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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

Channel 4 is not responsible for the content of external websites

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I'm 19 and I started to self harm last year however I stopped but then I've relapsed at the beginning of the month and it's worse than last time. Both times I've not told anyone. And I refuse to I don't want anyone to know including my mum and family. However I have a lot of special occasions coming up which is where my family and sisters etc wil expect me to wear a dress. But how do I cover my cuts/scars. I've looked online. All that's come up is to wear bracelets but they are too far up my forearm for bracelets and scar/tattoo cover up makeup/cream which I am unable to afford. Any suggestions?





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How do I cover up the scars on my arms, I cut myself from the age of 12/13,.i am now 53 and haven't cut since the age of 14 but hate the scarsx.. Is there anything I can hide them with





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I'm 15, and have been self harming since September last year. In July, I stopped for around 3 months, then after feeling stressed because of friendships and other things, I began again. My parents know, and are being supportive, especially my dad. But my mum dosnt understand, she gets angry and upset when I don't tell her when I have cut (it's too difficult), says comments which hurt me such as "pack it in", "just found out your friend does it, is it the new trend?", and things like that. I love my mum so much, but she really dosnt understand. Tomorrow I have my first camhs appointment. I freaked out, saying I don't want to go etc, and my mum said "well it's either you go tomorrow, or the next cut I see on your arm, I will take you to A&E, then let them section you or do whatever". Im really scared, I can't talk to anybody about this, it's really embarrassing, but I can't stop. I'm also overweight, and I can't control my eating. I try to tell my mum, but she puts it down to me not getting what I want. I try to tell my friends, they don't understand, but I physically can't stop binge eating, and I go all shakey if I haven't eaten for a period of time. I also have anxiety and depression. My anxiety gets really bad sometimes, but I don't tell anyone. As for depression, I just feel sad, tired, and lonely all the time. I don't know what to do anymore. Can somebody just tell me that everything is going to be okay, because I don't know anymore.





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CAHMS really isn't bad honestly it's good but some of the psychiatrist are prïcks which I found at my last one and I self harmed a lot but it wasn't making me feel any better I still do it but rarely. At CAHMS I go to I did my review and they said they were going to continue seeing me with therapy and I later discovered I was going to get a psychiatric review because the reviewer said I need to be put on anti depressants. They are very organised. I know what you mean with the binge eating I do it a lot. I starve myself a lot because I literally hate my body and feel fat ahah but oh well and it doesn't help I'm bloody suicidal but remember this there is nothing to be afraid of they won't tell your parents anything unless they fear you will be in life or death situations and this counts for others bu anything else you can. And if I you get a psychiatrist they probably will tell your parents because they will want more of an insight. I really hope you get better all the luck.

Hi I'm 15 I've been selfharming since I was 12 my parents already know and I've told them I stopped. Due to the cold weather I started again on my wrists. I don't know how to hide the scars on my thighs for summer. Any ideas? I wear shorts in summer that go mid thigh so...yeah





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I'm in the same situation tbh but my parents don't know. But as your parents do maybe don't try to cover up and if they question the new scars just say they are still healing which is true scars change all the time they heal constantly. Just wear what you wore before.

Hello. I'm 34 and started SI at age 22 due to PTSD. I'm from a third-world Southamerican country. I've many hypertrophic scars from cutting and burning. I've seen several dermatologists but they gave me creams with low efficacy. I've been told that trying to remove keloids by surgery may be for worst, causing more keloids, because of the nature of my skin. I am allergic to sun and very pale. Anyone with hypertrophic scars have been through a surgery, that can share his/her experience? I barely SI anymore, is under control for about 2 years, only superficial cuts above previous ones. Thanks in advance and please excuse my por english.





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Hi ...I'm 15 and I've been cutting for like 7 months now and all together I have 486 marks on my thigh and me and my brother are going to a friend and they have a swimming pool and we are going to swim and I reallllllly don't want my parents and friends to find out and I need to get rid of the marks very fast plzzz and I wil really be sad if they find out;(





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Use some scar cream that you can buy from, boo t s or superdrug. You can also buy water proof concealer and foundation. But you can tell your mum you don't feel comfortable showing your body and wear swimming shorts and a tank top or something over your swimming costume.

I found that short term it works to just tell whoever is asking you to go swimming that you can't and if they ask why just say "please trust me I don't want to talk about it but I cannot go swimming" and hopefully they'll understand and let you off. If you feel like that won't work, you can buy some scar cream or waterproof concealer

I don't know about the availability there, but 'snail slime cream" or "crema de baba de caracol" has been quite effective for me, much more than those expensives dermatologic creams. You need to be constante. It's a clean and safe product, not made from snails, but from their slime. Remember to always cover your scars with sin protector. Sun can make your scars and whole skin worst. Cheers.

