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Do Self-Harm Scars Ever Go Away?

March 19, 2020 Kim Berkley

Do self-harm scars ever go away? Let's discuss the answers to that question.

Some scars are a source of pride. We show them off; we point to them and say, "Look at what I survived." Some of us remember that iconic scene in Jaws when the boys sing old sea shanties and cheerfully compare their battle scars. But self-inflicted wounds aren't always so easy to share, and there are some scars we would rather not bear. Do these self-harm scars ever truly go away?

How Long Do Self-Harm Scars Take to Go Away?

How long it will take for self-harm scars to go away is different for everyone. Every body heals differently. Whether self-injury will result in scarring depends on the type and severity of the injury. Minor injuries often fade entirely after a handful of days; major ones are more likely to leave a lasting mark. Other factors—such as medical conditions or medications—may also impact the healing process. Some scars can take up to two years to fade completely.

Applying first aid to a fresh wound can promote healing and minimize scarring. But let's say it's been two years, four, perhaps even a decade or more—and the scars are still there. Will those self-harm scars ever go away?

The answer, unfortunately, is "probably not." Scars that don't fade within two years tend to be permanent.1 However, it's important to remember that:

  • You are not your scars. They are part of you, but they do not define you.
  • Scars are a sign of healing; they are your body's way of keeping old wounds closed.
  • You can cover your scars in a safe and healthy way, should you need to. 
  • However, you have nothing to be ashamed of.

It's up to you to decide who gets to see your scars. It's also up to you to decide how you see your own scars—and to do the hard work of healing the invisible ones that lie beneath them.

Living with Self-Harm Scars That Don't Go Away

The scars on my arm are hairline-thin, white and almost invisible against my pale skin—completely unnoticeable to the casual observer. But I see them every time I reach out to turn off my bedside lamp, and they still itch sometimes when life starts to feel overwhelming.

You don't have to love your scars—I certainly don't love mine—but you can learn to live with them, and to cope with the triggers and the urges you associate with them. It isn't easy, though; it takes constant practice and a lot of patience.

I don't wake up every day admiring the body I see in the mirror. But I don't fixate on my scars anymore, either. I see them, but they no longer blind me to the rest of who I am as a person, or who I might yet become.

Scars, after all, are a product of the past. You can't undo the past—but you can put it behind you, one day at a time.

 

 

Sources:

1. Scars, National Health Service. Accessed March 2, 2020.

APA Reference
Kim Berkley (2020, March 19). Do Self-Harm Scars Ever Go Away?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 21 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/speakingoutaboutselfinjury/2020/3/do-self-harm-scars-ever-go-away



Author: Kim Berkley

Find Kim on Instagram, Facebook and her blog.

Scared4L
June, 3 2024 at 1:15 am

I have burn scars on my wrist and arms also from SH I still do here and there but for everyone fighting a battle I’m routing for you I know how you feel and I pray u win that battle u tell nobody about don’t let know one make you feel bad there’s plenty of ppl like me and u who handle things differently take it day by day and see what keeps u distracted from feeling like hurting urself like I noticed I’m more prone to do it when I’m alone or mad so fight those emotions and try not to look back we’re really soldiers nobody’s ready for the war in our heads except us it’s not cool but better than ending it all or being behind bars

ScarLord
June, 3 2024 at 1:05 am

For any one still SH or who used to use this is our portal of knowing ur not alone when u feel down or insecure there’s ppl out there just like u suffering in silence I’m have burns on my arms and wrist so I totally understand everyone in this section and I pray we all beat this battle that for some reason choose us but ima start being less self conscious about my scars and rock short sleeves just for us I love u all keep your head up we’re soldiers and not alone don’t let no one make you feel bad like there life is perfect.❤️❤️❤️

S
March, 20 2024 at 11:14 pm

Hi I'm S, I've been sh for a few months now. I've recently been shown back to sh. And I cut my arms almost everyday :/ everytime I say I'll stop, or I stopped to my friends who are going through the same (I'm here for you guys) I don't really stop. I swear I try to, but it's addicting. I cannot say at all that I deserve to say I cut... Bc my reasons wouldn't seem at all important to people. I mostly feel anxious around a lot of people, so I twitch, and get questions... And I hate that. Then I have to always be there for my friends- and they never care... They never care when I'm there... Or at least it seems like that. I recently went to my school therapist because someone in my class has been telling the teacher I've been wishing to die. And it was so awkward talking to her. I continuously pulled down my sweatshirt sleeves. And I don't know what to wear any more, people say I look emo, or are depressed... But I just need to cover up my cuts- I recently started moving down my right leg. Its hard to control it, when I constantly feel like it. The worst part-time ik I have people that are going through sh and I could talk to them... But I don't wanna bother them. And it's hard for me to trust people. Especially when one of the friends caught me and forced me to show my arms... Wouldn't leave me alone. I constantly ask people to be loved. And in that second they give it but then... They get caught with their other friends. My moms- isnt abusive or anything. But we don't have the perfect or barely good mother daughter relationship :/ she recently got a boyfriend and idk how to feel about that. Then I went to her friends house. And when we ate dinner there she put me on the spot...pulled up my sleeves a bit to show a few cuts. And I told her my friends just did that by accident. And everyone was looking at me :/ just scary. I tried so hard to quit... But every time I put my mind to it some things happens. I wish someone in class would notice when I'm down because I just... Just needed to be loved right then and there. I've decided (again) to stop. But I'm going to try super hard. I'm here if anybody would like to talk. Sc-@sourpoision_luv💞

