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Embarrassing Bodies, 12:15am Tuesday 4th November 2014 on More 4. Catch up for free on 4oD »

Trouble With Teens

Self Harm Scars

The first case that the doctor’s see this week is 18-year old Kayley who suffered from depression and is covered in the scars that resulted from her self-harming. One scar in particular is very big and Dr Christian sends her to a surgeon to see if they can remove the scar tissue. Having received counselling, Kayley is on the mend, but it is estimated that 1 in 15 teens might be self-harming. Having removed the scar, Kayley returns to see Dr Christian with a noticeable improvement. She’s also been to a camouflage make-up artist who has been able to recommend a set of make-up that will help her cover up her scars.

Find out more about self-harming and the support groups available >

The EB team would like to thank:

Young Minds
Selfharm.co.uk

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Comments and Questions

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I'm 14 and started scratching myself in the summer of last year until around November, when I actually began to cut myself. My arms and legs were constantly covered in scars and cuts until March when I started to wean off of it, but I relapsed badly every seven days or so. I went about four months without harming myself, but relapsed last month and had to start over. While most of my white scars have faded, I'm left with some smaller, white raised scars on my upper thigh near my hip and one larger, pink one that refuses to fade, as well as some white ones on my upper thigh. All I can say is that my mistake was not getting help before it got too bad, and I'm terrified that I'll relapse once I can go without wearing shorts anymore :(





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I am 28 and i have not self harmed for 6 years, I still have very noticeable raised scars on both arms, thighs and legs. Can I get these removed on the NHS? If not, how can I go about setting them removed at a private clinic? What would an estimate cost of private treatment be?





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I am the parent of a cutter. My daughter's legs and arms are a patchwork of scars. Like many of you, she will not have them removed. To a degree, I understand your point and hers, and yes, people who are upset with the sight of them you can call shallow. But, on the other hand, they just might be upset by the sight of self harm. When I first saw another girl with scars I was very taken aback. I had a visceral reaction. What many of you do not understand is many wonderful people who just happen to be upset at the sight of such scars are the norm. Mental illness is difficult to deal with, and having a son or daughter date someone with scars is very difficult. Like all parents, they (and I) worry if the past behavior will return. The scars are a constant reminder of how very close to the edge we live. My daughter says that once she is certain the behavior will not return, she will have them removed. So far, the medical estimate is about $12,000 to take care of only the worst scars. Insurance will not help at all.





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I'm 16 and have self harmed since I was 14, I have cut my legs, stomach but mainly my wrists. I hate when the scars disappear because even though I want to move on from the pain in my life. I still want the reminder of how strong I am and that I still haven't gave up. All the time people have hurt me or ive wanted to die, I've used that and got through it. My stomach and leg cuts disappeared. You can only see my arm once briefly. I would like a way to keep the scars because every time they disappear I cut more so I get more scars and so on. If anyone has any ideas of how I could keep the scars so I don't have the urge to cut as much id be very grateful. X





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So how do you move on? How do you respond to people's questioning stares or your own painful reminder everytime you see the scars?





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I self harm on my hip and I have a huge raised and itchy scar. How can I make this get smaller? I'm currently on the butterfly project so I'm trying to quit cutting. I hate my scars. Hate hate hate hate them.





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I have also been a self harmer in the past and my scars aren't super noticeable except for in the summer (because getting a tan makes them darker). I have been looking into ways to make them fade and so far what I have found that the product that has been successful by the most places I've researched is Bio oil. I am planning on trying it soon (when it comes in the mail), but I would try it because reviews have been super good for it. Don't give up and hate your body friend!! They can most certainly be faded.

I self harm on my hip and I have a huge raised and itchy scar. How can I make this get smaller? I'm currently on the butterfly project so I'm trying to quit cutting. I hate my scars. Hate hate hate hate them.





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Dear Cassie, I am sorry that you have felt the need to go back down the route of self harm, it can be a lonely and controlling behaviour. I myself have been a harmer for 14 years now and I know how debilitating it can be. I have been in and out of mental health services since I was 13 and it's been a long and scary road. But I want you to know there is things out there to help and there is hope. I have just gone my longest without harming and have found who I am and become happy within myself. I just saw your story on here and felt compelled to contact you. Because you being so young I wanted to reach out and try to help, your not alone and if u can help you I would only be happy to. I know hoe bullies can make you feel but now when I look back they wanted to hurt me and me doing what I was doing was letting them win and they took over my body for 14 years now I only see that why did I give them that gratification, I didn't deserve it . The damage to my skin has been done it will never go, and there are difficult days stares comments questions but I hold my head high and tell people exactly what they are, it is my body my temple and it's to me a sense of how far I have come. You can reach out and ask for help, unfortunately there is not a lot available in this country helping people like yourself. But one day it will be more known. Do you have a school counseller if not go to your gp ask for help it's an addiction and you are entitled to help if your scared ask a friend to go with you. It's a horrible place to be when your in despair and it sounds like your at bottom almost reach out and ask for help, life is worth living it just sends us some challenges sometimes. Take care Sophie

Im 16 and I first self harm at 13 when because of my years of bullying, they were small but very deep cuts on my arm, which I still have scars from on. However I stopped selfing harming...but at the start of this year I had a lot of greif, and so I starved myself,but it wasnt enough so I took hold of a razor again. Now I cant put the rezor down. My arms are scarred, and bumpy, but I enjoy doing it. I did it today about 5 times,watching the blood dribble down my arm I got my fix, but its out of control but no one notices. They just stare at my scars, I dont know what to do anymore, I feel the need to cut all the time and I need help. Please, I cant do this anymore. The other day I took quite I few tablets...I just did it, and I hoped I didnt wake up in the morning. But I felt fine yet, it just took them. I'm scared of what I could do...





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Please get help!! You have to know you are beautiful and there is no one else like you in the world! The God of the universe designed you to live your life, so please live it and feel the love He and people around you can give you!

Will leg scars stay longer than your arm ones or does it all depend on how deep you do it?





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I'm 13 and I self harmed last week and I regret it so much! I just discovered I'm going on holiday at the end of August this year and I don't know what I can do to cover them up because I will want to go for a swim I've been using aloe Vera more than twice a day, should I carry on using it? Or is their something better to do?im really scared, I don't want my family to know, I did it with a blade all the way down my thigh (leg) any suggestions?please





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It looks like no one else has asked this question, so please fill in the rest of your details below.





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