How I Minimised My Cigarette Burn Scars

During the depths of my depression last year I self harmed, I’ve always found ways to hurt myself, but these were probably my first acts of visible violence against myself. I’m not proud of my actions, but I’m not ashamed of my scars either, they tell a story about me.

When you have a blog you can see what search terms people use to find it, most days someone somewhere taps “cigarette burn scars” into Google and lands up on my blog. Hi there if that’s you, welcome, you’re not alone, I’ve burnt and cut myself, the scars will never disappear, but they have faded. I suspect that’s what you want to know, I burnt myself and am I scarred forever. Yes, probably, sort of, read on.

It depends entirely on how you burnt yourself in the first place. I used to rest a lit fag on my arm until it bubbled up, I never ground it into my flesh, I guess if you’ve done that your scars will be worse.

My scars (pictured below) are about a year old now, I can still see them, I know what they are, I know what they represent. I have very mixed feelings about them. It’s worse for me in the summer when I’m wearing t-shirts and my scars are always on display, not that they’re that obvious now, they probably look a bit like blemishes. Winter and long sleeves are easier, the reminders of my depression and anxiety are less evident.

Cigarette burn scars

If you’ve burnt yourself with a cigarette then it can take up to two years for the scar to fade as much as it ever will. If you’ve just burnt yourself then it’s advisable to treat it immediately as you would with any burn, which is apply ice or run under cold water for at least 15 minutes. If it looks bad or infected then please see a Doctor.

Once you’ve burnt yourself there are a few things you can do to help the healing process, though what you use depends on your skin type, some products will work better than others for you. Vitamin E oils and capsules applied to the scar regularly can help reduce the scarring, Bio Oil can help too and Aloe Vera is renowned for its healing properties. If the scarring is bad then microdermabrasion could be an option, but you’ll probably have to pay for that yourself.

I doubt my scars will fade any more than they have done, so I need to learn to live with them, they’ll serve as a reminder to me of how far I’ve come. Your scars are your own, like me you might have a bit of a love/hate relationship with them, but they do tell the story of you, of your pain and how you’ve survived and continue to survive.

Note: I am not a doctor, this doesn’t constitute medical advice, this is just my experience of having and trying to minimise scarring from cigarette burns.

3 responses to “How I Minimised My Cigarette Burn Scars

  1. Bless you Jane and thank you for sharing such personal feelings. I bet many of your followers, me being one of them, can relate to what you did and why. I have delivered 6 babies and don’t have a single stretch mark on any part of my body, but look closely at my wrists and you will see silvery lines where I used razor blades to cut myself at the age of 14. Like you, I was depressed and 25 years later,I am still fighting depression and self harming but not utting my wrists but by not eating (anorexia). I have been on every anti-depressant there is, had therapies including CBT but again, nothing seems to work. So I have just learned to accept that I am never going to escape the downward spiral of depression. Instead I have learned to cope with it myself and smile and grin and bear it. (hug) My anorexia come and goes with my mood swings. Just now I am ok as I throw myself into Christmas for my kids, – but come January I usually know my mood will drop again.

  2. Very brave of you to share! xxxx

  3. MENTALLY ME (@stuckinscared)

    It’s helped me to read this Jane, not because you have managed to fade your scars, (mine are incredibly noticible, and won’t fade now anymore than they have) but because, you admitted to exactly the same cause for scarring as mine were caused (exactly the same, bubbling, not grinding) and because you have I (while feeling sad for you, because I relate to you pain) feel better, better because I’m not alone! Thank you, beyond words, I thank you #amcrying

    Big hugs Jane, Kimmie x

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