Key to My Life
I'm 19, and already I have several piercings to my name. I have 6 in each ear and my Madison done (base of my neck). Due to personal reasons, which I won't discuss here, I have been unable to get my tattoo since I first decided on a design back in January. I've been dying to try something new, but I didn't have the money or the inspiration to get a new piercing, so I started reading around the BME website, and I found information on branding. I had stumbled across this information before, and had thought it was a cool idea, but I had put it at the back of my mind and forgotten about it. Now that it was at the front of my mind again, I knew that this was the simple, cheap solution I had been looking for.
First, I had to choose a design. I glanced around my room in search of an idea, and my eyes were drawn to my keychain. I spied the simple, diary-style key on the ring and immediately decided that it was the design I had been looking for. It had so many meanings that related to my past, my life, and my future. I started searching for the proper equipment, such as rubbing alcohol for sterilization and a lighter for heating the key.
After this was all gathered up, I decided where I wanted it. I decided on just above my right ankle, because it would be easy to hide or expose, depending on the circumstances. I proceeded to clean the area and sterilize the key. Because of the nature of the object (being all metal), I used a pair of pliers to hold the key while I heated it using the lighter.
Once I thought the key was hot enough, I placed it on my skin, covered it with a washcloth to protect my hand from being branded as well, and held it down until I thought the branding was done. I felt an instant of pain when the metal touched my skin, but it quickly faded into numbness. While other stories that I have read talk about hearing your skin sizzle and smelling it burning, the washcloth kept me from experiencing that.
After I pulled the washcloth away, I took off the key to admire my work. At first, it was raised and white. This quickly turned into blisters, and I found that the top part of the key hadn't been heated enough. Parts of it weren't going to show up. But I thought "oh well, beginner's mistake." I decided to leave it alone and maybe rebrand it in the future.
For the next 24 hours, I covered the brand with a bandage and cleaned it regularly with rubbing alcohol. After that period, I sanitized a safety pin and popped the blisters. I peeled off the dead skin and cleaned it once again.
The next day, I bought some hydrogen peroxide and decided to follow advice I had found in another story about pouring a capful in the brand to boil away the scab. I did this and found it to be an interesting experience. While there was little pain involved, I could feel the scab bubbling and detaching from my skin. It's almost like having your skin turn into soda.
After I rinsed it thoroughly with water, I dried it gently, trying to make sure all the old skin was out of the wound. I keep a close eye on it, and clean it periodically with hydrogen peroxide, to make sure that it doesn't get infected. I take precautions to make sure that there is little undesirable irritation involved, such as my shoe or sock rubbing on it. This is to ensure that the irritation is even and my scar will be even as well.
I am so proud of my branding, I have been showing it off to everyone. I even walk around with my jeans rolled up, even though it's rather chilly outside. I have got mixed reactions, from "that is the stupidest thing I have ever seen" to "that is sweet!" I even have one friend who asks to see it every time we run into each other, to see how it has changed. I'm away at college right now, but I can't wait to go home this weekend to show it to my little sister; she is always very supportive of my body mods, though she isn't into them herself. I don't know how my parents will react though. They've never been fans of my piercings or tattoo designs, but they have tolerated them on the condition that I don't get any facial piercings done until I move out of their house.
I don't recommend doing this on your own, I recommend going to see a professional. If I had done that, the top of my key would have turned out much better. If you are determined to do it yourself, though, make sure everything is properly sanitized and that you take good care of it to prevent infection.
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 09 May 2008