Scarification Part 2: Branding

Scarification can be created by using many different methods. Branding is one of the most common methods used in creating a scarification body modification. There are different ways branding can be done by a professional.

STRIKE BRANDING: Strike branding is commonly used in livestock branding but practitioners of scarification sometimes use strike branding to create the body art scar. Heating a piece of metal up to the point that it burns the skin with generally second degree burns is how strike branding is done.  Although it is easier to have the design made out of a single piece of metal then heated and pressed on at once, the scar appears better in custom designs done using smaller metal sections with multiple burns. Strike branding does not leave the best scarring because sometimes the scar can be inconstant and the outside tissues surrounding the body modification are damaged causing a “spread” look when healed.

COLD BRANDING: Far less used and known then strike branding, cold branding or freeze branding has been done in the world of body modifications. Liquid nitrogen is the key element used in cold branding; it freezes the metal instead of heating it up to cause a burn. The outcome of cold branding is much like strike branding, except that when the hair grows back it will be white.

CAUTERY BRANDING: Cautery branding uses cautery iron equipment to burn the skin to create the body art modification. Cautery branding is the least used of all the branding methods.

LASER BRANDING: Most commonly used for scarification is laser branding. Laser branding or electrosurgical branding uses electricity to cut and burn the skin. This type of branding gives the professional more control over the overall design of the body modification. The professional can use laser branding to control somewhat how the modification scars over by changing the depth and damage done to the tissues. The electrosurgical device that is used for this type of branding not just burns the skin, it vaporizes it. With the skin being vaporized at a quick rate it causes less damage to the surrounding tissues which in turn makes the overall healing process less painful and much quicker than with strike branding. There are lasers that are used to remove tattoos or body hair; these types of lasers are not the same as an electrosurgical laser. The tool used in laser branding is much like the tool used by arc welders. An electric current flowing through electrodes to the “pen” type device creates the burn on the skin. Laser branding is a much better method for very detailed art work then strike branding.

For any kind of information on body modifications, keep glued to The Chain Gang blog

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