What Is It ?
Rigid Collodion – How To Scar, also called “Scarring Liquid”, is a viscous, yellowish substance widely used in theatrical makeup special effects to simulate shapes of wounds and scars.
It’s particularly popular for rendering The Joker cheek scars.
It works by wrinkling the skin as it dries, leaving a puked area very similar to healed scars. Colors can also be used to simulate a fresh wound. It’s usually applied with a brush in multiple coatings, each subsequent layer reinforcing the effect by deepening the scar.
Rigid Collodion is a solution of pyroxylin (nitrocellulose, or soluble gun cotton) in acetone and alcohol. As a consequence, it’s extremely flammable and potentially irritating. It must be handled in absence of ignition sources or excessive heat, in a well ventilated area, and caution must be taken to avoid inhalation of the fumes or contact with the eyes. It should be stored in a cool place, out of reach from children.
Before application on an extend area, it must be tested on a small spot of skin to evaluate allergic reactions or possible irritation. Removal instructions can be found here.
Collodion, in its flexible form, has several other usages, including protection and healing of actual wounds, acting as a plaster with constriction effect. It’s also widely used as “glue” for ECG/ECCM electrodes, and was the base of the first automobile lacquer paints and the dry plate photographic process.
There have been consumer reports of effectiveness of the rigid form in the reduction of verruca’s and warts, but there is no medical record confirming the information.
Rigid Collodion is mainly produced by two brands, Mehron (US) and Kryolan (Germany), and is widely available online and in makeup / costumes / Halloween shops. We have compiled a list of major resellers in the US, UK and Australia which can be found here.