Do you know why many people have a small scar on their left arm? It appears as a result of the smallpox vaccination, which was used before the 70s.

In fact, doctors used a Vaccinia virus to boost up the immune system, which will keep people protected from the Variola virus, which leads to smallpox. Smallpox is a deathly disease that caused a scarring rash and killed many people.


After the smallpox vaccination, blisters start to form, which later develop a crust that heals in a few weeks. Finally, a small scar remains on the arm. A bifurcated needle was used by the doctors, which was dipped in the solution of Vaccinia.

The person’s arm was poked several times, and every time the skin was broken, the vaccine was interjected in the skin, which led to blistering. For this reason, the scars are quite larger.


A tiny swelling occurred on the vaccinated place which lasted from 6 – 8 hours. After that, the swelling disappeared. After 6 – 8 weeks, another swelling, like a bite of a mosquito, appears on the arm.

It grows slowly and develops a nodule, which breaks down and releases fluid and creates an ulcer. Even though the ulcer fades away, the scar remains. In some people, the healing process recurred from 2 – 3 times.


After the 70s, smallpox disappeared in the West, so the vaccine was not used anymore. If a person visited a county where the virus was active, the person has to been vaccinated. The Variola virus disappeared entirely in the 80s, so there the smallpox vaccine was not longer needed.