Electrocautery Branding and Tattoos

Sunday June 3rd, 2012 @ 5:35 PM

Filed under: Branding

With Electrocautery Branding, the scar is typically flat / pink. I was asked recently how difficult it would be to tattoo over such a brand, but was unsure how to answer for sure. I see multiple questions asked about raised scars or brands with raised ridges, but don’t see a reference to ECU branding cover ups. I know the skin layer there is smaller than normal skin, but otherwise, what else should one need to know about tattooing over this type of brand?

The tissue in an ecu or tcu brand can be very flat like you mentioned. In these cases the scar tissue tends to be softer and more of a paper texture than a bumpy texture with keloided tissues. Tattooing over this skin is similar to tattooing over stretch marks. Its pretty easy to blowout and have holidays.
The main issue is the length of time this tissue is actually healing and distorting, in some cases this can take up to two years to settle down. Hope that helps.

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Posted by Ryan Mills | Permalink | Comments

Remove or cover a brand?

Wednesday May 23rd, 2012 @ 7:45 AM

Filed under: Branding, Tattoos

A friend of mine got branded very early in what is now a failed relationship. She wants to be rid of it in some fashion. Here is the situation.

The brand is a letter, about 4″ high by 2.5″ wide. It is a keloid about a half inch across, raised about an 1/8″. It s just a year old. It still itches every day.

She wants a covering tattoo yesterday at the latest. One concern I have is that if it is itching, it is still healing and not yet completely stable. I have seen some folks say wait a year, others say two years.

Also, I am encouraging her to consult with a plastic surgeon to see if it might be at least reduced. Any thoughts on keloid reduction/elimination? She has an older keloid that she finally gave up on and tatted over. She is happy with that result.

Any insights would be much appreciated.

That’s a very difficult call without a picture of the branding and the exact extent of the scar tissue. I would most likely suggest that they seek a doctor who can administer steroid injections to reduce the raised effect of the scar before getting it tattooed.

Alternatively they can also massage pure vitamin E oil into the area as a daily routine to soften up the raised tissue and return it to a more normal colour.

Itching the scar will also make the situation worse as it will just make the scar raise and itch even more!

I think perhaps the first step would be to chat to the prospective tattoo artist first and see what they think about the design choice, placement and height of the scar. Many experienced artists will be able to work around nearly any kind of scar to give a lovely end result.

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Posted by Joeltron | Permalink | Comments

Palm Branding

Tuesday May 15th, 2012 @ 4:43 PM

Filed under: Branding

For the longest time I’ve wanted to have a bass clef permanently placed on my body. However, because of it’s odd shape, the placing of it has been my hardest decision. I’d like it to be branded.

In my mind, the palm of one’s hand would be the ideal place for it. After much searching, however, I’ve not been able to find an answer as to whether a branding in such a location would heal correctly. Has this ever been done with success?

Fishing through old unanswered questions today and this one caught my attention.

I have branded a few palms and they just heal too damn fast to scar. You’re much better off picking a different spot to do it that will actually scar.

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Posted by Ryan Mills | Permalink | Comments

Calf Bran Aftercare? (To care or not to care)

Monday May 7th, 2012 @ 3:03 AM

Filed under: Branding

Firstly I have to say BME is an invaluable source of information to those who currently have, or are looking to get body modifications of any kind and thank you guys for contributing to it.

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I had a ring branded (electrocautery)around my calf 4 days ago and was advised by the artist to follow the LITHA (Leave It The Hell Alone) theory. I have noticed that the wound on the outside/back (the bits that move most while walking) is slightly wider than on the front. As this was not the case when the burn was fresh I was thinking I may need to start taking action to ensure the healed band is the same width all the way around.

So far, I’ve been cleaning with sterile saline (and sterile gauze) and applying pressure in opposite directions, (trying the ’stretch’ the wound at the front) twice a day. Is this enough to counteract the ‘natural’ stretching effect day to day life is having on the back of my calf?

I have been thinking about beginning to soak the wound in order to remove all the scab on a daily basis to encourage a build up of scar tissue. This is something I did for my first piece of scarification (a band cut into the same leg around 2 years ago) but am hesitant to repeat with my brand due to my branding artist specifically saying “Do not get the wound wet, It’ll make the scab porous” which makes me think that in doing so I’ll be creating a nice home for unwanted bacteria- hello unwanted infection :S

So will the ’stretching’ technique do me any good?

If I go ahead with the scab soaking, should I use warm water or add salt to it? Should I bandage the wound once de-scabbed? Most of the advice I’ve read says I should air dry the brand.

Thank you for any advice/suggestions you may have :)

Be careful using saline solution when healing a scar, saline is made to dry out a wound and make it heal FASTER - you want the opposite to even up the scar.

Rather than just ’stretching’ the tissue (which should work, but may be inconsistent), I would suggest to buy a new soft toothbrush and scrub the area in the shower (to make the scabs moist) of the bits that are thinner.

This can be done while healing and even afterwards to thicken it up. You could also use a (clean!) toothpick to ‘etch’ the center of the thinner spots to make them want to break open more, however you shouldn’t do it too deep (or near the edges) or you will distort the line.

