(BPT) - Everyone has physical scars. Maybe it's a scrape from a childhood stumble or a burn from cooking a special meal. Some scars come from body changes or physical conditions, such as acne scars, while others might be from serious events, like a surgery or an accident.
It's not uncommon for people to be insecure about their scars and try to hide them. However, this insecurity can compromise someone's mental health and the scars can be a physical reminder of personal insecurities. When you think of all the scars you have on your body — big and small — try to realize they represent your unique journey in life.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, an important time to remember that you are more than your scars. In fact, scars make you one of a kind. By building confidence surrounding your perceived physical imperfections, you will feel better about yourself and may even be able to help others who struggle with their scars.
If you want to remove the stigma surrounding scars as perceived physical imperfections, consider these following steps to transform your mindset and your life.
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Accept your scar as part of who you are
Mental health healing and physical healing often go hand in hand. Specially formulated scar treatments may help diminish the appearance of your scars, such as Mederma's unique triple action formula that penetrates beneath the surface to seal in moisture, renew cells and aid formation of collagen. This helps visibly reduce the overall appearance of new and old scars caused by things like acne, burns, injury and surgery. However, your physical scars will never be completely erased, so it's important to accept them as part of what makes you unique. Understanding that the journey from scar, through treatment, to healing will leave you feeling more confident in the end.
Stop hiding your scars
Having self-confidence to bear your physical scars can be difficult. Many people use makeup, clothing and accessories to hide their scars. Part of healing and embracing who you are is showing your scars outside of your home. It may take time and you may need to take it step by step as your confidence builds, but you'll feel better when you can leave your home and shine brightly without having to hide part of who you are.
Begin to open up about your scars
It's natural for people to inquire about the presence of a visible scar. The next time someone asks, "How did you get that?” decide how you want to answer. Remember, your scar is a map to where your body has been and often, the stories behind them are interesting — some funny, uplifting or even tragic, but they all make you who you are today. They offer depth and substance behind what could otherwise be viewed as an imperfection.
Share your story with others
Storytelling can aid in emotional healing and is a powerful tool for mental health and personal growth. Some people decide to journal through their feelings to help get their thoughts down on paper. You don't have to be a writer to write down your story and put your experience and feelings into words. That alone can help you to heal. Then, if you are comfortable with your story, share it with others who may be struggling with their own experience.
To support the importance of storytelling to heal and encourage their community to share and celebrate their scar stories, Mederma is partnering with an organization called This Is My Brave during Mental Health Awareness Month. This nonprofit spotlights storytelling as a way to help in the healing process when it comes to mental health conditions like anxiety or low self-esteem.
From acne scar sufferers to those with scars from surgeries, scar bearers can tell their stories and shed light on the baggage that these perceived physical imperfections can bring both mentally and physically, while encouraging others to proactively seek treatment, embrace the beauty of their scars and get to know who they are beyond their scar. Learn more at ThisIsMyBrave.org.