Emotional Battle Wounds: 16 Steps to Soften or Erase Self-Injury Scars


All it takes is a single act of self-harm to potentially leave a scar on your body. Self-harm is a deliberate action of hurting yourself, but not necessarily for suicidal purposes. It could be your way of expressing yourself, cope with problems or release emotional pain.

However, self-harm could leave scars that will remind you of what happened once upon a time. In case you don’t want to be reminded of these scars after a few years, there are different techniques to help soften or erase them, which you will find out later on as you read the article.

Let’s not keep you waiting. Here are 16 tricks to say goodbye to self-injury scars, plus tips to stop self-injury behavior.

1. Practice the Fine Art of Disguise by Covering Your Scars Using Makeup

Photo by Jen / CC BY-SA

Here’s a secret, wearing makeup is more than just improving your appearance. In fact, you can even use it to hide flaws and imperfection on your face and skin. This includes self-injury scars.

Yes, you read that right. The best part is you only need the basic makeup essentials, such as foundation, press powder and a concealer to get the job done. You might also need color-correcting palette, depending on the severity of the scars you want to hide.

Do you want to know how to cover your scars with makeup? Here’s how to do it:

  • Dab the scarred area using a water-resistant concealer in natural flesh tone. Apply thin layers and use a concealer brush to apply it properly.
  • Neutralize the color of the scar. To do this, use a color that is on the opposite side of the color wheel to neutralize or cancel out the other color.
  • Apply press powder into the concealed area and press it firmly to give it a longer lasting quality.

2. Reclaim Your Body and Hide Self-Injury Scars with a Tattoo of Your Choice

There is a stigma associated with tattooed individuals. Thankfully, society is becoming more open-minded and understanding.

If you are looking for a creative way to hide scars, then covering them with tattoo is the best way to do it. A tattoo is a great way to cover up scars because it is:

  • A creative trick to salvage self-harm scars.
  • A way to put something positive over your scars.
  • An aid for overpowering the urge to self-harm.
  • A step towards a renewed identity.
Photo by Tattoodelmono / CC BY-SA

In other words, covering self-harm scars with a tattoo eases the emotional pain you once felt. However, here are some things you should remember before getting inked:

  • Before undergoing a tattoo, make sure that the scar tissues have completely healed.
  • The scarred tissue holds ink differently compared to healthy tissues. Talk to your tattoo artist about what colors will give you the best results.
  • Choose the design wisely. Remember that the scar cover-up will make the biggest impact on your scars. Make sure to discuss the design with your tattoo artist so you will be able to come up with a design that could cover the scars and still be a work of art.
  • Your tattoo artist plays a crucial role in covering the scars. Make sure to look into his experience and check if the tattoo parlor follows the safety and health guidelines provided for by the state.

3. Use Skin Camouflage as a Simple Way to Hide Self-Injury Scars

A tattoo is one way to cover your scarred skin in the most creative way possible. However, you might not be comfortable with ink and needles on your skin.

In that case, you can try skin camouflage. There are different options available:

  • Camouflage Creams
  • Camouflage Powder
  • Camouflage Tattooing

Although there are different options you can try, skin camouflage works by reducing the appearance of scars, marks, and other discolorations in your skin. It comes in various colors of flesh tone pigments according to your scarred area’s missing pigment color. The best part is that it offers effective, long-lasting and waterproof coverage to make scars less noticeable.

camouflage tattooing
Photo by InvestigadorDeTodo / CC BY-SA

Scar camouflage creams and powders are available on prescription. This could last between six months to three years. If you opt for the camouflage tattooing, you have to remember the following before availing of this procedure:

  • Your scar must be healed completely.
  • Choose a specialist authorized to perform this kind of procedure.
  • Camouflage tattooing only works best with smooth and relatively flat self-injury scars, not on raised ones.
  • Scars should not have dark edges.
  • It will take a few sessions before you see the results, since camouflage tattooing is not a one-time treatment.

