Human branding is the process in which a mark, usually a symbol
or ornamental pattern, is burned into the skin of a living person,
with the intention that the resulting scar makes it permanent. This
scarification is performed using a hot or cold iron. It is done in
our present time with consent as a form of body modification, and
historically, as a punishment or imposition of masterly rights over
an enslaved, or condemned person. The history of body branding is
the darkest of all the forms of body modification. Brands were used
as a mark of ownership over slaves, not all that
Today, body branding is gaining popularity, but the risks are great for those who do not know what they are doing. People attempting to do brandings on themselves after seeing someone else do it are risking very painful and permanent damage to their bodies. Using materials such as bent coat hangers and paperclips to do branding is incredibly dangerous, due to the fact that these materials contain plated metals, which can chip off and imbed into the skin, causing metal poisoning, and potentially a painful surgery to have them removed.
Body branding is the art of creating decorative scars through the use of extreme heat in three forms; strike, cautery, and moxabustion.
Strike branding is heating up small strips of stainless steel and applying them to the skin in a designated pattern. This form of branding is what most people tend to think of when the word "branding" is mentioned.
Electrocautery is performed by using a Thermo Cautery Unit, the same thing you would see in a hospital's invasive surgery ward. The medical application of this machine is to stop bleeding by cauterization during invasive surgical procedures so the patient does not bleed to death on the table. This unit heats up to approximately two thousand degrees Fahrenheit. At that temperature, it creates an instant third degree burn. Designs can be a little more intricate with this method, and curved lines are a whole lot easier!
Electrosurgery or Hyfrecator Branding – This form of branding uses a device which passes electrical current directly through the patients skin to, in effect, burn the skin. Several devices and setups are available for this type of branding and is very similar to Electrocautery.
Moxabustion is placing incense on the skin and allowing it to burn until extinguished in the flesh.
Healing Time and Care
The healing process of the brands could be a little difficult and hard. It takes time. It can take as long as 6 to 12 months to completely heal a brand. Healing time and final appearance of the scar will vary greatly from person to person. The best way to heal a brand is to just leave it alone. Applying general antiseptic ointment and keeping the area clean. Be aware that a brand is a third degree burn and can easily get an infection if not taken care of
Because it requires breaking the skin barrier, branding may carry health risks, including infection and allergic reactions. Modern branding artists reduce such risks by following universal precautions, working with single-use items, and sterilizing their equipment after each use. Infections that can theoretically be transmitted by the use of unsterilized tattoo equipment or contaminated ink include surface infections of the skin, herpes simplex virus, tetanus, staph, fungal infections, some forms of hepatitis, tuberculosis, and HIV.
Things you might want to know:
Branding lines aren't a product like tattoo piece of art. There would be a few scars, that could migrate and can heal inconsistently leaving some areas more pronounced then others. Brands an be tattooed over but not until the scar has healed completely, this is usually at least 12 months from the initial brand. If a brand does not heal the way you want it to you can always get it re-branded once all the tissue has healed completely.