An unfiltered fire hose of flaming condemnation

Featured community question with accompanying warning:


Today’s featured question comes from user maylu:

Anyone ever heard of a keloid? Basically, I scar outward. Meaning, there are several places on my body where it looks like I have grown an extra limb, one in particular on my right shin that has sprouted its own nose hairs. When people see it and begin to recoil I’m quick to say, hey! Don’t be scared! That’s just Larry. He minds his own business.

What. Am I the only one who names her scars? Shut up. YOU DO TOO.

I’ve got Larry on my shin, Roberta on my forehead, and Ed on my shoulder. Since I’m stuck with them, I thought, well, might as well make them feel as welcome as possible. Come on in! Take off your shoes! And Larry got so comfortable that he started to walk around the house without his pants on. I had to stop him when he started to itch his crotch in front of my mom!

Since I’ve had two basal cell carcinomas removed from my left shoulder and regularly see a dermatologist, I met a doctor at the clinic who prided himself on “fixing” any keloid he came in contact with. Turns out you can sometimes stop the outward movement of a scar with steroids. And I was all, steroids? And he was all, STEROIDS. And I was all, please don’t tell me that this means I’m going to have to start shaving my mustache. Ugh. Jon does not like sharing his razor.

Turns out that this doctor had met his match in Larry, and no amount of tinkering could kick his butt out the front door. In fact, he referred to it as “some keloid,” as in, “WOW. THAT IS SOME KELOID YOU’VE GOT THERE.” And I was like, are you serious? You mean I have the valedictorian of keloids? Really? Sir, this wasn’t exactly a bullet point I had on my life list.

But there you go. Now it’s right up there with having my bikini waxer go, dude, you’re going to need a bigger boat.

  • CataclysmicStar

    I adore you.

    I have a scar on my face from having chicken pox when I was three. It’s a nice little pockmark about the size of Nevada that I think has a nighttime job as a crossdresser at a gay bar – but hey, it keeps him (her?) happy so I just kind of don’t ask. It’s not canyonesque, but it’s deep enough that it kind of makes my face look like I’ve a pit ‘o’ dark on my left cheek.

    And we won’t go into the stretch marks on the insides of my elbows (sorry Ralph and Christy, I’m just not gonna talk about you guys today).

    So I feel you on scars. Although that’s pretty awesome that you’ve got so many valedictorian positions going!

    PS You know that by telling people not to Google scar images, they’re just gonna wanna do it more .. Speaking of which, I gotta go bleach my eyes now..

    PPS How is Marlo?! Is she okay? Does she have RSV? I hope not. I’m all freaking out for you – my son is about a month younger than her (and my other son is almost three so thanks to you I know what I’m in for, haha).

  • lobsterandi

    ..Better hope you don’t get a scar on your ass.

    Then you’d really have to use a donut. Unless the scar/keloid was large enough to use as a stool.

    Like that man who had gigantic tumors in his testicals. So he sat on them. Like a chair.

  • WideAwakeWife

    I’ve had 2 c-sections with verticle incisions and now sport a fabulous hypertrophic scar (very similar to a keloid scar). It’s 1/2in.-3/4in wide, a good 6 in. long and is still pink in color 3 years after my youngest’s birth. I’m waiting until we decide no more kids before I try to “fix” it, if it’s even possible. Yeah scars!

  • cellohero

    The only real scar I have is a tiny line on the end of my nose – in the third grade, some girl threw a swing at my face. I bled out all over my favorite lobster sweatshirt.

    just a coincidence that STEROIDS has the same number of letters as SHINGLES!?


  • petermon21

    I feel your pain. I have several scars the most immediate is the lack of a right hand! and then skin graft on the other. People ask me that all the time. There is a nice response for children and such and a not so nice one for the A-holes. But human nature begs the question! 😉

  • lovingthismomstuff

    I have a keloid on my knee that I despise! I blame it on my sister though…she was trying to lock me out of the house when I was 9 and I slipped trying to get to the door. Gravel and skin don’t mix too well.


  • Figtron

    Keloid sufferers are so misunderstood…

    I have scars on me like history markers. I can tell you the exact date and place I received each one.

    Thanks for passing me that genetic gift, dad.

    Maylu…scars are a part of your unique character and makeup. When some tactless person blurts at you, blurt back…”What the hell happened to your manners?”

  • Vander

    I just had a growth removed from my leg and it has left a scar uglier than the growth. Friends have recommended ScarAway treatment sheets. Has anyone tried these?

  • Ex Files Chick

    I just looked at a picture of a keloid and I swear if you threw down a pickle and tomato and topped it with mustard and celery salt, it could stunt double as a Chicago-style hot dog.