Aside from makeup and tattoos, there are natural remedies you can resort to, which you will learn as you read this article.

4. Soothing Petroleum Jelly: Why You Should Use This Simple Remedy for Self-Harm Scars

If there is one product you should always have in your kit, it should be petroleum jelly. Are you wondering why?

Petroleum jelly is a favorite treatment for skin injuries and a wide range of skin conditions. More than this, petroleum jelly has beneficial healing properties, which makes it effective, even against scars and preventing severe scarring. It also keeps your skin moist and covered, thereby minimizing further scarring.

All you need to do is to apply petroleum jelly on the affected area once a day, preferably at night. This is enough to allow this tool to work its magic.

Here’s the deal about petroleum jelly: it only works on fresh wounds and cuts and can’t work its magic on older scars. You can still use it against older scars to continuously provide moisture, but there is no assurance that it could make the scars go away.

5. Liquid Gold: Say Goodbye to Self-Injury Scars Using Honey

HoneyFact: Honey is a treasure chest full of nutritional and medicinal properties. For centuries, honey has been among the top natural treatments that can solve almost anything – from allergies to coughs, and from dandruff to wounds, and even burns.

Did you know that you could use it to soften your scars, too?

Honey is a natural antibiotic and comes with antibacterial and antiseptic properties. It also helps enhance the regenerative ability of your skin cells to get everything back to normal. However, it’s not just any honey you find in the grocery store. Aim for unheated, unfiltered and unprocessed local honey to make sure that the nutrients are still intact.

You may have to visit your local farm stand to find it, but the trip will be worth it. Local honey contains antibodies to illnesses making the rounds in your specific area, so it can protect your immune system far better than honey from other locales.

Do you want to know how to use honey against scars? If so, try the following:

  • Apply a thin layer of raw honey on the scarred area and leave it for 10 minutes. Wash the area with cool water.
  • Mix equal parts of raw honey and lemon then apply it on your scars. Let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes before rinsing with cool water.
  • Mix three to five tablespoons of raw honey and three tablespoons of brown sugar to form a paste. Massage it gently on your skin before washing it with cool water. The brown sugar helps in exfoliating your skin and removing dirt in your skin.

6. Lemon: Nature’s Gift to You for Treating All Your Skin Conditions

lemonAside from raw honey, there is one ingredient that will always be a part of the list of natural treatments. It goes by the name, lemon.

Lemon juice is a natural and inexpensive remedy for almost anything, including scars. It contains alpha hydroxy acid, which removes dead skin cells, restore your skin’s elasticity and helps new cells grow. It is also a natural bleach, which makes it an effective treatment against scars.

You can enjoy lemon’s benefits by applying lemon juice on the scarred area and allowing it to stay on your skin for 10 minutes. Rinse it off with cool water afterwards.

7. Make Your Own Cucumber Paste to Get Rid of Self-Injury Scars

Who says cucumber is for puffy eyes only? Believe it or not, cucumber is among the best natural treatments for scars.

Here’s the deal about cucumber: it is composed of almost 90 percent of water. This means with periodic use, it could help replenish your skin’s moisture bank to keep it soft and hydrated. The simplest way to do it is to place slices of cucumber on your self-harmed skin for 25 minutes everyday for one month.

You can also try homemade cucumber paste on scars. To do this:

  • Blend three to four cucumbers, one teaspoon of lemon juice and a few mint leaves.
  • Crack an egg in a separate bowl.
  • Pour the mixture over the egg and mix well.
  • Apply on the affected area and let it dry for 20 minutes before washing it off with cool water.

8. Use Aloe Vera Gel to Kiss Those Self-Harm Scars Goodbye

aloe veraYou have to love Mother Nature for giving humans options when it comes to treating skin conditions. One of these options is aloe vera. Since time immemorial, people have used aloe vera to treat a number of troublesome skin conditions. Up to this day, this medicinal plant continuously serves its purpose and also helps erase scars.

