They are also called scarification or decorative scars – cut tattoos are not as widespread in the western body modification scene as conventional tattoos and piercings. Although they are also usually placed on the skin by specialists in tattoo studios, the technique is completely different. With cut tattoos, no colors are placed under the skin, but rather a motif is scraped into the skin with a scalpel. That sounds gory and it is! The faint of heart should skip this article. For everyone curious, we give you an idea of how cut tattoos are done, how painful they are, and what decorative healed scars finally look like.
The cut only became popular in the western world a few years ago. Like almost all piercing and tattooing techniques, cut tattoos have their origin in ritual modification of the indigenous body. Scars have been worn as body jewelry for centuries or, due to the pain associated with them, have been used as a initiation ritual.
With us, decorative scars serve a more decorative purpose, so pain for tattoo cutters is certainly one of them. Because you have to grit your teeth if you want to have a scarification, just look at the following pictures!
Scalpel please: this is how to create a cutting tattoo
Scarification covers all forms of body modification in which scars are forced in a controlled manner. In addition to cutting with a scalpel, this can also mean marks where the motifs are burned into the skin with a so-called electrocautery. Currently the cut is more popular, in which, like a conventional tattoo, the contours begin.
While pricking the contours with tattoos often hurts more than shading, when cutting tattoos, the second step in particular is painful. Because after scratching the outer lines, the top layer of skin between them should peel off.
And the craziness is yet to come: while you need to take careful care of your new piercings and tattoos so they heal as quickly as possible, you should interrupt wound healing time and time again with a cutting tattoo. After all, a clearly visible scar is desirable here. Fans of cut tattoos that are as flashy as possible accomplish this by constantly removing the scab and irritating the wound with a solution of lemon, sugar, and petroleum jelly.
Willful scars, but only why?
Most people will probably be uncomfortable just describing the procedure. Why should you heal yourself and treat the fresh wound exactly the opposite of what you are used to? For users of scarification, long-lasting pain certainly plays a role. Even if the cut is not used as an initiation ritual in Western cultures, the cut tattoo is certainly more than just decorating the body. Scars also have a certain symbolism in our culture: they tell stories and are evidence of the pain that has been faced. Scientific studies have also looked at the sexual effects of facial scars on men and women. The thesis is raised that women associate scars with masculinity. So scars can also express a certain badass attitude.
However, this voluntary form of healing must be clearly distinguished from scratching. This self-injurious behavior is a self-injurious act that does not involve decorating the body. If you are affected by this behavior or if you get images of self-inflicted scars, you should avoid looking for clippings on social media. Even if they are two completely different phenomena, they cannot be conceptually separated from each other.
Cut tattoos: motifs and healed scars
As long as you have found a talented and experienced cut tattoo artist, you have relative freedom in choosing your motif. The best thing to do is to discuss your desired motives with a specialist who can assess how well your idea is suitable for this technique. Decorative symmetrical ornaments and patterns are popular with cuttings.
Like normal tattoos, cut tattoos can also be done in different sizes. From a small cut on the wrist to a more complex motif on the back or thigh.
You also have many options when it comes to location. A somewhat older style of the Japanese body modification scene is Hanabira, in which a flower is cut from the woman’s mons. A decorative scar under the breasts is also possible, for example. After the long healing or healing phase, the cutting tattoo changes color depending on the skin tone. Unlike conventional tattoos, there is also a relief effect when the wound healing process is severely affected.
As with all body modifications: only trust an experienced tattoo artist or piercer. With newer techniques like microdermal piercings, dotwork, and cut tattoos, you really should seek out experts in this area. When it comes to cutting, post-procedure care is also important. If you like the look of cuttings, but that’s too gory for you, you can also take a look at white tattoos. With their understated appearance, they resemble subtle scarifications.
Image Source: Getty Images / JUAN CEVALLOS