Rochelle
June, 30 2024 at 11:52 am

Hey I just want to say hi. I read what you wrote and felt like maybe you might could use some one to talk to. I looked up about cutting scars and the healing process and found this page. I've been going through some stuff with my husband and picked up scissors last night. I wasn't really trying to cut myself or do any harm, but yet this morning I have marks on my arm. I got to thinking as I read your post how I can see that if we don't have someone to talk to or ways to deal with the issues of life, how this could become an outlet. I'm sorry that you've had to go this route. Maybe your road here started like my incident last night did. Idk what brought you to where you are today. But I do want to say that I know, even in my mess with my husband, there's a better way. I'm not here to preach to you. I'm not a preacher. I'm just a lady who's a mom and a Nana. I love my family and would do anything to help them. And when I read your post, it made me want to reach out to you. So here I am. The better way to deal with things is this... his name is Jesus. He is the son of God. He came to this world and gave his life for our sins. He died and rose again 3 days later. He's alive and he cares about you more than anyone ever will or could. All he wants is for you to call on his name and talk to him. If you'll receive him, he will make things better for you. He cares about what you care about. He's never to busy for you and never has anything else more important that you. He's a friend that will stick closer than a brother. he will never leave you nor forsake you. He will be with you until the very end. Just call on him.
Again I'm not a preacher. I'm just someone who's life Jesus changed one day after learning about him and calling on him. I hope somehow I was at least a little help to you. If you'd like to talk, I'm here.

Sy
March, 1 2024 at 3:06 pm

This has been a hot year ago, but I also want to share my issues with self-harm, and why I do it.
Hi, I'm S and I'm 13, I live in a family that I guess loves me but doesn't understand how I feel mentally and sometimes I get shamed and humiliated for it.
I've been suffering for a while and the only way to escape it was to depend on technology.
those were my only options; I could never go out. whether it was visiting someone or having fun. I never had that. I just rot in my room depending on technology to feel the surrealness, but when it's gone it feels empty, chaotic, I'm lost with my thoughts. I cut, each time deeper and deeper. my friends told me not to, I promised to, I don't know how else to cope though. In 4 years, I'll get out of this household, hopefully I survive and get the mental help that I needed, not assured though.

cece
March, 11 2024 at 11:50 pm

Hey, My name is cece and I am a recovering Sh'er. At first it started when I was 9. I would poke myself with thumbtacks when I was sad because the wave of pain distracted me from what was going on or at least for a few seconds. which lead me to doing it again. But the more I did it the less satisfying it was. So I started doing more stuff like burning and cutting. Back then I thought this was what I was gonna live like. and I'm never gonna get better. So much to where I almost took my life in 2023. I finally accepted the help. Talked about how I felt and why I chose sh s a safe habit to do in high or low risk situations. Looking back at all this, all these scars on my arms and legs make me feel a sense of disgust but I feel glad too. glad there old and not new. but disgusted that I covered myself with scars I cant get rid of.(I'm a biracial girl so my skin tone is brown. therefore my scars are even darker and even more noticeable. Hospital after hospital and I still struggled with inflicting harm on myself as a coping skill and a doorway to escape reality. Its now March 12,2024 and I am 4 months cleannnnn yallllllll!!!!!!!!!!! Look whoever is reading this I just want you to know it may feel good in the moment but in the end it could be either fatal or leave some damage that 50/50 can or cannot be undone or fixed. There are other ways to cope with this.even talking about it just helps. Holding in all your feelings isn't gonna get you anywhere or benefit you I in any which way possible. if you guys ever need to talk about anything feel free to talk to me. I may not be going through exactly what you are going through but I know how you feel and I know that you just want to feel heard, loved ,appreciated and respected. This feeling you feel that is causing you to sh is only temporary loves.<<<3333 pls talk if you need anything. (pls no weird stuff this is serious) but have a great morning, afternoon,night.- ADB 2105001115 Is my number if you guys ever feel in need of a friend
my Instagram is your_lil_papi_chulooo (lol don't mind the name)

Jerm
February, 26 2024 at 7:12 pm

I am 14 and started sometime around the middle of 2023, I was sad due to misssing my friend who was in the psych ward at the time and I have continued periodically from then. Part of the reason I continue is a little embarrassing but I enjoy the taste of blood and frequently I cut just to taste it again. It resulted in lighter scars that cover most of my left arm, and a couple large ones on my leg. I have come to peace with them and I have become quite used to them. To me they represent healing and I’m proud of them and most times I am proud of them, Though I still do hide any that are fresh until they heal

Skylar/Jaiden
February, 20 2024 at 11:18 pm

Im 13 now, I started sh when I was 6. I didn’t have a bad life but I couldn’t run away from abuse and drug/alcohol influence so I gave in and instead of being strong I started cutting. 5 small cuts, from years ago on my right wrist and I lost count on the left, I seriously can’t stop, sh is the only coping method that drives me away from suicide. I think of it as the closest way to death since ALL of my suicide attempts failed.

