What to Expect During the Healing Process: Branding
When you receive a branding from an artist at Miraculous Creations, we provide complete information about caring for your new brand. Here is the basic information you will need about what to expect as your brand heals.
A fresh brand is an open wound, so you should always wash your hands with a liquid antibacterial soap before touching your brand. Never allow your brand to get dirty, and do not allow anyone else to touch it while it heals other than someone helping you care for it on a body part you cannot reach.
A brand goes through three stages of healing. The first stage, in which the skin is still open and at the highest risk of infection, lasts up to two weeks. During the second stage, scabs will form and then fall off naturally. The brand will continue to heal for up to a year, and during this final stage you will see the skin settle and the color may change.
Your artist will apply an ointment and, in some cases, a bandage to your brand immediately after it is finished. Remove the bandage and wash the skin gently about an hour after receiving the brand, and do not apply another bandage at any time during the healing process. Your fresh brand needs to be exposed to the air to heal, so do not cover it with bandages or ointments.
During the first stage of healing (approximately the first 2 weeks), wash your brand gently, twice a day, using a mild antibacterial soap and your fingertips. The skin may feel sensitive or sore to the touch during this period, since a scab may not have formed yet. You may notice some white or yellow discharge from the brand; the discharge is lymph fluid, not pus, and is a normal part of the healing process. Do not apply any ointments, lotions, or scented soaps. Scented products may irritate the skin. Ointments and lotions are designed to soften the skin, reducing scar tissue, and since a brand is a design created with scar tissue, the effects of ointment are not desirable. After cleaning, allow the skin to air-dry, or pat it dry with a clean towel.
During the following week, your brand will begin to scab. To produce scar tissue, you need to keep the brand irritated without being infected. Continue to clean the brand with antibacterial soap twice a day. Once the scab has formed, you can use a washcloth or loofah, rather than your fingertips, to carefully clean the brand – the texture of these materials will irritate the brand and help it scab. Once the scabs fall off (usually within two or three weeks), clean the branded area the same way you clean the rest of your skin. No additional special treatment is required after that point.
Every person’s skin is unique, so every brand will heal differently. The goal of branding is to produce keloid tissue (firm, raised scar tissue) in a decorative shape. In general, the more melanin you have in your skin (the darker your skin tone is), the more easily you will produce keloid-type scarring. If you have pale skin, your brand may be flatter and lighter than a brand done on darker skin, but there are always exceptions to this rule. Your artist cannot control how your body will scar.
Try not to pick the scab off your brand. Irritating the scab will help it heal, but if you try to pull it off, you risk tearing the surrounding skin, which may permanently alter the shape of your brand and damage the design. Your brand may itch as it heals, due to scabbing and the re-growth of body hair in the surrounding area. Do not scratch the brand. Instead, you can rub it or slap it (with a clean hand) to reduce discomfort.
Do not expose the fresh or scabbed brand to sunlight. A brand is a controlled burn, and you can cause uncontrolled additional burning by exposing the brand to strong sunlight. Do not use sunblock on a fresh brand, as it can clog your pores and cause excessive irritation. Instead, make sure the brand is loosely covered with clothing if you go in the sun while it heals.
You can go swimming in the ocean while your brand is healing. Salt water will dry out the brand and help it scar. Avoid submerging your brand in bathwater, rivers or lakes, or chlorinated pools or hot tubs during the initial healing period. Do not soak it in any water for long periods of time.
If you have any questions or concerns about your brand, you are always welcome to consult with your branding artist at Miraculous Creations.