The story

It’s a bit confusing because it’s a scar, I think. Looking back, I noticed it, when I was eight. Not sure how it happened. There was no obvious thing that happened. I went to the local GP, who said that she thought it must have been something that I was scratching in the night.

It seemed a bit extreme, given that it wasn’t painful. I kind of ignored it because it wasn’t a problem, and when I went to university I decided to go and get it checked out. The consultant in the dermatology ward said it’s a really interesting thing, and he thought it was called lichen complex, it was when the immune system reacts in a strange way and causes scar tissue around the body without any actual trauma happening. He invited me to a training session for GPs, and trainee GPs.

Around ten years ago in Manchester, I noticed that it was developing, spreading slightly.

I went again to see a consultant and she’d been working on this, writing about it and doing research into it. She called it linear porokeratosis, so that was another diagnosis, but she said it was the same idea, that it’s just tissue scarred without any actual trauma, and the reason why the scarring happens.

I keep an eye on it, as it changes. Sometimes it’s redder, other times it’s quite pale and difficult to see, it gets a bit redder in the sun. It’s an unusual thing, because it’s a scar with no real story apart from it just appeared.

I was offered skin grafting, on the NHS, because its considered an eye sore, and I was like nah, it’s alright, it’s part of me, part of my body and I’ve lived with it, I like it, I don’t mind people looking at it.

Some people look at it, because it does stand out. If they are brave enough, some people ask me about it.

Once I did get a strange reaction, I think they thought it was a self-harming scar, but it isn’t.

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