By Lauren Fruen
A BIZARRE trend is sweeping tattoo parlours which sees body art fans asking for permanent SCARS on their body rather than the traditional ink.
Scarification is the art of branding or cutting intricate designs into the skin to leave a scar.
Some people even ask for scars which look like they were a result of surgery.
Keith Kennedy runs Tribal Expression in Calgary, Canada, and has been carrying out scarification professionally for a decade.
The 43-year-old said: “I remember being interested in body art from a young age.
“I started piercing professionally around 1993. Then I looked into courses on scarification. I started Tribal Expression around 14 years ago and then began doing scarification around 10 years ago.
“Scarification is a completely different skill to tattooing. It is a completely different skill set.
“We normally see people who get them as part of some right of passage, or if they have conquered something or been through something.
“Others get something when they get married – scarification is more permanent than tattoos even.
“But we also get people who want to mimic surgical scars. Believe it or not it is actually harder than doing a beautiful flower to achieve that look.
“The depth is deeper than an actual tattoo. We do it with a scalpel and use other tools to get different looks.
“Most people describe the pain as a little uncomfortable – like a paper cut.”
Eddie Tenszen had his second scar last year. He said scarification offers an alternative to tattoos and makes you stand out from the crowd.
The 22-year-old from Calgary said: “I got into piercing a long time ago.
“I wanted to stand it from the crowd. Scarification offered an alternative to tattoos.
“I wanted to define myself and be a bit different.
“It’s not something you see everyday.
“I did one piece myself when I was younger and the I had one on my forearm professionally in May last year.
“I actually don’t think the pain is as bad as getting a tattoo.
“It does sting badly but tattoos are a worse in my opinion.
“You have to look after it – you clean it every day and kept it wrapped. After three weeks to a month it starts to scab over and heal.
“Then it really starts to itch. It is so hard not scratch it.
“At first it is really red in appearance. Then it starts to fade to white. You can actually hardly see it now.
“For me it is purely artistic. But I know some people like to turn actual scars into a design.”