A
January, 3 2024 at 10:17 pm

Hi I'm A, im 14 years old . I started to SH at the age of 13 and only done it one time, i'm scared to again because considering i'm afraid of getting paper cuts... And I know its not good to do, but something about it makes it additive. The pain? The relief?
A little more about me , im adopted never met my bio parents, Used to live with my mentally and emotionally abusive and toxic great grandma up until she passed now I live with my great aunt and uncle.

A💓
July, 10 2024 at 8:28 am

dont do it trust me i still have scars from march this year and i hate them so much. theres so many better ways to cope other than self harm please dont do it everytime i look at my arm my heart just sinks i hate my scars so so much and now its summer so i have to wear short sleeves and i hate it. thats kind of it just talk to someone about how youre feeling ur not alone just dont resort to self harm. this is one of the biggest regrets ever.

F
December, 26 2023 at 11:52 pm

Im 18 i started self harming around 2 years ago and stopped for like a more than half a year but i started again last may. i dont do it that often, like i have some phases where ut gets worse and its in these times but i can sometimes spend more than a month without cutting at all. but recently like two weeks ago i got a boyfriend. im really happy abt it ofc but its all new and ofc i dont want him to see this side of me. ive been great these past months so my arms seemed pretty normal but sunday was a horrible day and i cut a lot and now my arms are a mess. with my boyfriend these past weeks we've often been taking our shirts off when we're together and it didnt bother me bc i had nothing to hide but yesterday when he wanted to take my shirt off i felt so bad saying no but like my scars were way too visible u could still see blood. he cant see that like im sure he would freak out and leave me. but now im going to his house tmrw again and the day after so knowing we'll spend that much time together ill eventually have to take my shirt off and im so scared like i tried putting concealer on my scars this morning but it doesnt work at all and then i put on big plasters on them that hide everything but then he's definitely gonna ask about the giant plasters on my arms and like its gonna be so embarassing and i cant find any good excuses like i cant say my cat scratched me that big and on both of my arms??? im panicking idk if i should take the plasters off or keep them idk whats worse.

A
November, 28 2023 at 1:18 am

Hello, I’m A and i’ve been doing SH for about a year now. I am 12 years old and started the winter after I turned 11. I still ask myself, was it because of some feeling that I can’t describe? Self hatred? Why did I do it, so many people struggle so much worse than me. I always cut myself logically, which means basically in a spot that no one would see. My parents are extremely invasive of privacy so I still wanted to have a way to cope ( SH ) and or suffer alone. Yet recently, I completely lost control of myself and felt such guilt and self hatred that I just started going off on my arms with a face razor. I didn’t realise the problem until later which was: white, thing and long lines across my arms. It is winter right now so I can wear shirts covering my arms but I just can’t stop thinking about the summer, what am I supposed to do? Keep in mind I am darker toned so the long and thin white scarring is pretty visible, very visible. I tried covering it up with makeup but it just doesn’t work. I’ve tried different creams but it doesn’t work, I tried icing it, doesn’t work. Im so scared, Im so so scared.

...
January, 3 2024 at 4:46 pm

Hi, I'm always thinking abaut the summer too. I got black maild for yn what. Ik ints not that bad but it was. He didint leave me alone for like 4 months. It was really hard for me.. (I was 12 at the time and I didint really know the internet yet...)

Alexis
November, 10 2023 at 2:56 pm

I'm 12, I burn myself almost daily. There was originally a reason, but it never feels like it was "enough." I was never in enough pain, danger, or going through enough to self harm. Honestly I think the burns were originally a way of saying "If others can cause me harm, I'll get through it." So I picked up a box of matches and just burned my inner thigh. I did that for about a week, just to get through it, and that was 2 or 3 years ago. I stopped for a while, I didn't "need" it anymore. But recently I mentioned self harm to a friend, and because I wasn't doing it anymore it didn't feel "real" like I needed to experience it again if I wanted to talk about it. So I'm back to burning. Every second of every day it's all I can think about and honestly it's a curse, I just want that pain to go away but now when I burn it's comforting because it's making me feel like what I say is actually real.

S
December, 3 2023 at 3:42 pm

I'm so sorry you're going through this. I hope you get better soon.
Hi, I'm 12, I first started self-harming around September. I had an abusive and toxic mother who made me feel like a loser. So, one day at school my religious school I didn't do my homework and my teacher yelled at me. I got mad and blamed it on my mother cause religious school was a choice and I wanted to go to real school, but she made me go to a religious school. I grabbed a box of matches and started to burn the side of my calves. When I burned myself, I felt a feeling of release. After that every time she would beat me or yell at me, I would just grab a match and burn my calves or my arms. Then one day my aunt saw the burn marks on my arm, and she was like come here I have to show your mom. She dragged me to my mom that was sitting in the living with my entire family and forcefully showed her my arm and then she was like what are these? I just acted normal and said they're just mosquito bites. Then my older brother interfered in the conversation and said no they're not they're self-harm wounds. And then everyone started saying "she's depressed she burns herself because she hates her life". I just ran away and for the rest of the day my older brother and cousin were making fun of me. My mom just yelled at me and acted like nothing happened. After that I didn't stop burning but after a couple of months, I decided that it was time to stop. Then one random day I was mad at my mom for yelling at me and treating me like a slave that I grabbed a match and burned my myself. I felt relieved and a bit relaxed. That was the last time I burned myself. It's been about 4 weeks I think, since I burned. I still hate her and she still treats me like a slave. I'm planning on running away in a couple of weeks.

