Branding is a form of scarification that occurs when a heated material is applied to the skin to create a serious burn that will become a scar. The amount of scarring will vary, but in the end, the result should be a pattern of thick raised lines that are slightly lighter than the skin color.

The process is historically known to Europe as a form of punishment. An ‘S’ was branded to the cheek of English criminals and on the shoulder of French criminals.  Branding was used an an effective identifier for law-breakers.

Do not get a brand if you are not 100% sure about it. There are removal techniques that involve using lasers, but removal is very expensive and not always effective.

There are different types of branding.

  • Cold branding is performed when using liquid nitrogen. Basically, iron is bathed in liquid nitrogen and pressed to the flesh. This method is most commonly used with cattle and horses.
  • Electrocautery branding is used to create intricate patterns. A cautery pen is used for small branding projects.
  • Electrosurgery branding is generally compared to arc welding; high frequency electric current is passed through the skin, and in some cases, depending on location, sparks may fly. This method of branding offers precise control over the depth and nature of the tissue damage without causing damage to the surrounding area.
  • Strike branding is the most common and the traditional form of branding, where a piece of heated metal is applied to the skin to burn the tissue, forming a scar. This can be done with either a single strike or a series of strikes.

Healing A Brand

A healing brand goes through a few different phases of healing. First, the brand will scab up and look dark and nasty. When the scab starts to heal, there will be a bright pink scar, which will fade to a light pink and then to a color slightly lighter than normal skin color. Some people may have darker scars, depending on how the body heals.

Throughout the aftercare process, you may want to choose one of two methods.

1. The LITHA (Leave It The Heck Alone) method is commonly chosen. This method is self-explanatory. The brand should be left alone, and the wound will heal fairly consistent throughout. With this method, keep in mind that everyone heals differently, and due to genetics, the scarring may be fairly minimal.

2. The irritation method, is again self-explanatory. Pick at the scab, rub it, and irritate it. This method will increase the amount of scarring, but it will most likely result in inconsistent