According to experts from the Huntington College of Health Sciences, aloe vera contains anti-inflammatory properties, which helps repair damaged skin cells and protect the new and healthy ones. It is also capable of penetrating deep into your skin to boost collagen production and maintain moisture to promote healing.

There are many gels, lotions or ointments containing aloe vera, which you can massage directly on your skin. You can also prepare an aloe vera gel at home by cutting the leaves of the plant in half and extracting the gel from the leaves. Apply it directly on the scarred areas every night.

9. More Than Just a Relaxing Scent: Use Lavender Oil for Those Self-Injury Scars

You might recognize lavender oil from its smell. A single whiff can change your mood from stressed to relaxed, thanks to its stress-fighting fragrance. Here’s a secret: Lavender oil can make your self-injury scars, or any other scars you have, go away. It has skin cell rejuvenating properties, which can do the following:

  • Treat various skin ailments like acne and eczema.
  • Reduce the appearance of scars.
  • Prevent possible scars from forming.
  • Take care of wounds.

To use lavender oil on scars, simply apply a few drops of lavender oil in the scarred area two to three times every day. Make sure to rub the oil gently on your skin to avoid irritation.

10. Olive Oil: A Not-So-Surprising Entry on Your List of Top Scar Removal Techniques

Olive oilOlive oil is a staple kitchen ingredient. It is also the preferred cooking oil of doctors and health experts because of its many heart-healthy benefits.

Apparently, olive oil is more than just a kitchen ingredient. Its healing and moisturizing properties makes olive oil a favorite when it comes to keeping your skin soft and removing scars. The best part about this is that olive oil doesn’t clog the pores. It also gently loosens dead skin cells.

All you have to do is to massage a pea-sized amount on your skin every night and leave it overnight. Rinse in the morning and you will notice softened skin. In case you don’t see results for a few days, don’t be discouraged. Olive oil takes time to work its magic on scars, but you will be surprised when it is gone after a few months.

Aside from natural treatments, there are other ways to help you heal, and not just on the outside but on the inside, as well. Despite the availability of treatments, don’t you think it is better if you prevent past self-injury behaviors from affecting your overall disposition today? Here are some helpful tips on staying emotionally healthy, plus some advice to stop self-harm behaviors, which we will cover in the succeeding sections.

11. You’ve Got a Friend: Talk to Someone to Minimize Self-Harm Habits

Here’s a secret to help you cope with hurting yourself: talk to someone. You might say it could be embarrassing to talk to someone about your habits because of fear. Once you let go of your emotions and start talking about the things you hide and are going through, you will feel relieved.

However, there are things you should remember before talking to someone about what you are going through. These are:

  • Choose someone reliable and trustworthy
    Photo by David Goehring / CC BY

    Choose someone reliable and trustworthy. Someone who won’t gossip or try to take control of your recovery.

  • Focus on the feelings or situations that lead to such behavior, not the details of self-harm behavior.
  • Talk to someone in whatever way you feel most comfortable.

Talking to someone will help you overcome self-destructing behavior. At the same time, they should be able to help you come up with tricks to minimize this kind of habit. They can even remind you why there is no need for you to do it, and provide you with some healthy options.

12. Dig Deep: Figure Out Why You Cut and Address Your Issues to Heal

Here’s the real deal about self-injury scars: You have to identify and understand why you resort to self-harm before you start working on preventive techniques. Once you figure out the reason why you are doing this, it will be easier for you to lessen the tendency to cut or harm yourself.

The question is how to do this, so here is some advice to help you identify your self-harm triggers:

  • Establish The Urge that Makes You Want to Cut Yourself. Was it sadness, anger, guilt, shame, or loneliness?
  • Work on Your Emotional Awareness. This means the ability to identify and express what you are feeling, and understand the connection between these feelings and your actions.
  • Emotions Come and Go Quickly, Especially if You Let Them. Instead of obsessing over a certain emotion, relate it with emotional awareness and you’ll be surprised to realize that the feeling is no longer there.

