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.
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.