Ari
January, 3 2024 at 10:09 pm

Hello S, i'm so sorry to hear about your situation. Have you talked to your mom about considering therapy either individual or together. Or another option is to tell a trusted adult, favorite teacher, best cousin, someone who you feel safe with. I know it's hard with such an inconsiderate household, the exact people who are supposed to protect, love, and cherish you.

.
October, 8 2023 at 2:57 pm

I dont really know what to say but reading people’s comments make me realise that other people also think the way I do , my self harm scars are very visible and I feel bad about it because I feel bad when my girlfriend has to see them all the time since I feel safe around her . She doesn’t deserve to have to see me like this because she has it worse and I just wish I could make it better.

Anonymous
August, 18 2023 at 6:15 pm

I am 15 years old I’ve been struggling with sh quite a bit but none of my scars turn purple they are all white and very thin lined is they anyway I can start to get them to fade a bit as they are still fairly new I wanted to try silicone sheets but I don’t if they work.

J
July, 23 2023 at 5:04 pm

Hi, I'm J and I've been SH for almost 3 years now. I have some sort of anxiety, and I started SH because it really halped calm me down. Any time I started to get really bad anxiety, or struggled sleeping because of stress, I would SH. I'm doing a lot better now, but I still occasionally relapse, like a few nights ago. I'm really pale, and a lot of my scars turn pink, and it's really obvious if anyone would see my scars.
I'm constantly worried somone will find out. The only one who knows is my little sibling, and that's because they accidentally saw me changing once. So now any time I SH I just feel so guilty I'm doing this to them and it just makes me even more anxious. And I know I should tell someone or my parents but I dress more on the alt side of the spectrum and I'm terrified people will treat me weird or different because of it. I mean its one thing to joke around but it's another thing to consistently hurt yourself to the point of expansive scaring.
I don't really know what I'm trying to say here, I guess I just feel like a pick-me? Like my parents arent abusive and I have friends, but I've had some issues with my gender (and like anxiety and stuff) and my parents are SUPER homo/transphobic and I'm just scared man. Like I don't have a lot of self worth but I'm not suicidal or anything as serious as that, and I know that if I knew any of my friends were self harming it would break my heart (one of them do, actually and it makes me feel like a hypocrite bc they have things so much worse than I do) but when it comes to me, I'm not worried about myself I'm worried about those around me.
(sorry for the vent)
I personally find that tea tree (it's an oil) and then Neosporin works really well on fighting any infection and making them fade really quick. (But only if you remember to apply it when it's fresh, that's how I got completely clear lower legs and super scared thighs and ribs)

J
November, 7 2023 at 3:51 am

Hi J, I'm also a J! I understand your reasoning and that you would have anxiety. oh, that person doesn't like your black hair.. and that person doesn't appreciate yourblack Jean's with holedand chains. hmm. I guess they dont need to wear them, then. As if! Ok. So..forget people who dont get your style fashion. Stay TRUE to your own choices sexuality wise.. and any other wise;) you're beautiful and you know that. (at least tell yourself that in the bathroom mirror every day! How kind of you to post all the stuff up there.... you realize that you are helping people with your same issue just, by, telling your story.big squeezy hugs to you, (unless you're wearing spikes )..love from j to j ♡

Janie
June, 25 2023 at 8:02 pm

I cut a while back, like it's been a year. I have a very small scar, and nothing much. I didn't cut deep, so there's not really anything there.
I feel like it doesn't count or that it didn't happen if there isn't any scars. So whenever somebody brings up their self harm scars, I feel like I can't talk about mine if there's nothing to show, like it doesn't count or like it never happened. I end up feeling like I need to prove myself.
Does my self harm still count even if there's no scars?

Maura
July, 3 2023 at 3:54 am

Hi there! Your self harm journey is completely valid. Self harm isn’t limited to one experience. Your self harm still counts even if you have no physical scars left!

Enzo
June, 24 2023 at 12:20 pm

I’ve been struggling with self harm because of just 9 weeks of being verbally and physically abused by a student in 6th grade and finally told someone specifically on April, 27, 2023 and I was called over to the counselors office during 1st period in the morning somewhere around 8:15 because my friends knew what I was going through and had told someone and now that I was there I decided to just let it out. So I told the counselor that I was struggling from self harm and had a suicidal ideation the week before. I’m still trying to quit but my depression and anxiety makes it a little hard. And tbh reading all your stories just makes me realize that everyone is struggling and I hope everything gets better at its own pace if your struggling🧡

C
June, 20 2023 at 6:15 pm

Hi iam 12 and I have been struggling w sh since I was 10 and it is so hard staying clean and if you don’t want anyone to know about your sh that’s completely ok and understandable, iam the same way and if you need to talk about it you can add me on Snapchat or something because I’m completely open to talk to anybody and iam almost 6 months sh free so to anyone out there struggling iam here and to anyone who needs to talk iam here js know I love you guys and you guys are worth everything💗

Breana
June, 8 2023 at 10:15 am

I started reading all of you guys stories and at first i wasn’t going to leave a comment but now i feel tempted to share. My names Breana. I don’t want to cut anymore. but i can’t stop. i don’t want to talk to anyone about why i do it because i’m so over it. i’m so done with therapy, and hospital trips. All i have to say is, don’t let cutting ruin your life. You have so much more to live for in life and every day promises a new opportunity that i hope you’ll take. if not, you’ll end up as sad and miserable as i am. trust me. you definitely don’t want that.

