Scarification is an extreme body modification process catching on rapidly in Canada. It involves cutting, etching, burning and branding the skin to create a design with inkless scars which look like normal tattoos. According to experts, the fashion trend is growing popular in the country to hide or camouflage scars which are already present on a human body.
Some people find it more interesting than a general tattoo as it involves extreme body modification which challenges the physical and psychological limits of an individual. It also glorifies a scar which may have come from an accident or a surgery, instead of it being seen as a stigma. At times, people believe that it can be less painful than putting a tattoo on the scar as the consistent pressure on the scarred tissue could become unbearable for most.
There are similar stores in other parts of the country. Blair McLean, 45, owns New Tribe Tattoos and Piercings which is situated in Toronto. Mr McLean believes that the practice attracts several misconceptions. He reaffirms that scarification involves less pain than tattoos. It does not affect the fatty tissues or the muscle matter. Just like tattoos, scarification is also done on the dermis.
However, scarification has been banned from several states in the U.S. while it is entirely prohibited in the U.K. The procedure was also recently banned in Arkansas, but the bill was revoked after huge public demand.
Canada seems to have a mixed view on the issue. Winnipeg announced it was illegal five years ago. The apathetic approach towards the practice by the Ontario Ministry seems to be caused by the severe health-related side-effects of scarification blamed for causing haemorrhage, psychological trauma and unwanted scars. There are also links to infections like hepatitis C, hepatitis B and HIV.
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