I started self harming when I was 13, at first the cuts were shallow but over the time they got worse. I'm 16 now and I still self harm, I could go months without doing it but somehow I ended up the same way. I've told a total of 5 people and it seems like nobody cares and one of those people was my mom. It's getting harder to keep all of it inside and not wanting to show that I'm not okay. I'm in sports and it's hard to wear shorts and not show my scars/cuts. I've talked to hotlines and they don't seem to work. My friends they leave, they say they care and their there for me but every time I need them they turn their backs on me. Idk what to do anymore... Tbh idk why I'm writing this I guess I just need to get it out there at least for myself... Sorry for whosever's time I've wasted....





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I too used to self harm when I was 13 for about a year. I did a lot of damage and I have over 100 extremely bad scars on my thighs but they don't matter to me. I'm now 17 and go to the beach in a bikini all the time. Love yourself. Coming from someone who has suffered, it gets better :) you got this. Believe in yourself

So I've been self harming almost a year now,i have over 40 scars of each on my thighs.i have a few faded ones on my wrists.I made it threw the summer by faking situations so i wouldn't have to swim.And i need find a way to get ride of them.I live in fear everyday of my family seeing them.I need help bad.Im working on how to stop cutting but snapping rubber bands are starting to leave scars too! :( my point is...Is there a way to make my scars go away without my family having to find out?





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Hi Gianna, I self harmed off and on for a few years (throughout high school) but I somehow never let it get too out of control since I was still worried about people seeing the scars and judging me for it and thinking I was crazy. There was one time I went to try on homecoming dresses with my grandma and had a lot of fresh cuts on my shoulder ish area and I had to put a huge bandaid over it so she wouldn't see and I blamed it on my cat lol. One thing learned throughout my high school years was that once the wound healed up and was no longer a scab, if I laid in a tanning bed every once in a while, the scars would be a bit less visible. I'm not fond of the over tanned look, but the uv rays also helped with minor acne and I only went once a week or so. If you do this along with vitamin E like crazy, your scars should be at least a tiny bit less noticeable. These suggestions above are really only good for minor scars but will possibly help if yours are a bit more severe, and it never hurts to try all of your options! Once I was out of high school and no one really paid much attention to anyone else or really cared about what other people were doing, I began slowly declining and things got way out of hand. Being a freshman in college meant, for me at least, a lot of smoking and drinking which meant a lot of drunken mental breakdowns. My forearms are now covered from wrist to elbow in scars, and I've been out of high school for 3 years at this point. Things got so bad that I had to come clean to my parents and tell them what I had been struggling with. I was afraid of what I might do to myself if I stayed in school, so I ended up going home in the middle of the second semester. Coming clean to my parents was the best thing I've ever done because after I got through that, which I considered to be the most daunting task, I was able to slowly tell more people about it. Now my family members and friends know, and I even wear whatever I want in public. I learned that if someone really cares about you, they will only talk about things as much as you are comfortable with, and they will take as much time as you need. At this point in my life I am 20 years old and no longer embarrassed about my past because I realize that I was, and still am really darn strong. I love myself and my scars, which are two things I never thought I would ever be able to say! I've even gotten a nice little rose tattoo to cover a few of them and I tell everyone that I'm just decorating the canvas. I really hope you are able to get through this journey. If you ever need to talk about anything, I will always be here. I promise I'm not a creepy stranger (lol), and I will never judge you or call you crazy. Keep growing, you beautiful little flower. You are so loved.

Try bio oil

I am 14 and I cut my thigh and wrist for about 5 weeks. I know that many people who self harm have done it for years and I don't expect much sympathy. I've got about 16 scars on my thigh, big and small and only four left on my wrist. The ones on my thigh are still pink and so is one on my wrist. I've stopped cutting, but I really, really miss it. If anyone knows a way to make the scars less noticeable please let me know. And for the people reading this who are self harming, I understand how you feel, but life will be better when you stop. Throw away the blades and stop. The faster you stop the quicker the scars will go away. Good luck!





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Use bio oil is quite expensive but it's worth it. On the bottle it says you have to use it every day twice a day for three months. Trust me it's worth it

I am 18 and have been self harming since I was twelve. The last time I cut was yesterday. I have hundreds and hundreds of scars on the underside of my right forearm, and as someone who is trying to become an actress and work in a hands on cosmetics store, this is a huge problem. I don't know how to hide them, I've used creams, oils, make up, but they're still shocking to look at. It can ruin socialising.





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Hello, I`m 19, I`m from Spain and have self harm scars too, I feel very uncomfortable when i`ts summer and I feel hot, but can`t wear t-shirts, does it happen to you to? What do you say when people ask you about them, have you ever felt rejected?





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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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