Do You Know the Truth Behind the Small Scar on the Upper Left Arm and Its Real Meaning?


If you have noticed, some people have a small round scar on the upper part of their left arm. In case you wonder what is it and why those people have it, here is the truth behind it: the scar is a result of a smallpox vaccination, which was very popular in the 70s. Doctors vaccinated people with a live Vaccinia virus to provoke an immune response which will save the people from the virus called Variola that caused smallpox.


When the vaccination was completed, blisters occurred which were later developed into a crust and took couple of weeks to heal. At the end, just a small round scar was left. To deliver the vaccine, the doctors used a bifurcated needle which was previously dipped into the Vaccinia solution. The doctors poked the person’s arm several times and every time when the needle entered the skin, a small amount of the vaccine was injected, causing blistering.

What Happens after the Insertion of the Vaccine?

There is a small swelling occurring on the vaccinated skin part which lasts for up 8 hours. Then, the swelling disappears and after 8 weeks, additional swelling occurs which is similar to a bite of a mosquito. The swelling starts to grow and creates a nodule that opens up and releases a fluid, thus creating an ulcer that heals pretty soon, however, it lefts a scar.

After the 70s

After the 70s, in the West part of the America the smallpox disappeared and for that reason, the vaccine wasn’t injected anymore, unless a person intends to visit a country in which the virus was still active. The Variola virus, in the 80s was eradicated from the whole human population and the need for smallpox vaccines reduced to minimum.


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