Scars make up small but significant stories from our lives. Not every scar represents disease or trauma. Some scars are the result of everyday accidents such as a slip on ice, fall from a tree, or touching a hot surface. In this article, people share the true stories behind their scars.
[Source can be found at the end of the article]
When playtime ends badly
“I have a scar on the back of my head from when I was around 4 or 5. I was at an aunt’s wedding party. All the adults were downstairs and all of the little kids were upstairs so without adult supervision we started jumping on the bed. I get pushed by this little girl named Kimberly midair as I’m performing my routine for Cirque du Soleil and my tiny body does a somersault. My head hits the corner of this metal bed side table and I start screaming. An older cousin rushes in and alerts everyone downstairs. Someone calls for an ambulance but my dad is like “How much is an ambulance?” After learning the price, he wraps a towel around my head and we pile into the family Astrovan to the nearest hospital. I get like 12 stitches and I never see that girl Kimberly again.”
Everything’s okay when pizza is involved
“I have a scar that looks a lot like a smiley face on the knuckle of my left pinky finger. I was at home with my roommates doing some washing up, and I was kind of excited about going to Pizza Express for lunch with my boyfriend and my mate Dan. Anyway I misjudged the distance between my hand and a cupboard, and smashed a glass.
So I started bleeding a lot and it wouldn’t stop. The cut was deep and it looked kind of white inside. I went to the GP’s office but none of them could work out whether it was hitting a tendon or not so they told me to go to A&E as soon as possible.
So we compromised and went to Pizza Express for lunch first, and then headed up to A&E.
Doctor there superglued it up and there was zero damage. Plus, I got pizza.”
This cookie-baking scar isn’t macho
“I pulled a tray of piping hot chocolate chip cookies out of the oven and held it up to my nose to smell that delicious cookie smell. Only I was holding the tray from the far end, so when I brought it close enough to smell, the burning hot metal tray pressed into my biceps.
So, now I have chocolate chip cookie-baking scars.
But I tell people I got them in a knife fight in a bar in Borneo. It sounds much more macho.”
The smiley face scar on kneecap
“When I was younger (talking about aged 8 or so) I made my own game in the living room. Our living room is around 10 meters long and the sofa was at one end, and the door being at the other. My game was to open the door (that would creak really loudly when closing) and sprint towards the sofa and get on it before the door closed. The creak from the door would be my time-clock essentially. Anyway, one time, I pushed the door wide open and ran and as the door was about to close, I was so close to the sofa that I jumped to make it, only to fall short and slice my knee-cap wide open on the metal handles that opened the drawers right below the sofa.
I had 8 stitches in my kneecap and have no feeling in it anymore. I am left with what looks like a “)” as it is in the shape of the handle.”
Running with scissors
“When I was a kid I ran into another kid in a doorway at school. He was running around waving a pair of scissors, and they slammed into the side of my eye so I had to get surgery. A couple of millimetres further to the left and I would have lost vision on that eye, but I dodged it and have almost normal vision. So yeah, an actual instance of running with scissors ending badly.”
The lightning scar
“I got a Harry Potter scar on my forehead. Tried to leap into my bunk bed, because I was bored. Instead, I slammed my forehead into the mid bed frame (which was made of metal) and I was just woozy. I laughed it off until my brother told me to go to the bathroom. I looked in the mirror to see my entire forehead covered in blood. Like everywhere. I screamed as loudly as I could until my dad and grandma came in. They looked horrified when they saw me.
One quick trip to the hospital later and all I remember happening is that I fell asleep, and woke up better. Even at my age now all I assume happened is that I was put to sleep.”
Face has more character with the scar now
“In college I shaved my head, so experimented a lot with colors and styling when it was growing in. When it was about an inch long, I decided to try and curl it so I’d have a cute little curly fro.
It did not work. I didn’t have enough hair to do that. I accidentally laid the wand over my whole cheekbone. I was running late for improv practice, and when I got there people noticed the burn but it was just red so it was nothing weird. By the end of practice though, it really hurt and I finally was brave enough to touch it, only to have a handful of my skin and flesh slide off into my hand from it. The guy next to me saw and freaked out.
I didn’t mind so much, the scar really made me look tough as it healed. I have a pretty basic ‘pretty’ face and I feel like it has more character now with the scar.”
