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Scarification used to be something that existed only on the fringes of the body modification world. But as tattooing went from being uncommon to downright everywhere, the body modification community started looking at some of their own fringe practices in a different light. Changes in aesthetics and experimentation with techniques made it possible for practices that were once considered more extreme to become less so.
In the 90s, the term that was most often used for scarification was "cutting" however nowadays, that particular phrase is more likely to refer to the unhealthy practice of teens and young people who cut themselves or cause self-harm as a result of psychological issues. With a history in dark-skinned cultures, scarification didn't catch on much with lighter-skinned cultures due to the tendency for the design to be hard to see. Scars on dark skin turn light, and often raise up, something that just isn't as common with Caucasians. Shifts in how scarring is done have changed the skin art form, creating a variant that results in a bolder and more tactile design on pale skin.
The original techniques for scarification tended towards thin lines cut into the skin with a scalpel. Rules designed to prevent infection also prevented rubbing irritants into the fresh cuts, something tribal peoples did to help accent the finished result. Sometimes tattoo ink was applied, leaving thin and delicate, colored designs. Slowly as more people explored the body art form, the lines were cut thicker. For some, this produced a better result with stronger, raised scars as the result.
Post-modern scarification has now moved more into the realm of skin peeling. Instead of thin, dainty lines being cut, the surface skin is peeled off cleanly over the entire surface of the design. When fresh, the designs are bold, bloody shapes, thick lines and occasionally broad areas. The more extreme healing tends to produce a raised area across the entire design, resulting in a flesh-colored design that looks as though it was embossed.
As with other body mod processes, this technique is executed without anesthetic and skirts illegality in some areas due to it being considered unaesthetic to the bulk of the population. People who wish to get this form of body art are urged to educate themselves as fully as possible to all possible repercussions and side effects.
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