Jay
July, 7 2023 at 10:23 am

Hi, Breana. I’m Jay. Just wanted to let you know that even if you feel you can’t stop now regardless of what treatment is the right one for you, there is one out there whether it’s traditional or simply something at home you can substitute for what’s probably become more of a hobby for you. I know that feeling of it almost becoming a psychological urge, and it’s not just going to go away one day, but you can weaken it! Gotta start somewhere, good luck and I believe in you :)

Cheeto puffs.
May, 24 2023 at 3:08 am

I am 13 and I have a friend who saw the ones on my leg a couple weeks ago. She looked at me and said “what are these?” I said they were just from my cat. Luckily the bell rang and I went home without saying anything else. She didn’t bring it up the next day, but the next week she checked my legs to see if I had cut them. I had moved from cutting my legs to cutting my arms, so all she saw were the scabs. At lunch I was sitting down iwth my other friends and she told me to pull up my sleeves. She kept on asking me so I pulled them up and quickly pulled my sleeve back down. She looked at me and said “we are going to talk” She then walked to class. I am so glad she didn’t call the school counsellor, and since she didn’t think I was crazy and “emo” it made me feel a lot better to see someone who actually cared. I decided that I would never cut myself again, but In two weeks I have already broken that promise. I find it really inconvenient to hide my scars 24/7 since I only have one school jumper and three of my own jumpers. This is the last time I will ever search up anything like this, No more vent TikToks, nothing. I want to put this behind me since
I have always been seen as the funny and happy friend and I don’t want to make my friends worry about me.

Anonymous
May, 19 2023 at 11:34 pm

I have a friend who I know has been going through a really tough time this semester in high school. I wasn't totally sure how tough it had been, however, until she wore a tank top to school a few days ago, and there were clearly visible SH scars on her upper arm. They were very noticeable, but only three or four scars, so I sort of pushed it out of my head and tried to convince myself that the scars were caused by something else and not SH, even though they were uniform and matched other SH scars I'd seen before. Then today she showed up wearing shorts, and on her upper thighs there were very clear SH scars, and many more than on her arm. Undeniable. I noticed them, as did everyone, I'm sure, though obviously I didn't stare, and I didn't mention it to her. I think this might be her way of moving on from that very dark period of her life, and part of that might be acceptance of the scars. Or maybe she wants us to know what she went through. To like quantify it, in a way? I'm not sure. I don't think it's a cry for help. But it really caught me off guard. My friend and I used to be really close, but this year we've grown apart, and our relationship isn't close enough now where I would feel comfortable bringing it up. I still want to let her know I care about her. The scars caught me off guard and freaked me out a little, honestly. I know it shouldn't be anything to be ashamed of, but it scares me to think that my friend was feeling such immense pain and I didn't even know. I wish our relationship were closer because I want nothing more than to give her a big hug. But at the same time, she has been mean to me this year, and while my heart goes out to her, I have to reconcile that with the pain she has caused me. The SH scars just made this very real for me. As someone who gets SH urges but has never acted on them, seeing the SH scars today triggered me.

Jules
May, 15 2023 at 5:15 pm

I feel weird sharing this but seeing all the stories I kinda felt the urge to say something as well. I’m currently 18 about to turn 19 and I think the first time I SH I was 15/16, can’t really remember the first time. I used to do it a lot before my mom found out. It really helped me to stop because I saw how hurt she was. Well last august I dated this awful guy who laugh at me because I “looked cute” while having panic attacks. I don’t wanna blame him for relapsing but I kinda do? It got better after I broke up with him. Lately my sister slipped into an ED and I’m feeling the urge to cut again. I don’t think I’m depressed or anything there is just the urge to feel something. I don’t want to be a burden but it really helped me to cope with everything going on. Now I’ve met this amazing guy and he saw some scars and made me promise to never cut myself again as long as I’m with him. Well I f-ed up because here I am with fresh cuts writing this… I’m scared to tell him because I’m scared he’ll leave me and I feel so invalid because, well I just felt numb and not even sad and I don’t want them to scar because summers around the corner, yk? What if I’m faking it? Are you able to fake something like that? Well sorry for all those random infos, I just had to tell someone Ig

Random 12 year old girl
May, 20 2023 at 7:57 pm

I’m 12 turning 13, and mine wont go away. It’s been since I was nine. When someone asks (as my parents still don’t know) I just say they are scars accumulated over the years from my cats, etc. home this helps!