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Posted by Joeltron | Permalink | Comments

Seeking experienced scarification artist!

Friday May 4th, 2012 @ 6:51 PM

Filed under: Branding, Scarification

I’ll be in Texas til December and this fall, would like a few of my own designs either branded or scarred/keloids with tattoing. Willing to travel to nearby states also will return to my homestate of Oregon. I prefer the thin clean neat lines, not too raised or “fat and puffy”. Yes, I am very picky! Thanks in advance for your recommendations ;)


Well Amy you happen to be in luck because not only am I in Texas, but I am also an experienced branding/scarification artist. I’m not here to promote just myself of course. I would also recommend http://industrialprimitives.com if you are in the Austin area. If you are in the Houston area http://www.facebook.com/kcirlive would be a good choice.

Also you should keep in mind that alot of really great scarification artists travel and with the amount of events/conventions we have here in Texas it’s not hard to find your favorite artist. You just missed out on SUSCON here in Dallas, quite a few body modification artists were in town for that.

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Posted by Ryan Mills | Permalink | Comments

Under toe branding

Wednesday May 2nd, 2012 @ 10:10 AM

Filed under: Branding

Dear BME,

Will a scar tissue under the toe fade away as quickly as tattoo will at that place?

One artist told me it will dissapear after a very short time due to intense friction. I was thinking to get a classic under toe smiley, but is there a way to make it last forever?

and what about the after care? how much pain in the ass is it gonna be to take care of a brand at that spot?


Hands and feet are very bad locations for scarification as the tissue regenerates VERY fast, causing the scar to heal too quick (even with aggressive after care) and once healed it will lighten incredibly fast also.

Your best bet would be to get the design tattooed, perhaps in a maroon/red to make it look like a scar. Even then, it should only be done by an artists that has done this sort of tissue with success before (healed photos are a MUST). I’ve had my palm tattooed for a number of years, without any touch-ups required by an experienced artist at this sort of stuff.

It is going to be a painful spot, however because it is so small - you should be able to handle it if you just relax and hold onto something tight. :)

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Posted by Joeltron | Permalink | Comments

Accidental Branding

Monday January 31st, 2011 @ 2:00 PM

Filed under: Branding

So I am a fire hula hooper, and on new years eve when I was doing a performance, I accidentally branded myself on my stomach with a piece of metal from my hoop. The burn blistered straight away, and came out in a really clean cut shape.

The thing is that I love it, the pattern is really excellent and I would like to keep it there as best possible.

Any suggestions on how to take care of it/make sure that it scars in the shape to the best of my ability?


Scarification and branding aftercare will definitely differ between artist to artist.
Keeping the burn clean and avoiding ointments will be beneficial.
Many artists I’ve talked to seem to lean towards the “Leave it Alone” method.

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Posted by Lexci Million | Permalink | 4 Comments


Monday March 22nd, 2010 @ 11:53 PM

Filed under: Branding

Basically, my girlfriend wants me to brand her in the same way that one might brand cattle.

My only problem with this is that I don’t have a clue how to go about doing this safely and effectively. I don’t know how to heat the metal, what type of metal to use, how long to apply the brand, how thick the brand should be, etc. I kind of need a crash course in amateur branding.

It is important to us both that I be the one who brands her, so unfortunately paying a professional is out of the question.

If you don’t have a clue to go about something safely and effectively, than reading a quickly prepared “how to” on a website’s Q&A will likely not make you any more prepared.

My advice would be to seek out a professional branding artist and explain your situation and see if they can give you some real time pointers.

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Posted by Shawn Porter | Permalink | 6 Comments

Splotches in Cautery Brand

Tuesday August 12th, 2008 @ 4:19 PM

Filed under: Branding

I have a 7 month old cautery brand on my forearm, down by my wrist. It has healed to the point where it has all turned white.

Except for a few random purple splotches. Sometimes they’re really evident, sometimes they’re almost gone. They are also not open wounds, or raised up - they’re flush with the rest of the scar.

My best guess is that blood pooled underneath the scar?

I’m going to see my artist ASAP, in two weeks, to see what he thinks, but I just wanted to get another opinion.

I have a five-year-old cautery brand on MY forearm, funnily enough, and it looked exactly the same for awhile during the healing! By the time it was a 12-18 months old, it had pretty much all settled down into the same colour of white scarring. I’m really not sure why it healed so unevenly - like you, there was no rhyme or reason to it, just the odd splotch of high-coloured scar tissue amidst the rest of the white scar tissue - but if I had to guess, I’d say yours will probably settle down over time, too. Seven months is really not long enough to assume that your scar will look like that forever, it’s pretty early days yet! :)

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Posted by Lori St.Leone | Permalink | 2 Comments


Wednesday July 30th, 2008 @ 10:40 PM

Filed under: Branding

I’ve had my heart set on getting a fairly large branding on my back. It will mainly be on my spine. This may be a silly question, but I suppose it’s better to ask than not. Is there a chance such a branding might affect my spine in any way?

Other than the standard risks of branding- not really. You MAY have mobility issues depending on placement and how the brand heals, but there’s no danger in damaging the spine if you go to a professional.

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Posted by Shawn Porter | Permalink | Comments

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