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Cicatrization is the medical term for the process of wound closure involving the formation of scars. These scars are called cicatrices or keloids.
The term cicatrization can also refer to a type of body modification involving the intentional creation of deep scars. Usually these scars form decorative patterns.
Cicatrization is also called scarification.
Many tribal societies use cicatrization for decoration and to mark rites of passage. However, cicatrization has also made its way into mainstream society. It is especially common among people who enjoy body modification and the BDSM community, where the creation of scars may form edge play scenes. Some people are attracted to the look of scars. Others enjoy the euphoric sensations can accompany cicatrization.
People use many techniques for cicatrization, including burning a wound with fire, rubbing substances like ash into a wound so it stays open, and abrading a wound’s surface with sandpaper or chemicals. Deep, wide wounds tend to cicatrize more easily than small, narrower wounds.
Attempting cicatrization at home carries a high risk of infection. Some piercing and tattoo parlors offer cicatrization services so their clients can get decorative scars in a sterile and safe environment.