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To Sam

HPV jabs?!

Hi!  So, in March all of the girls are getting their jabs to reduce their risk of cervical cancer. You get the jabs in a room with one other person but you aren't looking at that person, there are girls looking in through the door, too so they can see us and our arms, problem is that I've self-harmed for a while and I have noticable cuts and scars.
Do you have any ideas of how I could hide the cuts and scars?? I'm really worried about people seeing them and I don't know what the nurses will say about them. They go from my wrist to my elbow then there are a few scars on the inside of my upper arm, this is on my left arm and that's the arm that you get the jab in.
Please help, Sam, I'm quite worried.
Ask Sam


Hello, thank you for you letter; I can feel how concerned you are that someone will notice your cuts and scars.

One thought, left handed people are often invited to have the injection in their right arm. I am not medically trained but I wonder if you offered your right arm for the injection the nurse may just accept that you would prefer the injection in your right arm.

I do feel that at some point someone is going to notice, the summer is coming and it will be more obvious that you are wearing long sleeve clothes. Could this be an opportunity for you to talk to someone about what you are doing and see if they may be able to help you find a different way to cope with what's really upsetting you? How would you feel about talking to someone at school, someone you trust; maybe your teacher or the school counsellor. You could tell them what's happening and ask them to help you to get the injection without risking any of the other pupils seeing your arm. They may be able to offer you advice on how to deal with your self-harming and when you are ready to try to stop, they could support you.

If you would like to, you are very welcome to talk with one of our counsellors - you can call them on 0800 1111 (free call) or use the 1-2-1 chat on the web site. The other suggestion is, look at the self-harm message boards and see what other young people do to cover up their cuts and scars.

Take care,


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