Dealing with Self Harm Scars

Author: Matt Wright

You know when you make one of those life decisions and then realise how quickly you're going to come to regret it. Because that's happening right now. So this setting is brought to you because today I wanted to talk about dealing with self harm scars which is something I suffer from personally.

I wanted to talk to you in an environment which felt natural. I think I've now done the opposite. Self harm is something which can leave you with a life long scar. It's either a mental illness in its own right or can be affiliated with other mental illnesses.

A scar might seem huge or a big deal to you but that doesn't mean that others will see it in the same way. Chances are, whether it be a stranger or a friend, if they see a scar in public they're not going to comment because it's an issue that there is still a lot of stigma around. You should deal with self harm scars for yourself, not to appease other people; partners, family, friends. The scars do mark a part of your life, not necessarily a happy part of your life and not a part you wish to remember.

But they are a part of you and a part of your past. They in no way define you or limit the amount that you are capable of. In certain situations such as job interviews, entering a new workplace or school environment or maybe a first date, you might feel the need to cover up noticeable scars. Some of the things I'm going to suggest should hopefully help you with that. I'm in no way saying that scars are embarrassing or that they need to be covered up but it is the person's own choice as to what they do with them.

Dealing with Self Harm Scars

First off I'm going to say oils or creams which you should be able to get in most high street stores or from your GP/doctor. There are creams which will be labeled as 'reducing scars' or 'reducing stretch mark scars'. Creams that will be advertised as helping various skin conditions can also help with self harm scars. Two that I would suggest would be Savlon to reduce redness and once the skin has begun to scar, there's also Bio-Oil; which I've heard mixed results about.

I've used coconut oil in the past. It hasn't necessarily reduced scarring for me but has definitely smoothed out my skin. The act of rubbing in cream to your body, moisturising, can actually help you feel a lot more connected with your body.

And hopefully with that, a lot more accepting of your scars. There's always tattoos, preferably meaningful. Obviously something you'll want to erase. I've heard that sometimes uneven skin can be a lot more difficult to work on but thats something that you might want to talk to your tattoo artist about.

There are also options such as special concealers; skin camouflage. If you want to do some research for yourself, just type in 'skin camouflage' into google. They have some really good services.

It is possible to get an NHS prescription for various concealers in the UK but that's something you need to talk to your GP/doctor about. The difference between concealers and normal make up is that these are robust to water so you should be able to go swimming with them. The important thing is getting a product which matches your skin tone so as to look as natural as possible. One suggestion that I also managed to find was cosmetic surgery or skin grafts; in extreme cases. That's not something I'd recommend because your self harm scars can be replaced by scars from surgery. This is about your preference, it's your body so do what you feel comfortable with and what money allows. Scars are permanent. The act of one session of self harm can scar you for the rest of your life.

What you can do, which is easier said than done, is learn to accept them for what they are. They are past mistakes. Moving past them is an important part of recovery and a definite reminder of the stronger person that you've become.

As I mentioned before, there is still a stigma around self harm and the individuals that struggle with it, which is unfortunate but that's the society we live in. Self harming is still thought of as shameful and weak. But scars are absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. Everyone has scars. Yours just happen to be on the outside.

If I manage to get the confidence to post this online then ...

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