Not a smart kid
“I have a scar that’s right in the centre of my forehead. My Dad was spray painting in our garage and told me to wait outside the door because of the fumes. I was around six and none the wiser, so I waited literally right behind the door knob which was the kind with the twist lock in the centre of the knob. Of course he opened the door and the lock split my forehead open.”
“I was walking down the main road in my town at about 3am and a car was driving up the street in my direction at about 120km an hour. Someone in the car threw a bottle out of the window and it hit me straight in the face. You could see my cheek bone under my right eye and the bottle smashed on impact.
My friend got a look at the car, and those fools didn’t realize they had the only car of that model with a pink number plate in my area so we knew where it was parked at night. I will leave the rest of the story to your imagination.”
The chairman of the board
“I was 9 years old and the foolish father of the kids I was playing with thought it would be a great idea to nail multiple 2″x12″x5′ boards in the 80 foot oak tree we were playing under to make a treehouse.
The nails didn’t hold and I heard a scream, looked up, saw a board with nails stuck out of it falling right above my head, blacked out but somehow jumped out of the way.
There is now a nasty 6-inch gash on my shoulder. It was nearly thirty years ago and the scar is still there.”
Dad to the rescue with water and iodine!
“My whole shin has a huge scar over it.
At the age of 7 or 8 I stood on a fairly large, round stone. Being round, the stone rolled away under my feet and I fell. I didn’t fall like a normal human. Somehow I teleported over a few inches to a very, extremely scary, sharp stone-ledge and sled down that ledge with the full length of my shin.
My dad being a dad cleaned the wound with water and iodine (burned a lot, I still feel it in my dreams) and taped the half ripped off skin back on my leg with a whole lot of plasters and wrapped my leg with some bandages so I wouldn’t see it.”
“There was a sea of sharks (legos) before my island (clothes hamper). I wanted to jump from one island to the other, without being bitten by the sharks. I was 6 years old, standing on an upside down hamper. My brothers and I dumped all our medium sized legos onto the floor to pretend like they were sharks, ’cause they hurt when you step on them. Another hamper was set across the sea of legos, for me to jump to. I obviously missed as the hamper flung backward when I jumped off, because well, … physics. And I jabbed my knee right into the edge of one of those legos. I have an inch long scar on my kneecap thanks to that event.”
The only scar left after all these years
“I tried riding my skateboard down the steepest hill in my neighborhood. It was a big hill. I clipped a rock near the bottom when I was moving. I shot forward and slid a good 10 feet on my face and stomach. I staggered a mile back to my house and walked inside bleeding like a stuck pig. I walked into the kitchen and saw that my mother was on the phone. She turned around, saw me and said, ‘…OH MY GOD! Carol, I’m going to have to call you back.’ She dropped the phone, ran forward and grabbed me as I collapsed into a chair. She then spent the next 40 minutes or so cleaning my wounds and bandaging them and debating whether or not I needed to go to the emergency room. I didn’t go but I spent a week on the couch just getting my dressings changed periodically. I had a black eye and a nice checker-marked scar on my right cheek as well as slightly less prominent ones on my elbows, knees and just above my right wrist.
One by one they’ve disappeared over the years and the only one left is one on my wrist ironically enough.”
No morning super soaker for this kid
“I was on holiday when I was 11 years old. I had just woken up and walked outside our chalet, to see my friend sitting there with a super soaker in hand and a big grin on his face.
Fearing a morning hose-down, I ran back inside and slammed the door shut with my hand on the window section. My hand proceeds to go through said glass window, and I gouged a hole in my wrist. It was about the size of a 50p coin.
I was then rushed to the hospital, and had to be pinned down by my mum, her friend, and the nurse while the doctor stitched me up.”
This brilliant idea to skate down the stairs
“Two of my cousins, my sister and me, all have the ‘same’ scar on our chins. When people ask about it, I usually tell them that its a genetic trait passed along our family for hundreds of years, skipping every second generation. (Because our moms don’t have them.) My family name is well known in my country (a big company was named after it), so I can make people believe it is some sort special trait only my family receives because [insert story about something amazing some ancestor did that gave him that scar]. You’d be surprised how many people believe that story!
