Branding



  Branding Info | Branding Links

Branding Information
 

What is Branding and how is it done?
Branding is the process where you take something white hot (usually some piece of metal in some particular shape) and press it into your flesh so that it makes a serious burn and (later) a permanent scar. Branding is dangerous, but so is driving a car.

Most of the branding's fall into one of two categories...
          # Rite of passage
            # Punishment
 

Most of the rites of passage involved branding someone with a design on entry into puberty. A lot of tribal people have puberty initiation that involve something like scarification or tattooing.

In full-scale branding, the iron is heated hot enough, and applied long enough, that the resulting wound is a third degree burn, which destroys the nerve endings and doesn't hurt as much as more minor burns. However, areas that have been third-degree burned never regain sensitivity. It will make a silver scarred area in the shape of the third degree burn, due to destruction of the entire dermis layer of the skin. The surrounding skin will eventually fill in areas that haven't been to badly damaged, but that takes years.

The keys to successful branding are:
 

The brander's skill at judging correct temperature
How long the steel is held to the skin
Proper pressure
Placement
People's skin types ( which differ greatly).

Many African American fraternities have a long tradition of branding new pledges as an initiation rite. The brand is usually in the shape of one of the fraternity's greek letters, and is meant to be visible for life. The Rev. Jesse Jackson has such a brand, as does Emmit Smith of the Dallas Cowboys.

Smith's brand (an Sigma on his left bicep) is visible in most photographs of him in uniform. The cover of the 25 January 1993 issue of Sports Illustrated shows his brand.

Potential problems with self branding!

Two brothers, age 16 and 17, were drinking beer with friends when they decided to be branded. They used a chrome plated paper clip with one end forced into a piece of wood (for a handle).  They heated the paper clip with a butane lighter and pressed it against their upper arms when it was glowing orange.

They both were brought into the ER by their parents because their arms were very red and inflamed. At first glance, it appeared as an early infected burn. However, it was determined that both boys were allergic to the bits of chrome plating that were left in their skin. The paper clips were plated or coated with a flaky metallic shiny coating (which may or may not be chromium.) After a course of antibiotics, they both needed the bits of metal removed from their skin --a difficult and uncomfortable procedure.



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Tattoo.About.com - Great body modification site.  Links to tons of other sites.


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