By @maddoggie2

"Eww what happened to you?!"

(ward nurse to me entering the ward as an Operating Department Assistant)

"You've defaced yourself as a woman"

(Emergency Department doctor)

"No man will look at you"

(Registered Mental Nurse)

"She's covered in scars she can handle it"

(surgeon questioning another surgeon as to whether he was sure about changing surgical repair under GA to LA)

"Nice to see you flaunting your scars"

(psychiatrist at a hot Royal College of Psychiatry conference as I took my cardigan off to be cooler)

"You obviously don't care about your body and how it looks or you wouldn't do it"

(Emergency Department doctor)

"Oh you're one of those"

(nurse taking blood pressure)

We have the right to wear our skin however it looks

We don't owe anyone explanations but it's wise to have a stock of responses according to how we feel and context. Skin-camouflage practitioners have long acknowledged that people with obvious self-injury scarring are subject to the most discrimination in NHS of patients with scarring.

Scarring changes our relationship to healthcare - assumptions of what, why, how, it can be a cause of diagnostic overshadowing.

I advocated for someone at the National Self-Harm Unit (Bethlem) many years ago and stopped the nurse in their demand to see the persons scarring asking why? The nurse said to ascertain severity, frequency intent. I explained to him why that was not possible to ascertain visually.

A wide band of scar tissue might have been superficial but not pulled together so secondary healing = worse scarring. A fine scar line might appear pale & insignificant but it might have been to the bone & well repaired. A graft might be for tissue deficit not a burn etc etc

The nurse said that he'd never considered what I was saying, I suggested he never ask again until he had.

No health care professional has the right to demand visual display of all bodily scarring, that's voyeurism.