Noodle
October, 28 2023 at 3:41 pm

Hey, just wanted to say I feel the same way. Like I don’t even know why I cut myself. My life is not bad. I have a great friendship, no panic attacks, both parents. And it just freaks me out that maybe I’m just faking all this. Idk why and if u can fake this but it certainly feels like it. Not many people know, and a friend even blamed be, she said it’s my fault that another friend started sh again. I’m just scared, cause I know many people and there life’s are so bad and mine is just really good. I feel like I don’t deserve to say I cut myself, cause nothing is wrong. I have scars on my legs, so many but most vanished, some are thin white lines, some are bigger pinkish ones that stick out, and some are still healing. Idk what to say, just wanted to say I feel the same way and it drives me insane. And please don’t be scared. If the guy really likes you he will not be mad, he will be there for you. And I have a friend who has panic attacks and I can only imagine how painful they must be.

123
April, 2 2024 at 12:17 am

I’m so sorry that happened to u, I don’t think I ever have related to some one more. This is so refreshing to see others share similar experiences.
Mine started when I was 14 and I’m 16 now so, I was always ashamed about it because I never had a problem or a disorder or anxiety. I just got into these like waves of sadness and just felt the urge. I never told anyone because I was one afraid they would do something about it and it would ruin everything and secondly I didn’t believe it was real, I thought I was just doing it for attention. Idk why I started but I did and have been off and on since. I was clean for a long time but as of today am restating that clock. I understand a lot more about why I do it but I don’t get It, I haven’t been abused or hurt or bullied or anything I’ve lived a good fulfilling life, and yet I can’t seem to cope with it. I’ve told one person my best friend but I don’t think I will ever tell anyone else. Because I feel like if I do they would look at me differently and I don’t want that. Also if u are struggling remember life gets better and relapse is apart of the process, and tell someone even if its just one person It could help!

anonymous
March, 29 2023 at 2:11 am

im currently 14 years old, and first self-harmed when i was 11. a lot of it is related to family issues, and things such as that. i have a various number of scars on my wrist, right up near where my palm starts. i try by all means to hide them but lately it seems like the scars just keep on becoming more and more noticeable, some more recent ones (2 months - now) are still big and coloured, however ones from over a year or more ago have faded to a dull colour, however still highly visible.
i go to a public co ed school in australia, and since my scars are so noticeable i get them pointed out A LOT. comments from people such as 'youre so emo' 'why do u slit yourself?' 'are those cuts from you doing them?' are getting more and more frequent, ive just resorted to keeping my arms covered however i really really dont want to have to deal with that anymore. im known as a VERY confident, bubbly, 'popular' person, anybody who knows me wouldnt expect me to be so heavily reliant on self harm. i have kind of learnt to shrug off comments on them.
just wondering if anybody has any tips on how to cover them up/become more accepting of their scars?? or how to reply to anybody pointing them out? ive just kind of come to terms with the fact i am going to have to deal with these scars on my body as difficult as that is going to be. even the ones from over a year ago have not faded

?
April, 9 2023 at 10:14 pm

Hey, I’m currently 13 years old and I’ve had sh problems for a while too. Here are my ways I deal with it that may be helpful for you :) first off, bracelets do wonders, and a more untraditional way is to do some art w/ sharpie over it so people think you just like drawing on yourself. Also if it’s a lesser scar you can put makeup over it. Though the biggest thing of all is to work towards not caring what people say, however that means to you. For me at least, that was the biggest obstacle on the road of me becoming comfortable with myself. For ways you can reply to those comments, I recommend saying something like “I fell into a thorn bush when I was younger and used my arm to catch my fall, though why am I even telling you this? It’s none of your business” or if you feel bold “so what if it is?” One last thing, I believe there is something that can help the scars heal, red light therapy. It is very expensive though. Anyways, I hope this helped

Isabelle
March, 6 2023 at 9:26 pm

Hi,
I’m Isabelle, I have been having a really hard time lately and I cut myself for the first time. It wasn’t really deep, but I’m afraid it’s going to scar a little. I don’t live with my parents but I’m going to see them in a couple weeks, and I’m terrified of the seeing it. They will be so mad and disappointed. Do you have any advice? I really don’t know who I can talk to about this

Lydia
May, 22 2023 at 3:44 pm

Hello Isabelle, I’m Lydia. I’ve struggled with self harm for years, I still remember what I went through when my parents found out. It was very scary for me to tell them, but it gets better. Sometimes they didn’t respond very well, but it’s important to know that it’s only because they’re worried about you, and love you. It’s important to make it clear to them that it’s not their fault, or because of them, and that self harm isn’t always a suicide attempt. These are things that my parents didn’t know about self harm, they’re from a different generation, where talking about self harm was very uncommon. Just do your best to educate them on how you feel, I hope this will make your transition easier. You’re not alone darling, I’ll be thinking about you. <3

Jen
February, 14 2023 at 9:03 am

Hi. I’m 19, I used to cut when I was younger on my arms. All of the cuts weren’t deep enough to leave a large scar. I went to therapy and didn’t have the urge to until about 6 months ago. These ones are leaving a scar on my upper thigh. I don’t know how to make them fade and i’m scared they will always be this dark and noticeable every time I wear shorts or a bikini. I have no one to talk to about this and I really just want them to fade and go away. How long do you think it will take, and how can I reduce the redness of them?

