In scarification, primitive and simple designs always work best – the same kind of patterns that you can find in wooden reliefs and carved stones.

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I do scarifications mostly by skin removal or cutting. I’ve done some branding, too, but I prefer using scalpel since it’s a more exact method. In branding, the burning will continue for a while after you’ve already finished the operation, which causes more variation to the result.

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The choice of technique and healing methods pretty much depend on customer’s own preferences. Some customers want the scar to be more prominent, while the others prefer a more subtle result that stays on the same level as unscarred skin but becomes lighter as it heals.

Proper aftercare and hygiene are a crucial part of the whole process. Your artist will provide you with detailed instructions for the aftercare, but it’s your own responsibility to follow them, so be ready to commit to the healing of your new scarification piece.

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In general, the risks of scarification are pretty much the same as with tattoos. Once the scarification itself is done, you have to pay great attention to keeping the wound clean to avoid infections. Another rule of thumb is to choose an artist who really knows what they’re doing to begin with. Improper scarification technique may lead to an unwanted aesthetic result or even cause functional damage to your body if the scars go too deep in a wrong place.

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If you’re considering yourself a scar tattoo, try to get as much information as you can beforehand. Find reliable information on the internet, check out portfolios of different artists and particularly pay attention that they have photos of both fresh and healed scarifications. Fresh scarifications may look cool on Instagram, but they really don’t tell you much about the actual result.

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The scar tattoo may look very different after six months, and even more different after a year – if the artist has included photos of well-healed scarifications as well in their portfolio, it tells a lot about their expertise.

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Once you’ve found a good artist, don’t hesitate to ask them for more information about the procedure. A good artist will tell you about the process with its restrictions as well, and they will also let you know if the design you’ve thought isn’t really suitable for a scarification.

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Scarification is not a straightforward process where you just cut first and then see the result. Instead, the whole healing process usually takes about a year – only after that you’ll be able to see how the scars have formed. Compared to a tattoo, the result of scarification depends more on how your own body reacts to wounds.

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In scarification, you must also accept the fact that the healed scarification piece may be inconsistent or lack some details that were included in the original design.

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Many people find the scarification process itself more interesting than the actual result. For them, it’s the whole experience that makes it so fascinating – from the making of the scar to the healing process, where you can see how the scars evolve on your skin.

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If you’re considering a scarification…

  • Make sure that you understand the nature of scarification: it’s a primitive form of art, and the results may vary depending on how your body reacts to wounds.
  • Simple design, best design. Don’t dream about complicated patterns with shades and stuff – even if they’d look good while they’re fresh, after a year they usually look like a fuzzy mess on your skin.
  • Prepare yourself to a slow healing process. Proper aftercare is a crucial part of a successful scarification, and it will take you a lot of time and energy.
  • Examine. Find information about scarification in general and check out portfolios of different artists. A good artist will have photos of both fresh and healed scars.
  • Once you’ve found a reliable artist, don’t hesitate to ask them questions about the procedure and different methods.

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