Truth is we are all kids and stupid. My sister fell face-first from a chair, I was too incompetent to drive a scooter, my first cousin fell off of something as well. But my other cousin was the brightest of us all. This cousin and I were out inline skating. When we came back to my house, I had the brilliant idea that we should skate down the stairs to the basement. There was a flat lane in the middle of the stairs for bikes to roll down. He took the challenge and tried to skate down that lane. Turns out you accelerate quite a bit going down these stairs on skates and roughly one and a half meter isn’t enough to slow down after you make it to the end. He kissed the wall hard that day.”
The scar wasn’t worth it at all
“The day before my wedding, I decided to take my future brother-in-laws and future father-in-law to my favorite spot at the beach – a big cave I used to explore as a kid. We walked through it and out to where it opened up to the ocean. A huge wave came and knocked me down. I hit my face on a rock and my legs were dragged across more rocks before future father-in-law reached in to pull me out. Blood gushing everywhere. I walked down the aisle pretty bandaged up and 10 years (and a divorce!) later, my knees are still scarred.”
Shouldn’t have waited that long to stitch it up
“I was three sheets to the wind and made myself another drink. My ice had frozen together into one giant ice block so I decided to stab at it with my pocket knife. Somehow ended up stabbing myself and splitting open my hand between the index and middle finger. It was DEEP but I was so far gone that I just clutched a paper towel, taped my fist up and fell asleep. Apparently it’s tough to stitch up a wound after ten hours or so so the doctor just superglued it. I got a gnarly scar.”
When water balloon fight ends in blood
“When I was 8, my brother and I had a water balloon fight. Did I mention it was 40°F outside?
Yeah. I hid behind a glass window that was on the garage door.
The window shattered. Blood. Everywhere. Lots and lots and lots of blood. I was cut just below my eye and on my lip.
My brother tried to keep me outside, cleaned it up with a white towel, and kept me calm until my mom got home. I had gone inside, still bleeding. My other brothers were all scrambling to clean it up. My mom could smell the blood and she was horrified.”
It wasn’t chicken, mom!
“My babysitter as a kid put a Hot Pocket for me in the microwave for 20 minutes, not 2 minutes. I then proceeded to pick up said molten hand grenade where it then ruptured and landed on my arm. A piece of ham burned so deep into my skin that it had to be pulled out with tweezers.
A story my mom likes to tell is that when she took me to the doctor the conversation went like this.
Dr: So what happened?
Mom: He was eating a Hot Pocket that was too hot and some chicken fell on his arm
Me: No, that’s not what happened!
Mother and Dr look dumbfounded expecting me to say I was abused or something.
Me: It was ham.”
Hand resting on a radiator pipe
“When I was abroad a few years ago, I spent some time in Sweden roaming from place to place, seeing the sights, meeting the locals, etc. I had the opportunity to stay at a super old manor, which had been converted to a hotel. Me being an American, I was fascinated. The room I got was simple. A bedroom, a kitchen/dining area, and a small bathroom. The cool part was the 20 foot ceiling, and the Victorian Era Fireplace.
Anyway, I spent the day touring the town’s museums, and didn’t have much else to do for the rest of the evening, so I thought I’d turn in early, to catch up on some sleep. It being an old building some of the pipes were exposed. The radiator was next to the bed, and the pipes leading to the upstairs room went right up the wall. No insulation, nothing.
Another fact about myself: I am a HEAVY sleeper. Like, fall out of bed and stay asleep, kind of heavy sleeper. I put my arm under my head for elevation, and my hand seemed to rest nicely on the cool pipe leading upstairs. I fell asleep and woke up the next morning refreshed and ready for a new day.
As some of you may have guessed, the upstairs neighbors decided it was too cold that night, and turned on their radiator. Thus, the pipes leading to their radiator got warmer and warmer, with my hand still on it. So, that is why I have a rather nice scar on the back of my hand from a second degree burn I got from falling asleep with my hand on a radiator pipe.”
Not fit to babysit a toddler
“‘Babies should not play with pens, take the pen away from your little sister’s hand.’
I thought it was supposed to mean that my then 2-year-old sister could harm herself or try to eat the pen, but no: she wasn’t that happy that I tried to take the pen off her tiny hand and used it to stab my face. This happened about 15 years ago, but still now I have a small (2 cm) straight line between my left eye and the bridge of my nose. It needed stitches and was one of the creepiest experiences of my life (having someone wiggle a needle centimetres from my eye plus the whole bunch of adults panicking and being certain that I was going to lose an eye). Also mum learned that 7-year-olds are not exactly fit for babysitting their toddler siblings.”