LONDON, Oct. 28 (UPI) -- Searing permanent designs onto one’s body is emerging as the latest trend as tattoos and body piercing become more commonplace in England.
The process involves cauterizing pens or branding irons heated to nearly 2000 degrees to sear designs onto the skin.
Branding of livestock is illegal in England, but there is no ban on the activity for humans, The Times in London reports.
The procedure was used as a form of torture in some countries such as Iraq and was historically used to brand slaves and dangerous criminals.
However, one owner of a tattoo parlor told The Times that some Muslims are turning to the procedure as Islam forbids tattoos.
Graham Martin, a parlor owner and president of the Tattoo and Piercing Industry Association, said the practice is increasing in popularity, telling The Times he averaged about one branding a year in 2002, but now does more than one a week.
One man who underwent the procedure said it was painful, but quite an experience.
“The adrenaline rush masks the pain,” he said of the hourlong procedure.
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