Hot strike brands go through two stages of healing. The first stage is the raw wound which then scabs and re-scabs over a period of 2 to 6 weeks and the second stage is during the period of scar tissue forming which can be as short as a few months or as long as a year depending on the depth and size of the brand.
During the first healing stage, you must keep the area clean and avoid such things as swimming in public baths and jacuzzis. Never touch the area with dirty hands or allow other people to touch it. Don’t be tempted to pick off the scabs before they feel ready. Wear clothes that have natural fibers but don’t wear a wooly jumper directly onto the brand because minute fibers will stick and even embody themselves in the brand. Because a brand is a 3rd degree burn the skin has has been destroyed. Until the brand has formed hardened scabs, your bodies immunity to infection has been compromised and so it is crucial you protect the burn from outside elements. Use all common sense and don’t expose yourself to unnecessary risks.
I have heard people say ‘allow the brand to become infected because it forms a better scar’ I would strongly advise against this. Brands that become infected often lose their definition and scarring can extent beyond the original intended area.
Clean the brand twice a day with boiled warm water. Avoid all soaps including anti bacterial soaps for the first week. Always make sure to wash and rinse your hands thoroughly before cleaning the brand. If there is any clear or yellowish discharge then pat it with a clean paper towel otherwise Leave the brand to dry naturally. A 3rd degree burn is dry and should not weep. If it does it means you have a second degree burn. If the brand does weep then you need to wrap it in cling film or a lint free burn dressing.
Some branders will use peroxide to agitate the brand and although peroxide will thoroughly clean the area, it will be painful and it could interfere in the eventual scaring process. I personally would not recommend this. Neither would I suggest using aloe vera gel on the open wound as this could contaminate the area and because aloe vera has such good healing properties in it, it could effect the eventual result.
For the first few days the brand is going to look inflamed and angry. The direct hit is a third degree burn but the radiating heat will create 1st or even 2nd degree burns to surrounding tissue. 1st and second degree burns are non scarring but can feel uncomfortable. A clean cold pack often relieves any discomfort.
Once the surface area has sealed over, the danger of infection is far less great and you will be able to clean the brand in the shower. You can now start treating it like normal skin because new skin will be forming underneath and so protecting you from infection.
As the scabs harden and start to loosen you can start to pick them off. Picking them should never feel painful or make the brand bleed but you do need to irritate this point of the healing process if you want good scarring. Do this with well scrubbed fingernails or a clean loofah sponge. You will start to get mild itching around the brand when it reaches this stage.
Your brand will take a year to finish scarring and depending on your skin type you may scar dramatically or have very faint scarring. It also depends on what part of the body you have your brand. Fatty areas such as the thigh and buttocks or areas of soft skin tend to spread and produce less defined scarring. Muscle toned areas such as the shoulder blades, arms and chest and the calves of your leg tend to have clearer and more defined scarring.
If your friend has the same scar in the same place at the same time, her scar will probably look very different to yours. There is no guaranteed outcome with branding.
Dont brand if…
- You are pregnant,
- breast feeding,
- have a heart condition,
- any immune system disorder,
- about to be admitted to hospital,
- have recently or about to have extensive dental treatment,
- on antibiotics,
- any other “under the weather’ condition.
Dont brand these areas…
- The spine,
- above the shoulders,
- over bony areas,
- over visible veins.
Be aware that fatty or fleshy areas such as the breasts, buttocks or stomach and thighs will often not give good results. Areas such as the shoulder blade, arms, chest and calfs of the leg usually produce more defined scaring.