February, 28 2023 at 2:18 pm

Hi Jen,
Thank you for your comment. I'm sorry you've had to deal with SH -- in the past and, in terms of urges at least, more recently as you described. You mentioned going to therapy in past tense; it's hard to say from your comment, but it seems like it might have helped, since you were able to stop self-harming for a time. Would it be possible to go back to therapy -- either the same therapist or a different one, if necessary, to discuss your urge to SH returning as well as your concerns about your scars? (I would also urge you to talk to a dermatologist about your scars, if possible.)
Unfortunately, I can't personally tell you much. I'm not a doctor, but even if I was, every body is different, and heals at a different rate. There are also myriad factors that can affect the healing process--way more than we could get into here. All I can say is that generally speaking, shallower and smaller wounds tend to fade more and do so sooner, but there's no 100% guarantee that they will fade entirely. I have very small scars from when I self-harmed more than 10 years ago that are still with me--but they have become almost invisible unless you're really trying to look for them. I also have heart surgery scars from several years ago that are still pretty visible--it's just that I've gotten used to living with them.
The best thing you can do is take really good care of your skin--use good first aid for fresh wounds (keep them clean, don't pick at them, use something like Neosporin if applicable), and practice general healthy self-care, especially skin care, to help scars fade (stay hydrated, eat a balanced diet, and consider using a skin care product like aloe gel or a lotion containing vitamin E, aloe, and/or other things that help reduce inflammation and promote happy, hydrated skin).
I hope that helps.
Wishing you the best of luck,
Kim

Jemma
February, 2 2023 at 7:52 am

I’m turning 14 this year I’ve been self harming since I was 10 I stopped because my mum found out but I didn’t actually stop I just moved from my upper arms to my thighs she didn’t notice for about 2 1/2 years. In may I got sick of doing in on my thighs it no longer hurt to see in the mirror it no longer hurt when I cut myself I didn’t feel a thing no matter how hard I tried so I started doing it on my upper arm again. It hurt It felt good then stopped hurting but I didn’t really care this time because I had a routine to follow ever since April I would cut myself every week I’d make a deadline for myself so if I did it on Thursday the next week I’d do it on Thursday again or before that cutting no longer felt good it felt like a chore but I didn’t care. Mum found out in December and has been trying to convince me to show her my arm I refuse. New School year started I have no friends in any classes I sit alone and no one talks to me I feel invisible to everyone. I can’t focus on my work because all I can think about is the appropriate time to ask to go bathroom for 10 minutes unnoticed so I could cut myself because I feel so shut I just want to feel something I’m so desperate I started on my wrist today for the first time and I love the burn but I’m worried about the long lasting scars and the fresh cuts that will keep coming because I can’t make myself stop for the life of me especially when I’m at school. I cook a lot I have cooking in school mums signing me up for cooking classes I need to roll up sleeves for cooking I’m screwed and I can’t decide to myself if I regret it or not if I could go back in time and change that decision would I do it?

February, 13 2023 at 2:41 pm

Hi Jemma,
I'm sorry to hear about all the difficult things you've been dealing with--SH is never easy, but especially not when you feel alone and alienated, as you've described. Quitting self-harm and recovering can be difficult, but it is definitely possible, and worth it. Please don't give up hope for recovery.
It sounds like you may not have anyone in your personal life you feel you can talk to about what you're going through--at least not in terms of friends. Would it be possible to talk to your mom about it, or do you think that would make things worse? If not her, is there anyone in your family you could perhaps go to? If none of the above, does your school perhaps have free counseling you could take advantage of? Even if you're not ready to talk about your SH yet, just talking to someone about other things you're experiencing and how you're feeling can be a big step toward healing.
Here are some resources you may find helpful as well:
https://www.healthyplace.com/other-info/resources/mental-health-hotline-numbers-and-refer…
And here are some posts you may find interesting:
https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/speakingoutaboutselfinjury/2022/1/stop-hurting-yoursel…
https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/speakingoutaboutselfinjury/2022/11/can-you-stop-self-h…
I hope it helped you to reach out, and I hope my answer helped, even if only a little, as well. Take care; I wish you the best of luck and hope you are able to begin healing soon.
Sincerely,
Kim

m
January, 29 2023 at 2:52 am

hi i am a 14 year old girl and i have been struggling with self harm since i was 12. i am doing ok and am stopping and i havent relapsed in months. i really want to help and talk to anyone else who is struggling through self harm or even if you are not struggling with it, but just need someone to talk to. i dont feel comfortable posting my name but if you ever want to talk to me you can reply with your discord or snap or something

C
February, 1 2023 at 11:56 pm

Hi, i'm 11 and i have been struggling with self harm since I was 8. I have scars up my arms and legs and it is weird and embarrassing. As a young girl people don't tend to understand I have problems too. I don't put forth that much effort to hide my scars because I know they are a part of me but I can still get subconscious about them. I told a few close friends and one of them told my school counselor and she of course had to tell my mom. Although my mom tries to understand I can tell she can't, I sometimes notice her looking at my arms and shaking her head. I just feel like i mess up so many things and tonight was very hard for me. We had an incident and now I feel worse than ever. I feel like life would be better here on earth for my single mother is I was gone. She has me and my brother and I feel like a rock holding her down. I feel like my brother and mom hate me and I'm not OK. I want to get better so when I got a very deep urge I resisted since I have been sober for a month now :) I just want help.

