If someone has any larger scars (think e.g. major surgery, abscesses,…), is this something that could get flagged on millimeter wave airport security scanners? I remember reading about a breast cancer survivor who set such a scanner off, for example, but at the same time there was speculation for similar cases that it was the reconstruction, not the scars themselves, that caused the issue; on the other hand, an answer talking about the false positive rate of millimeter wave scanners here mentions folds in clothing as a source of false positives, which makes me think raised scar tissue, which might be thicker, could cause similar issues. So, is there anything conclusive on whether scars on their own cause false positives on millimeter wave scanners?

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    I would suggest that "detected" (i.e. by whatever kind of scanner is used) and "actioned" (i.e. by security policy or a zealous AI) are two distinct questions. Jan 26 at 8:14

1 Answer 1


I have a scar (or better said a series of different scars out of the same event, I got burned and have skin transplanted on the worst parts, blister scars on other parts) on my shoulder area.
5 cm / 2" wide on the arm, going down about 15 cm / 6" and more than double that on the front of the body. Going from flat as normal skin to about 6 mm / 1/4" thick.

No official has ever shown any interest in it, whatever the checking method.
They do pat me down when I do wear activity trousers with several layers of pockets.

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