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

Scarification: Part 1 of 3

There are different spectrum’s of body modifications from the not so extreme like body piercings to the way extreme like scarification. Scarification is considered on the extreme side of body modifications because of its nature in intentionally scaring the body using different methods. The people who chose to do this use their human body as a live canvas to display a piece of artwork, thus scarification is not considered harming oneself.

 

In many cultures for many of years scarification has been used for spiritual or rite of passage purposes. In modern day cultures, some people still practice this ritual for spiritual or rite of passage purposes but most people use it as a pronounced statement about themselves. There are far more tattoo artist than scarification specialist because tattooing is more popular then scarification. Finding a professional to do the scarification procedure is very important in the end result of this body modification.

 

The point of scarification is to create a scar on the body that will be there for life in which ever design was picked out. The scar can be created using many different methods by a professional. The 3D raised effect that scarification causes is best achieved by the correct kind of scar tissue. Hypertrophic scarring is more common in most people. The best kind of scarring that would give the best raised look would be keloid scarring. This type of scaring does not happen for everyone, it has a lot to do with ones genetics and skin tone. Darker pigmented skin usually heals with a keloid scar. As with any other body modification, the healing process is the most important in getting the perfect body art scar. Once the professional has done their part in the scarification process, it is up to the body to create the scar. Most professionals will recommend irritating the wounds to help create a larger more raised scar.

 

The longer the wound is unable to heal completely the better the scar will be. It is still recommended to keep the area cleaned to avoid infection. Irritating the area can be done by removing the scab that is formed during the healing process, by either picking it or rubbing it off completely. Some people use chemical agents to help irritate the open wound to make the scar more predominate. Toothpaste and citrus juice are the most commonly used irritant. Even though it is recommended to irritate the open wound to make a better scar, it is okay to allow the scarification to heal naturally on its own. With this type of body art modifications, infection is not uncommon. Keeping the wound cleaned, bandaged, and allowing to heal on its own is the safest way to prevent infection from happening. The scar that is created from the body naturally healing the body modification will not be nearly as impressive compared to irritating the wound to help create a better scar. The healing time will vary from person to person but it can take up to six months to completely heal a scarification the correct way.

 

Make sure to keep reading The Chain Gang Blogs for the continuation of this subject; methods scarifications are done.

 

Scarification Part 3: Cutting

Another way to do a scarification body modification is cutting of the skin. This cutting style is not to be confused with self cutting to deal with emotional pain; scarification cutting is only done for cosmetic purposes. Surgical blades are used to cut the skin in this type of scarification. When the professional uses the sterilized surgical blade to create a body modification, the lines are generally thin. The thin cuts that were done might not leave the desired scar the person was hoping for. Removing a portion of the skin in the body art is usually required to create a larger more predominate scar. Depending on how big the art piece being done is and how big of a scar is being desired, will determine how much skin will need to be removed.

 

Other Scarification Methods

 

Skinning is usually part of the cutting method in scarification because of the different sizes of designs and the size of the scar that is trying to be achieved. A surgical blade is used to make the outside lines where the skinning is going to happen in the art design and then the skin is peeled away, leaving an open wound to scar over.

 

Hatching is another method used to create a scar; it’s much like skin removal or skinning. The motion an artist uses to sketch a picture is the same motion used in hatching, a surgical scalpel is used instead of a drawling utensil. The skin is then removed.

 

Along with cutting, there are other techniques that are used to create the perfect scar. One of the most heard of is ink rubbing. After the cutting of the scarification has been done some body art enthusiast take a sterile coloring agent, usually tattoo ink and rub it into the open wounds. As the healing process begins, the ink remains in the skin. It is important not to pick the scabs because it will pull the sterile coloring agent out. The end result of ink rubbing maybe very disappointing. Most people view this body modification as a shoddily done tattoo instead of a scarification.

 

Another techniques used along with cutting is Packing. Packing is done mostly in Africa. A diagonal incision is made and either a form of clay or ashes are placed inside the open wound. The natural healing process of the body will form a scar and slowly push the ash or clay out, leaving a bigger scar then without a substance in the cut. In the United States, it is not unheard of for people to use cigar ashes or ashes of a deceased loved one in the packing scarification process.

 

Abrasion is another process that can be done to do a scarification body modification. This method basically uses friction to remove layers of skin to create a scar. The friction needed to create this scar can be caused from using a tattoo machine without any ink, sandpaper, or a dermal tool tip to grind away the layers of skin. The type of scar that is usually left from abrasion is not as raised as other methods. Chemical abrasion can also be done to create a body modification, although this is a far less known and explored form of scarification.

 

Body piercing and modification needs a lot of care to prevent infections. H2Ocean Spray is the most effective product to cleanse and heal the external body piercings.

 

 

Popular Body Piercings and Their Healing Periods

What is the one thing that you really, really need to have if you are a piercing lover or considering getting one? Patience that’s what! There is no definite answer to how much the healing period is for you, but it is, in no way, a day or two. Different piercings have different healing time periods. While oral/facial piercings heal sooner, others take some time. It also depends on the piercee’s body and skin type and lifestyle.

The healing period is generally divided into two phases – Primary Healing and Full Healing. Full healing Continue reading