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Self Harm If you or someone you know is struggling with self harm and needs advice or alternatives, we're here to help.

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SH: A few guidelines - March 15th 2011, 12:50 AM

If you're planning on cutting in the near future I figure that, while not curing your problem, these guidelines will at least help you hide and lower the medical risk of the cuts. I'm not a doctor and those who are may find it comically of little use, but it might be helpful to some.

- Try not to cut deep enough to reach a yellowish looking glob - that's called subcutaneous adipose tissue, also known as fat. For obvious reasons it isn't a good idea to get there...

- Shower often. We constantly shed dead skin cells but they scrape off more quickly in the shower, especially if you use a pumice stone or another similar abrasive object. It won't heal the cut, but it'll even out the skin around it and help it blend in better. Warm showers are preferable as they open the pores, so using lotion will be more effective.

- Right after you cut, suck on the wound (spitting the blood out of course) or if you feel weird doing that, spit on the wound, rub it in, and repeat. Saliva has mild bacteriostatic qualities which won't kill the bacteria that may enter, but it will repel them.

- If you want to clean the wound, make sure whatever you put over it has an alcohol content above 60% or it won't kill most of the bacteria and allow for any that enter the wound to grow immune to antiseptics.

- If the wound starts to get elevated drastically or "puffy," (Swollen), seek medical help because it's probably infected.

- Check for yellow lines around the wound that extend in the direction of the torso, this could be blood poisoning.

- If you take gym class or participate in sports take extreme care to make sure the wound stays clean, and apply antiseptics with a strong alcohol content every day. The risk of serious bacterial infections like MRSA is heightened with the presence of open wounds.



That's all I have for now but check back later, I hope one day to attend med school and become an internist so I'm always interested in learning. On that note if you have comments or suggestions to make on any of the above please do make me aware of them I want to keep this as accurate as possible.


All the best,


JD


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Re: SH: A few guidelines - March 15th 2011, 01:57 PM

This is very helpful. I'm glad you took the time to write this. It is very informative, and it covers lots of advice on how not to get infected if you cut. I wish you luck with the whole med school thing. Once again, very happy that you created this. I'm sure that it is going to help lots.


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Re: SH: A few guidelines - March 23rd 2011, 07:09 PM

thansk for making this, its god that allthough cutting isnt a long term aid it stil provides guidelines on how to care for your wounds and this is great. thanks again xxx


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Re: SH: A few guidelines - March 25th 2011, 12:04 AM

I do not in any way condone anyone self harming, but I wanted to add a few guidelines to those already stated:

-Remember that it doesn't take very much SH to cause scarring; a scar can form one millimeter in from the surface of the skin. Be very careful how deep you're SHing, especially if you don't want to leave scars

-Be as sterile as possible. Use clean implements in order to SH, and clean wraps, rags, or bandages to wipe up any blood. It's extremely easy to get an infection. Even worse, one can contract MRSA, a skin infection that is resistant to antibiotics and can result in hospitalization.

-Clean all wounds as soon as possible after inflicting them. Do not use alcohol or hydrogine peroxide to clean wounds at first, because these can actually wash away healing cells that are trying to close the wound. Rather use warm water and soap to thoroughly clean the area.

-Change bandages every day at least once a day.

-Be sure you are up to date on a tetanus shot. You only need one every ten years, but it doesn't hurt to check when your last one was and get another if you're closer to the ten year mark.

- If you need medical attention, don't be afraid to seek it. It can be very difficult to let someone, especially a doctor, know about self inflicted wounds, but it is better to get treated than to let a wound cause real health problems. This includes if you are in need of stitches, and it doesn't take much to warrant them.



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Re: SH: A few guidelines - March 25th 2011, 12:24 AM

Update: I didn't intend to post this originally, but have been recently made aware that for some people it is a relevant issue...

If your cuts are deep enough and you're bleeding a significant amount, or if they remain open and continue to bleed through a bandage, be aware that you may experience minor symptoms of acute anemia, brought on by a lack of iron in the blood stream. If at any point afterward and with lingering difficulty controlling blood loss without a bandage you begin to feel nauseous or ill, either drink some well-water or eat a few eggs, artichokes, or slices of meat with a glass of orange juice (the former for iron absorption and the latter for higher efficiency thereof).


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