Scar tissue that I wish you saw

Scars are a bit of a sensitive subject to write about for me; arthritis is a condition that I would not often have associated with scars, mainly because, until I had osteoarthritis, when I thought of arthritis I thought of rheumatoid arthritis. However, there are lots of different forms of arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, as it happens with old age as the joints wear down, but it’s often associated with trauma. So, you’re likely to have scarring from the trauma and, as it can be treated with surgery, you may also having scarring from arthritis treatment. So, I can’t be the only one with some scar tissue they don’t particularly like, especially as some orthopaedic surgeons seem to disregard the skin when fixing the bone, and I wonder how other people feel about theirs.

The question of what to do with scars is a difficult one; on one hand I do see them as battle scars. They are a result of trauma and corrective surgery, lots and lots of surgery, and they do show me what I have been through, how far I have come, and of this I should be, and am, proud.

On the other hand, they are atrophic, ugly areas of skin that have a weird, unpleasant sensitivity, and although they are not overtly noticeable, being on my legs, I don’t really like people to notice them if I am trying to hide my arthritis (times when I want to feel super-confident for example, I don’t really like people knowing), and sometimes it feels nice to hide it from myself.

Tattooing is the obvious choice then, and there are so many great scar cover-ups. I love tattoos, and my guilty pleasure is watching Channel 4’s Tattoo Fixers! I was gutted when this past series ended, it’s classic so-bad-it’s-good television. 

Alice is fab

However, I don’t think a tattoo would work well on my leg. My main scar is atrophic and wide, and the tissue is not like normal skin being more fibrous and thin. The scar tissue would not take the ink as well as the normal skin beside it. In addition, I don’t really like the feeling of anyone touching the scar, it doesn’t feel ‘right’, so the idea of someone putting a needle into the scar tissue makes me nauseous. In any case, I get bored of things easily, and although I see beautiful tattoos all the time, I can never decide that that is for me, forever, on my leg. I love all of these right now, I really love beautiful design… but picking just one design… forever? Frankly, I can’t even pick my favourite album.

Clockwise from top left: Jan Mraz; Dr Woo; Mo Ganji; Pony ReinhardtKenji Alucky

So, instead I sometimes use temporary tattoos to cover them up. They have come a long way from the free ones you used to get with bubblegum from the corner shop. My favourite designs are by an American company called Mr Kate, and you can get the packs in the UK from here.

Star pattern over the longest scar; you can see scars from drains and keyhole surgery above

You get lots of different designs in a pack, and although I often don’t love all of them, there are loads that I do really like to cover up my scars when I want to. They last really well, up to a week, sometimes only coming off with an oily rub in the shower. 

Black moon, I saw you standing alone

I also really like the jewellery brand Oreila; I really love their city script necklaces, but I have yet to decide whether I am an Edinburgh or London girl… you can see why I can’t decide on a tattoo.

London pendant necklace : £15

They also do temporary tattoos and, although I don’t think they are as unusual as the Mr Kate ones, they’re a bit cheaper:

Aztec starburst strip tattoo : £8

So I would love to hear what other people do with their scars? Cover or make a feature?


Author: shoeslifeblog

Being diagnosed with osteoarthritis didn't stop me loving shoes, so I've spent many years seeking shoes that weren't awful for my joints yet weren't awful on the eye. I have learnt that not all shoes are equal, and it is possible to wear amazing shoes while having arthritis (and other leg issues). I try out shoes so you don't have to.

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