February, 13 2023 at 2:47 pm

Hi C,
I'm sorry to hear about everything you've been going through. I'm glad you were able to reach out to some folks about your situation, even if it hasn't always gone the way you hoped. I won't say I know exactly how you feel, but I know what it's like to feel like your mental health struggles are burdening your loved ones, and feeling horrible because of it. It's not an easy place to be, but here's the thing to remember: if your mental health is concerning to your loved ones, it's because they CARE. You said your mom tries to understand; even if she doesn't always get it right, her trying is her way of showing you she cares and that she loves you.
So while of course I don't know what's going through her head, I'd feel pretty safe betting that she would not agree that she'd be better off without you. Try and imagine things the other way around--if someone you loved was hurting themselves, would you want them telling themselves you'd be better off without them? Or would you want them instead to simply try and focus on healing in whatever ways they can?
It's wonderful that you were able to stay clean for a month; I hope you continue trying to heal! Let your counselor (and/or anyone else you can talk to about this) know how you're feeling; let them know when you have bad days and need extra support, as well as when you have good days and want to celebrate them. You will have both kinds of days; the good news is, eventually the good will start to outweigh the bad. :)
I hope this helped in some way. Take care, and please never give up on yourself. I'm rooting for you. :)
Sincerely,
Kim

kenna
January, 25 2023 at 8:16 pm

hey, im 14 and have been self-harming since I was 13 and these scars wont fade and im really scared that they are going to be there forever and that people are going judge me for it especially because everyone ive known has already judged me for drug addiction. I really just dont want another reason for people to talk about me or laugh, can you please tell me how to make them fade quicker?

m
January, 29 2023 at 2:44 am

hi kenna im also a 14 year old girl with self harm scars and i really want them to fade. i have done some research and apparently bio oil, which you can buy at the chemist and silicone scar sheets can help fade scars. im not really sure how well it works but it definitely made my scars less raised. I bought my silicone scar sheets off aliexpress because its really cheap and i didnt want to ask my parents.

January, 31 2023 at 3:56 pm

Hi Kenna,
I'm sorry you're hurting and I'm sorry you're scared. Every scar and every body is different; it's possible your scars may still fade, but sometimes they don't, so know that it's possible some of yours might not fade all the way on their own. The best thing you can do is take really good care of your skin. For fresh wounds, practice good first aid -- keep the wound clean, use bandages, etc. For actual scars, you can use lotions and other skin care products that promote healing and general skin health (I like aloe vera gel; some people swear by products containing Vitamin E). If you can, it would be good to talk to a dermatologist about it--but I can imagine that might be difficult to do without a parent present, so if your parents don't know already, that might not be an option right now.
You may also want to check out some cover up options for the scars that may not fade:
https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/speakingoutaboutselfinjury/2021/7/self-harm-scar-cover…
https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/speakingoutaboutselfinjury/2021/9/self-harm-scars-in-t…
https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/speakingoutaboutselfinjury/2022/1/is-self-harm-scar-re…
I hope that helps. If you have more questions, I'll be able to reply for as long as I am still writing for the blog.
Take care,
Kim

Kai
January, 21 2023 at 9:56 pm

Hi,
I’m 13 years old and have been self harming for about a year now. Life got to its deepest darkest point and I felt like I had no where to turn. I’m not completely alright now, I’m about a week clean. Some of my scars faded and other are still here. I never felt like i ever went that deep though. I’m going on vacation in march and I need to be able to wear short sleeves and shorts. I don’t know what to do, I want help but I feel like I would be ashamed, or embarrassed if my parents find out about my scars.

T
January, 23 2023 at 10:43 pm

Hi, I am so sorry that you have gone through that, and i'm proud that your starting to heal. Please don't be ashamed to ask for help. Your parents are there for you and want to help, so allow them too. Also if you relapse it's okay, this isn't something that will just stop right away, but it will definitely help if you have family supporting you. I believe in you and am here if you need anything

January, 31 2023 at 3:42 pm

Hi Kai,
A week clean is fantastic; here's to keeping the streak going. :)
I understand about being worried to tell your parents. I don't know your parents or your relationship with them, so I can't say this for certain, but if you ever feel ready to talk to them about it, it can be a huge weight off your shoulders to not have to keep this secret from them. That being said, not everyone has parents who understand these things, so it will have to be up to you to decide if and when (if ever) to open up to them about this. But I do hope you have someone you can talk to--if not them, perhaps a friend, or a therapist or counselor.
In any case, it is true that sometimes it just makes more sense to cover your scars than show them. I've written a few posts about cover up options; hopefully you'll find some ideas there you can use:
https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/speakingoutaboutselfinjury/2022/3/hiding-self-harm-sca…
https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/speakingoutaboutselfinjury/2021/9/self-harm-scars-in-t…
https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/speakingoutaboutselfinjury/2021/7/self-harm-scar-cover…
Take care and best of luck,
Kim

s
March, 2 2023 at 1:48 am

Hi,
I struggled with self harm for most of last year and relapsed early this year, I'm getting better now and I haven't cut for about 3 weeks I believe. I just wanted to say that if anyone needs someone to talk to and they don't have anyone, feel free to message me and talk. sc: Seth13247

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