Scarification Aftercare

Caring for a Scarification piece, whether a cutting or branding, is slightly different from other forms of body art, because one wants to encourage the scarring process. This aftercare regime is designed to optimize the overall scarring effect of your scarification piece. And because this is a slow process, it may be a good idea to see your doctor for a course of antibiotics to help your body fight off infection.

Firstly…

Always make sure that you wash your hands with an anti-bacterial soap before you handle your scarification piece. A bar of
“Protex Gentle” is ideal or any of the leading brands will do… A bar of soap however lathers better than a liquid soap. Also make sure all of your wound dressings are kept in a scrupulously and hygienically clean and dry container, this will help to avoid contamination of your scarification piece.

Day 1-3

  • 10 to 12 hours after your scarification piece has been completed, carefully remove the dressing.
  • It is ideal to wash your scarification piece in the shower, which helps to rinse away impurities rather than soak your wound in water with the impurities.
  • Wash the wound gently by lathering up some anti-bacterial soap with your CLEAN hands, and gently rubbing the soapy lather into the wound, taking care to rub in direction of the cutting or branded lines to prevent uneven scarring later.
  • Rinse the wound well and pat dry gently with disposable paper towels.
  • After drying the wound, apply a thin layer of anti-bacterial ointment.
  • Cover the scarification piece in an airtight cellophane (Glad Wrap) dressing, and seal the edges with medical tape to avoid leakage. (This is the cheapest option, since you’ll be changing the dressings regularly).
  • There are medical products available that are more suited to this function. They come in sterile packs, but tend to be relatively expensive to the average consumer. Common kitchen cellophane is more than suitable, provided you keep it with your dressings in a clean place.
  • The function of this is to deprive the wound of oxygen, thus keeping the wound moist and unable to form a scab just yet.
  • Try not to wrap the piece too tightly as it may hinder the scar tissue from healing outwards of the skin layer.
  • This washing regime is to be followed twice daily, once in the morning when you wake up and again at night before you go to bed.

Day 4-12

  • Continue to wash your scarification piece twice daily, as the new tissue is forming, but it is still absolutely vital to prevent infection.
  • Instead of using anti-bacterial ointments, you may now want to start applying irritants to encourage the building of scar tissue.
  • Some irritants that work well are plain unscented Petroleum Jelly with a little sugar or salt mixed into it. Or you may choose to use Toasted Sesame Oil. Both these are inexpensive and easy to get hold of. They will also help to keep the wound and region moist as well as breakdown the healing tissue.
  • Again, take care to rub the irritant in the direction of the scarification lines as this will prevent “Blow Out” or lines scarring unevenly.
  • After coating the scarification, wrap it in cellophane and seal with tape as usual, to prevent the oxygen from reaching the wound, so that it can further encourage the development of scar tissue.
  • After 12 days, discontinue the use of the irritant and leave wound open to dry out and form the scab.
  • When the scab is formed, try not to move or bend the area, as cracks and breaks in the scab will ultimately affect the end result negatively.
  • Over the next 6 weeks wash the scarification piece gently, but do not soak or pick at the scab. Pat dry after washing.

6 Weeks Later…

  • Your scarification piece should have lost its scab and the scar tissue should have filled the wound by then.
  • Now you can irritate the scar tissue further by slapping, scratching or pulling. Be sure to do this uniformly on the entire scarification piece to keep the scar evenly raised.
  • Your genetics and skin tone are important factors in how much your scar tissue will build up. People with a naturally darker skin tone usually scar more than those with a lighter skin tone
  • A good indication of how well you will scar is if you look at scars from skin injuries that you have sustained in the past.

Do

  • live a clean lifestyle (meaning change your clothes everyday and change your bedding as often as possible).
  • wear loose clothing especially that which covers your scarification piece.
  • get your 8 hours of sleep daily, rest is a great healer.
  • take a multivitamin supplement.
  • take Vitamin C supplements (1000mg/day is sufficient).
  • take a zinc supplement (120mg for males and 60mg for females).
  • drink plenty of fluids (1 – 2 litres of water / day).This will keep you immune system functioning efficiently, making sure your body doesn’t get rundown while it heals your
    scarification piece.

Don’t

  • Don’t expose your scarification piece to contact with unclean hands.
  • Don’t expose your scarification piece to contact with bodily fluids.
  • Don’t expose you scarification piece to any cosmetic styling products, make-up, body lotion or gels.
  • Don’t bathe in pools, hot tubs, lakes, dams or any public or communal water sources. These are breeding grounds for bacteria and will most probably result in you getting your wound infected.

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