    I won’t ever complain about my cankles again.

  • BargainBex

    I have a scar, but it’s not visible (IE: easily covered by clothing) from open heart surgery when I was the wee old age of 11, but it’s not the scar right in the center of my chest (that runs vertically instead of horizontally) that gets to me, it’s the scar, right below on my tummy (due to necessary bags of medical whatever needed to drain excess during and after said operation), that makes me turn all red with embarrassment just thinking about it and its odd little look.

    I’m thinking I’ll take your advice and just name it and learn to love it.

    Any ideas/thoughts as to what nickname or title I should bestow on it?

    Thanks much-ly in advance.

  • luv and kiwi

    are you sure you don’t have sister girl in you? i thought only people of color got keloids…very interesting. i actually have some gnarly ones on my hand from where i got my fingers ran over by a mini van. i should name them too. clever idea actually.

  • sush

    I have so many scars on this old body it looks like a road map. I think of myself as the Rand McNally of body scars. I’m old enough I really do think of them as medals of honor for getting through life. Some for babies, some for gall bladder removal from baby dancing on gall bladder for nine month (big boy baby). Several for back surgeries from carrying babies around, dancing at weddings of friend’s babies. All signs of a life well lived is how I see it. Oh and the occasional sibling scars left from bites, scratches and car doors slammed on hand. Not bad for a life…Wear your battle scars with pride!

  • BooBooGaLoo

    BargainBex… Stella is a good name:)

  • mommica

    I have scars all around my right eye from being bit by a horse. Ya, that’s right. A HORSE! Top that, mo foes.

  • kellyjcallahan

    I have had several major surgeries. While in post-op from my hysterectomy I over heard the nurses say… “My doesn’t she have quite the roadmap on her.”

    That is correct I have scar bisecting my stomach north to south. A scar from hip bone to hip bone. An IV scar on my leg and my arm. I used to have a hole from a stomach tube. It looked like a 2nd bellybutton

    The scar I have now was originally so keloid that I had plastic surgery to fix it. While it isn’t a purple or thick… it is still 1/2 wide.

    I never though of naming my scars. But all previous boyfriends and husband got the scar warning: WARNING I AM FLAWED THERE IS A HUGE SCAR ON MY STOMACH… YOU CAN’T AVOID IT. Of course they never cared… I have BIG BOOBs, such a great distractor.

  • veronicamarcettidimick

    Jeez. I have visible scars and people don’t freak out and ask me about them. One is from an animal biting my face when I was young and one is from my very own suspicious mole that had to be removed and required a lot of thick stitches. Turns out I am not a “healer” and the incision looks practically fresh after 10 years.

  • napachick

    I am covered in scars… they help define the awesome that is me. I was born with clubbed feet and have had 30 surgeries to rebuild and then repair them. They’ve also taken bone out of both of my hips. After a botched tubal ligation – I’ve had 3 hernia repairs on the stomach AND I had a malignant melanoma on my back so I get to rock a 6 inch scar from that one.

    More than anything, these scars give me a chance to share my stories – which are always ALWAYS funny.

  • 1katiem

    I think maybe that’s what I had on my shoulder. I had a little blemish or something on my shoulder that I picked at (gross, I know) that ended up protruding from my shoulder. The more I messed with it, the more it grew. Eventually it was like I had a nose on my shoulder. I saw a dermatologist about it and she said it was nothing to worry about, just a little scar tissue and that it could be shaved off. Since I didn’t want to PAY to have it SHAVED off, I just put a bandage and some antibiotic ointment on it every day, and after a few weeks, it was flush with the rest of my skin. I still have a lighter spot on my shoulder, but no more extra nose.

  • emmiegrn

    As it turns out I just got back from the plastic surgeon’s office where we discussed the two keloid scars on my back that are the result of a regular ol’ cancer screening removal of moles. Yeah, real sexy. He just finished injecting a bunch of steroids into them and basically turned me into a pin cushion. Hopefully this will reduce the size of them and we still may go for the re-excision route along with some (OMG!) mild RADIATION! to keep the scarring from coming back.

  • holly1018

    OMG, OMG, I get them too! Mine are from sunburns from living in the Caribbean. (Wear your sunscreen peeps.) They make me soooooo self conscious! UGH! I have several on the back of each shoulder. I’ve had the steroid injections several times but they don’t last and I have to go back to get more AND they won’t give them to me pregnant or breastfeeding. Basically, I surrender to living with them, hoping I don’t get more and knowing my husband still loves me.

  • courtney.m

    oh I am so glad I finished eating my snack before I read those old posts about the other spots and saw their accompanying pictures.
    I have an awesome scar on my elbow from shattering a fish bowl. Yes, my elbow shattered a fish bowl.

