Branding is a process that has been used for centuries to mark people and animals. It involves burning the skin with hot or cold instruments to produce a permanent design. While the visual results may be comparable to those of a tattoo, the production process is quite different, making it a legal gray area. The type of marking used on cattle is strike marking, but it is made in such a way that a unique design is made in one piece and placed on the skin.
This has been known in English since 1541, and is derived through the medieval French cauterizer from the late Latin cauterizare to burn or mark with a hot iron, the same from the Greek kahetzee, kauteriazein, from kätkauter burning or marking iron, from kaein kaiein to burn. The healing process for brands usually lasts at least a year. Aside from the pain of the marking procedure, during the healing process, the marked area will be extremely sensitive and sore. If the mark is on a part of the body that flexes, it can cause the wound to rupture during movement. Healing marks go through some stages, which vary in length and ends from person to person.
A tick will first form a scab, which can last anywhere from a few weeks to just over a month. At this stage, the appearance of the mark is a bright red raised scar, which slowly becomes lighter than normal skin tone. This phase lasts about twelve months and scar tissue may rise a little higher during this time. The multi-punch mark divides the design into many smaller sections about an inch long, shorter if the mark has smaller details. The Cautery brand uses modern tools and technology, such as welders and lasers, to apply the mark.
The brand should be washed with antibacterial soap twice a day and rubbed with a toothbrush in the direction of the mark. The history of body branding dates back to ancient times when Greeks and Romans marked their slaves to show ownership. In the 18th century, cold marking (or marking with cold irons) became the way to nominally inflict punishment on higher-ranking prisoners. According to the Statute of Vagabonds (154) under King Edward VI, vagabonds and gypsies were ordered to be marked with a large V on their chest and fighters with an F as fraying makers; slaves who fled were marked with an S on their cheeks or foreheads. Over time, red-hot iron marks were gradually replaced by tattoo boards; offenders were first marked on the forehead and cheeks, then on the back and arms. Marking is painful and humiliating for the victim, especially when done with a marking iron, and can also be a form of punishment and psychological submission for prostitutes. When considering body branding, it's important to remember that depending on the temperature of the marking iron, age of the animal, cover of hair etc., you only need to burn hair and outer layer of skin.
A mark that is too deep will cause bleeding and will take longer to heal. Unlike tattoos that can be removed with laser surgery or piercings that can heal, brands are permanent.