How do I care for my branding?
If you have ever had a tattoo or piercing... totally disregard what you "think" you know on aftercare and remember that this is a 2nd and third degree burn and must be treated as such. The initial healing of a branding takes two-three weeks until the dermis, (outer layer of flesh), is healed over. Everyone varies, some people heal quicker than others and depending on how much you agitate the area. A branding takes approximately two years to fully heal. During this time the branding will turn from bright pink to whitish in color.
Caring for your branding: When a brand is first made, aloe will be applied to the affected area. Wash your brand 3-5 times a day with cold water & liquid antibacterial hand soap. (In addition sterilized saline solution may be used) Dry with clean towel. Once dry apply a liberal coating of ointment. (In my opinion antibacterial + pain relief is a great option ie. "Neosporin"). Bandage area with a nonstick, non-absorbent pad and keep covered for 2-3 weeks. *Please remember a fresh bandage after each cleansing!!!
After the brand seems healed you may switch to skin moisturizer or start including the use of aloe vera. Cocoa butter is great, Jajoba oil is phenomenal. Vitamin E is also great for burns & skin in general. While oral supplements help, nothing is quite as proactive as rubbing the actual oil onto the affected area. Use frequently throughout the day to keep the branding nice and moisturized, preferably three to five times daily for the first two months then begin weaning. A combination of all of these and others can be used, that much is up to you. Watch for allergies and stick with "what feels right" to you as we are all different.
While your branding is healing it is quite usual for it to hurt more a few days after the initial branding process. This is due to the nerve damage you have endured and will shortly subside, normally within a week. It is very common place for a brand to itch. Go ahead, scratch it! That's right, after all you are trying to acquire a scar. Some people find it soothing to soak the branding in water, this is perfectly acceptable just please make sure it is clean water. Chlorinated pool water & Ocean water is fine, avoid rivers and still water such as ponds as harmful bacteria is more prevalent in these areas.
Scabs: No not your worthless brother-in-law who wants to live rent free at your house and eat all of your food, real scabs will form on the affected area. They may raise much like a blister and fill with water or bodily fluid. When a scab is fully formed you may pick it off if you so choose. (Keep in mind picking at scabs will cause scaring and after all that is what we are trying to accomplish.) This is not necessary for the healing process but instead left up to the individual. Remember if you do choose to remove your scabs you MUST remove the entire scab! Otherwise the scar can heal unevenly. Oft times upon removing the scab there may be some bleeding, this is normal as well. If you find that you have removed most of the scab but some parts will just not come off try soaking the area in water for 20 minutes or so. The remaining scab should be easily removed.
There are so many other ways to take care of and agitate your branding. A mild yet cleanly form is to purchase a brand new tooth brush. (The harder the bristles/ the more abrasive.) After all scabs have been removed thoroughly agitate and brush the area with your tooth brush. Warm to hot water may be used as a mild lubricant or go raw. Clean when done, apply ointment, cover. Many of my clients report doing this while finishing with their shower. "Mud packing" can be done as well but I will not go into that here as I am not fully experienced with the process as of now. Feel free to do some research on branding and welcome to a diversified art form.