Psychology of Scars and How They Affect People

facialscarsWe all have scars be they emotional, physical or psychological and they will all affect people in different ways. The emotions surrounding the physical scars can also leak over into the emotional and psychological and cause people significant self image issues and lower self confidence.

Scars and Attractiveness

But is it always the case that scars are a negative in peoples lives? Some women can find scars attractive and see them as creating the ‘bad boy effect’ where women are attracted to men who seem like they have been involved in a fight at some point. Having a facial scar doesn’t necessarily mean that they have been in a fight but this is the conclusion that is drawn when the women are asked where they got the scar Burriss et al (2009)

Also in this study the results showed that women actually rated men with facial scars as more desirable for a short term relationship than men without scars. And for all of those self conscious women out there with facial scars the results also showed that there was no difference in attractiveness rating between women with facial scars and those without.

Self Confidence in People With Scars

A lot of research has been done in this area for the after care of people like burn victims or those with severe facial scarring. Often in the cases of these patients it can cause them to suffer from depression (between 13-23% of cases) or post traumatic stress disorder (between 13-45% of cases) and this obviously would have a knock on effect to their confidence (Van Loey & Van Son, 2003).

Most studies about scars have focused on facial scars because obviously that is the area where everyone looks first and so they are going to be noticed the most. But it isn’t just facial scars that can cause people social discomfort. A survey performed in 2003 found a small but significant correlation between a scar being visible on any part of their body and how they felt they were perceived (Lawrence et al, 2003). More specifically people with visible scars felt that they were stigmatised, that people reacted negatively to their scars and that they were less attractive because of their scar.

This just highlights the difference between what people believe about themselves and what other people actually think. If you have a scar you feel less attractive and are more self conscious but in fact the results show that if you have a facial scar it either makes no difference or makes you more attractive.

So if you have a scar that you’re worried about then think back to this article and remember that every scar tells a story and makes you a stronger person.

Please share. It really helps us a lot.

About Alexander Burgemeester

6 Responses to “Psychology of Scars and How They Affect People”

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  1. Maddy Terrell says:

    I have a scar below my pointer finger on my right hand. I like it for some reason, it’s not like it was caused from something bad. All that happened was I reached under a bunk bead, made of smooth metal, to get a pair of shoes and my hand twitched, which caused my hand to hit the underside of the frame. It didn’t hurt too much, but it wouldn’t stop bleeding. But I guess it reminds me of my childhood and the fun (and bad times) I’ve had. Like how the man I hate, my stepdad, for once cared for me and wrapped my hand up (over-excessibly) with bandage. Which in turn, leads me to memories of my going to my sister’s cheerleading practice and just talking about it with some random people (which is kind of unlike me). It also reminds me of when that bed broke and I ended up hanging off the side of the top bee’s railing. Which afterwards made me laugh. Now im thinking about how I usd the word “which” a lot. I guess that scar reminds me of the pleasant memories that make me, me. I seriously just now realized that. It’s funny how all you need to do sometimes is type a message that people might read just to figure something out and/or to get it off your chest. It’s also funny, how I can delete this and choose not to show the world this, but instead I’m gonna press send and show others my experiences. Probably in the future, someone will read this and think, did that really happen to people back then? And now because I thought of that, I’m gonna date this comment. Monday, March 19, 2017, 11:10 PM Central Time

  2. Katensqiires says:

    I hav a skin picking disorder with my depression and losing my mam i hav made my full body and face a total mess im so ashamed of how much damage ive done on my face i suffer from foliculitus ingrown hairs im really badly depressed through the scarring it was sort of a self harm but got out of control i so ashamed of what ive done im hoing to ask my doctor to refer me to dermatologiist because the scarring on my face and neck is horrible and is really affecting me badly i cannot go more depressed in what i am i need to get better

  3. Sadie Ro says:

    something can be done about your scar ^
    Look up scar revision I just had a indented scar the size of a tennis ball on my calf and after that surgery it’s reduced to a thin vertical line. Still a scar there just way smaller, but it gave me a lot of self esteem back

  4. Ravi says:

    I have a big scar , right in the center of my forehead , I cant d0 anything about it .
    Visited the best plastic surgeons as well. It makes me very uncomfortable and kills my confidence.

    I know this article aims at motivating people like me. but I am always looking to avoid people , my social life is gone. Don’t know what I could do.
    Love and relationship things . I had stop dreaming about them long time back.

    • Angela says:

      Why cant you do anything about it? What did the plastic surgeons say? Could you recommend the ones you went to. I was recently attacked by a dog in my face by my lip and nose three weeks ago. I am struggling emotionally and avoid social situations and people as well.

    • Angel says:

      I have a big scar right in the middle of my forehead as well. Honestly it’s not so bad being different, embrace your individuality. It makes you unique and if someone doesn’t like you just because you have a scar, screw them. You don’t need those kind of people in your life anyways. Idk how big yours is but mine goes all the way down my nose and up my forehead. Maybe we can talk? I have email, Snapchat, Instagram and a phone number, whatever works for you.

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