You can also seek professional help, which you will learn more about towards the end of this article.

13. Change Negative Thoughts Now to Save Yourself from Harm

process your thoughtsNow that you are able to identify your triggers and slowly get in touch with yourself, it’s now time to process your thoughts and toss the negative ones on the bin. You might say it is easier said than done; however, it is not impossible.

Are you wondering how you can do this? If so, here is how to change your mental conversation:

  • Challenge all those negative thoughts going through your mind.
  • When you feel that negative thoughts are taking over, stop and shout loud. This will help divert your attention to something else.
  • Keep yourself busy and focused on positive and creative activities.
  • Learn to reframe your negative thoughts into positive ones.

14. Learn New Coping Techniques to Help You Deal with Your Feelings

Here’s the thing about self-harm habits: it is a way to help you deal with feelings and difficult situations. Don’t wait for scars to appear to let you realize the situation. In other words, look for harmless ways to deal with your emotions.

Yes, this means establishing new coping techniques. Here are some ideas you can do:

  • Express your feelings by writing in a journal.
  • Take a warm bath to help you calm yourself.
  • Call someone you can always talk to every time you feel numb and disconnected.
  • Punch a cushion or mattress if you want to release tension.
  • Scribble, paint or draw your emotions on a big piece of paper.
  • Go for a massage.
  • Listen to a calming music.
  • Exercise vigorously.
  • Rip something like a paper or magazine.
  • Use a red pen to mark the area where you usually cut.

What’s the bottom line? Do your best to deal with your feelings and emotions without resorting to hurting yourself.

15. Accept Your Self-Harm Scars and Consider Them a Sign of How Far You’ve Come

Photo by Pavel sevela / CC BY-SA

Scars are reminders of painful events or trauma once upon a time. You might even feel embarrassed and withdrawn, especially when people around are watching. That’s fine. The methods enumerated will help disguise, reduce or erase those scars.

However, keep in mind that your scars are permanent. There are advanced methods available, but learning to accept those scars is an important part of your recovery. In fact, it is part of who you are as a person.

Here are tips on how to learn to accept your scars and look at them positively:

  • Scars May Signify a Difficult Moment in Your Life. Still, they are good reminders of proving how strong you are now as a person. Acknowledge your accomplishments.
  • Don’t Mind What Other People are Saying. There is nothing to be ashamed of, because this is a valid emotional and psychological condition that you are working hard to recover from. If others can’t accept and understand what you went through and are trying to do now, then it’s not your issue anymore.

Let’s say these preventive tips won’t help you overcome the habit of self-harm? Is there a way to remedy the situation? Read the next section to find out.

16. Take Control: Stop Self-Injury and Seek Profession Help Whenever You Need It

These techniques will help you not just soften self-injury scars but also stop you from an injurious behavior. However, there are instances wherein you need someone professional to help you address your issues and overcome your self-harm habit.

A therapist will help you and work with you in developing coping techniques and strategies to stop self-harming. At the same time, they can help you get deeper into the roots and identify the cause of such habit.

Finding the right therapist may take some time, but here are tips you should remember:

  • self-injury
    Photo by Degagebouche / CC BY-SA

    The therapist should have experience in self-injury and trauma.

  • Look for a therapist that makes you feel safe, understood and respected.
  • The therapist should show willingness to help you in your situation.
  • Ask for recommendations from your friends and family.

More importantly, trust your instincts. If you don’t feel safe and trustworthy, move on to the next. In case you don’t feel like talking to a therapist, support groups could help.


A study published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine showed that one in every four American adults, and 15 percent of teens resort to self-harm at some point.

If you are one of them, there is nothing to be ashamed of. Remember, you can’t drive a car by looking in the rear view mirror. This means you need to look forward, not back in the past. Accept it and focus on ways to feel better now.

You may have scars to remind you of what happened once upon a time, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do anything about it. Keep these 16 tips in mind and you will find yourself on the road to recovery.


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