  • JustLinda

    Funny, funny post.

    MOREMOREMORE I love your sense of humor. You seem more guarded these days than in days of yore and while I understand it, I still want moremoremore.

  • agablack

    That was fooking hilarious!

  • HappyFoxx

    My family uses the “bigger boat” reference all the time! LOL While I’m happy to see it in a Dooce post, I’m kind of sad that you need to include a video for reference so all the young whipper snappers know what you’re talking about.

  • ddee

    I’ll never forget when I went to my follow-up appointment a few days after wrist surgery. Because I would be wearing an external fixator for 6-10 weeks (Google for pics — it’s a lovely contraption), my incisions weren’t allowed to heal. The doc explained that I’d have some pretty good scars, and I casually replied, “that’s okay, I have a plastic surgeon.” His eyebrows shot up and he asked, “on retainer?” I laughed and said no, but a plastic surgeon had removed my melanoma a decade before.

    I never did get the plastic surgeon to “clean up” my scars. I kinda like ’em.

  • aslapintheface

    I also have chicken pox scars that look like somebody burned me with a lit cigarette – if only the scars that my parents caused were that easy to identify. 🙂

  • Jacquie

    Oh, bummer, I started to get excited that you were going to announce a wonder cure that I could buy online for just $29.99*!

    Yeah, I’ve heard of Keloids. They suck. Especially Vera, who lives right above my right boob.

    *plus my soul

  • stellans

    I have a good sized keloid scar on my right shoulder, due to the removal of a cyst when I was 15. The year I turned 40, I celebrated by having a tattoo done of a pretty white swan which used the keloid as part of its wing. It still looks good 15 years later, and I love not being so self-conscious of it.

  • rparton

    oh my word – “the valedictorian of keloids”. priceless.

  • aliceone

    Own those scars! They are like the lines we get as we age, marks of the life we’ve lived. And they are often a great story.

    Don’t buy into that airbrushed “perfection” that media would have you believe is our true nature. It isn’t. We all have bumps, lumps and imperfections. They make us unique and interesting.

  • PopCultureMaiden

    I’ve made up stories about fighting in WWII and each scar has a story about each battle I’ve been in. While they don’t each have a name, they’ve all got a story. I keep rotating the stories about the scar on my forehead, since it’s so visible a good deal of people ask me about it. Gotta rotate it out, keep the variety. :p

    I also just started a blog…

  • Essembee

    Haha! (To the bikini waxing comment)

    …that is all.

  • SerenityNOW

    Hehe. I feel you. Screw scars! I have a lumpy hematoma on my thigh as a souvenir from a car accident. It’s basically a big bruise that clotted. So, yeah. His name is Newman, would you like to meet him? He’s an annoying, plump neighbor of mine that likes to drop in unexpectedly. And I hate his guts!

  • gingela5

    I have a pretty gnarly scar on my calve from a shaving incident. Long story short–jagged razor, ripped out a huge chunk of skin and I was too lazy to go get it stitched up. It’s really, really pretty.

  • lra1381

    Ahh, yes, there’s a keloid party going on on my body – thanks to my lovely dermatologist and a funny thing called skin cancer. There’s a keloid-party-pooper who has decided to be anti-social and grow bigger and bigger on my right jawline while his friends are scattered out on my arms, back, and thighs.

    I’ve had some success (mostly on my thighs) using kenalog injections (once every 4-6 weeks) in conjunction with pulsed-dye laser treatments. A lot of the keloids on my thighs are now flat and skin-colored instead of raised and pink. Alas, my insurance no longer covers it, so I’ve stopped getting the treatments.

  • heymamas

    I have a small scar right about my left breast from when I had a calcification removed. I have the scar because they did the procedure with my breast in the mammogram machine {yeah, ouch} and I passed out from the pain, fell to my left and the needle came with me.

    Not fun.

    Sadie at heyMamas

  • Curiosity

    I still have a few winners left over from falling off my cart on a cement slide thing when I was around ten or so. Cart stopped. I did not. Thankfully I apparently managed to keep all of my weight on one tiny part of my knee and a perfectly circular patch of arm the whole way down (??).

    I also have two perfect cat scratch scars on my left breast from a sudden cat awakening in my pre-teen years. My husband thinks they’re kind of hot, though, so I don’t mind.

    (That little brown protruding skin tag thing on my neck, now,…not as hot.)

