Intro: Freeze Branding Yourself - Exploration Into Self Modification.
Disclaimer: Let me start off by saying that this is a very bad idea and you shouldn't do this under any circumstances. I did a lot of research, had all the proper equipment, had many people around who could take me to the hospital, and I even had a soundtrack thanks to my friend Champ. You can be seriously injured doing this and I take ABSOLUTELY NO RESPONSIBILITY if you mess yourself up. If you love the idea of modifying your self in a unique way this is how I did it.
This is the start of a few mods that I am going to do such as scarification of a little rectangle, and a heat brand above the brown mark, both of which I hope to do by myself.. I am adding onto a scar (the two little brown scars above the freeze burn) that was given to me by a hot cookie sheet of bruschetta.
Step 1: Finding the Correct Kind of Brand
First I called a cattle feed and supply place in town (Callahan's) and they had freeze brands only problem is that they were over $!70!!! The correct material should either be bronze, copper, or brass, as these metals hold on to the cold better than steel. ::Sigh:: I wish I had access to a bronze casting studio...oh, well. I decided to do this with brass fittings that I found at home depot. My iron consists of 2 1/4 in hex female couplers, and a 1/4 in hex male coupler. The handle is simply a nut and bolt put together with JB weld, nothing fancy. I then took some copper wiring off a toroid and braided, trimmed, and shaped it to fit inside of the middle male coupler to add a little bit of mass to the inside (and it fits perfectly by the way.)
Step 2: Gathering Materials
Your going to need
1. Freeze brand
2. Plastic container
3. Acetone (the guides suggested rubbing alcohol, but I decided to use acetone because it gets colder.) *IMPORTANT NOTE* - the acetone is flammable and if you add warm/hot acetone to the dry ice mix IT WILL BUBBLE FURIOUSLY...do not have open flames around your set up!!!!
4. Styrofoam cooler
5. Dry ice of course
6. Hammer or in my case an empty wine bottle for crushing dry ice.
7. Heavy gloves for handling, I used some welding gloves.
Step 3: Combine Ingredients and Let It Cook.
The amount of dry ice used really depends on the size of the brand and how long your going to be doing it, but for my purposes I only needed it for once and a tupperware container worth of dry ice was enough. Pour enough acetone over the ice to completely cover the brand and the dry ice. Set inside of the cooler on top of the left over slab of dry ice. Put the top back on and let it bake for about 20 minutes.
Step 4: Now the Fun Part.
In order to prep the area use the paper towel and acetone to swab down the area and get any dirt off of the area. I chose not to shave my arm, because the hair there is pretty fine and it shouldn't get in the way. I chose to bite down on a piece of tubing just in case the pain was unbearable or I started to swallow my tongue. (I know it's gross, but you must be prepared for these sort of things)
Use the pliers to pull the handle out of the acetone a bit and pour out the excess acetone so it doesn't spill all over you and give purple splash marks. Then immediately put it in the place where you want it and press with an equal pressure downwards and ever so slightly rock it back and forth. In retrospect I should have probably pushed with a little less pressure, it is very hard to tell though while it is happening. Don't press too hard, you want a medium pressure and make sure to stay even. The target time was 40 seconds for mine. If you use the liquid nitrogen method it only takes 15-20 seconds, but I am not sure how human skin would deal with that temperature. I honestly don't know why I did it longer than 40 seconds it just felt right I guess, and it turned out nicely.
My first reaction was that of complete shock. I looked like I had a clay arm and someone punched me with a hexagon baton. I don't remember about a minute after wards, the pain was pretty intense but manageable but seeing my arm look like that is what really set my adrenaline off. After that it was almost back to normal. The skin had bounced back up and was just red....... Then the real pain started.
Once my nerves started to regain feeling it was one of the most intense feelings I have ever had.
Step 5: Caring for Afterwards
I waited for about an hour and a half for the pain to subside enough for me to put a bandage on. Don't put neosporin or any kind of healing ointments on it if you want it to mark right. They cause the wound to heal too quickly and you don't want that. I am planning to be rubbing sugar and lemon juice on it to irritate it and hopefully get the edges to raise up a little more. Currently my mark is a dark brown with a little bit of redness which has been subsiding. The outer edge is raised and darker and the inside is actually a little lower than the rest of my skin. Soon my hairs that grow out are going to be white.
I feel a bit of pain and a weird kind of soreness for the inner part of my arm muscle but it has been getting much better everyday. I can't wait for it to fully heal so I can either brand another mark but with heat, or do some scarification.
"It is easier to find men who will volunteer to die, than to find those who are willing to endure pain with patience." -Julius Caesar