Scars are accumulated over a lifetime. From the faded, skinned knees of childhood to precise surgical scars from later in life, they make up both small and important stories from our lives. Sure, they represent healing and the challenges we've overcome, but they can also be a source of embarrassment, shame, or pain. And, in a world where photo retouching rules, the pores, blemishes, and scars that adorn so many women are often forgotten.
Not every scar represents trauma or disease, but some do. Others are just the normal result of living a life where shit happens. We slip on ice, we get bitten by spiders, we burn ourselves, or we accidentally bite ourselves in our sleep. Ahead are all of these stories, from 28 women — and images of the scars they got along the way.
*This photo series depicts scars from healed self-harm injuries.