  • mycouchhascrumbs

    You do realize that as soon as I post this comment, I will be googling images of scars, right? I can’t help it, its kind of like when my Mom watches these videos of people popping and squeezing these huge pimples and boils over and over again while every one in the background screams and ducks for cover.
    I have two scars on my face. One is a hole like scar from when a dog bit me, I think I notice it more, because it is really small. The other is a scar from when I got poison ivy, ON MY FACE scar, that looks like a long indented scratch. When some one asks what it is and I tell them, they say no that cant be from that, it looks like a scratch. Why yes I know, but what you dont know is that I paid no attention to the doctor and my Mum and scratched the shit out of that particular itchy cluster of bumps. Really I dont mind them to much,unless Im on my period and happen to see them in the mirror, then watch out. I will be sad that they are there all damn day.

  • MillieK920

    I have a big ole keloid on my left shoulder from a mole removal back in high school. After much thoughtful consideration, as much as a group of 16 year olds can muster, my friends and I decided on “Gertie.”

  • mycouchhascrumbs

    and the first comment reminded me, how is Marlo?? I never comment, I found your site last year, and my god I love you. My son Jacob is just a month older than Marlo, and he was just recently very sick and I was worried it was RSV as well, turns out it wasn’t. I have started to email you about a certain post a million and one times, and lose my nerve every time. Just know that I wait for new posts and pictures often, you remind me to laugh and appreciate so much every single day with my two boys. Depression is a constant struggle in my whole family, and you just make it ok to be, well, broken. Thank you for that. Really.

  • J. Bo

    If we’re lucky to live long enough, we’re tagged by life. Some scars are visible; the really painful ones aren’t.

  • Maybe Next Week

    Kenny and I have been together for a few years now – he’s the opposite of a keloid (whatever that’s called) – a deep canyon on my back where a freckle used to be. At first I called him Angry Kenny, but he’s pretty well settled in now – he only bugs me occasionally to bring him snacks.

  • elegraph

    The only significant keloid of mine is my c-section scar. But I scar SO easily, and I hate it. My scars are the kind that are flat, but they’re forever these brown spots on my body. Wow, for people to be so bold as to exclaim, “Wow, what the hell happened to you??” Well, they need to keep their cakeholes shut. So rude.

  • barbara

    I got a keloid on my ear from a piercing. I was totally freaked out at first because I didn’t know what it was.

  • CataclysmicStar

    I am reminded of a “funny” story:

    I’m “bigger” (read: I am kind of like a less hairy Bigfoot) and the very visible stretch marks on the inside of my elbows started appearing in high school. One day in the middle of theater class, my most adored teacher was passing something out, and when he came by me, he stopped, looked at my arms, and, dead serious, asked, “Are you a cutter?” Not so great, since I am bipolar and at the time was not medicated, so I WAS a cutter – just not right there.

    I then got to explain to him in front of the class that they were stretch marks and they were there because I AM FAT, just in case the FATNESS wasn’t an indication of that already.

    It was absolutely mortifying.

  • Lynnal216

    I’ve heard that keloids were only something people of color get, but I know that’s not fact.
    My dad has many keloids (white man). In fact he has a really large one across his chest that a doctor tried to remove when it was a tiny little thing. But instead of it getting removed, it started growing and making more of a home for itself. It was maybe an inch before the doctor touched it, now about 20 year later it is at least 6 inches long & 4 inches wide…maybe even larger!
    I myself am lucky enough to have my fathers genes! After I had my gallbladder removed 2 years ago, I got 2 of my very own keloids…lovely! They are on the right side of my tummy…even if I had a flat belly I probably wouldn’t wear a two piece, thanks to my keloids.

  • GreenAntler

    My daughter was born a few weeks before Marlo. She has had two open heart surgeries. If I want to accomplish anything in life, it’s that she think of it as a badge of honor. Not something she needs to cover up.

  • stinkeroo

    Funny and well-written post. Could you change to to too as in “you do too”?

  • HappyFoxx

    GreenAntler : Amen to that. Thinking of your little one tonight…

  • Karyn

    I have an eight inch long scar that runs up the center of my stomach along with little staple scars on either side. I got this back when they used to have to cut people wide open for abdominal surgery. These days they make teeny cuts, fill you up with gas and stick their tools in through the holes. But when I was 16, I hit by a drunk driver, and while in the emergency room for that, I was told I needed immediate surgery on pancreas and spleen tumors unrelated to the car wreck. The accident saved my life, had I not been operated on until I had symptoms, I’d have been too far gone.

    The scar is jagged, uneven, didn’t heal well, and it horrifies me. I have never shown my stomach in public, have always worn a one piece, and I don’t wear tight shirts either, because my stomach is lumpy from the surgery. I’m currently at a beach where a large man has been parading around with his tan belly that has a similar scar. I am not able to feel so free. I think it’s a little different for women but maybe I’m just buying into that.

    I’m 16 years later and still not okay with it. But it’s pretty far down on my list of things I’m not okay with, so…

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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