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How to Treat a First Degree Burn

Health Tip: Don't Ice a Burn

I love spending time in the kitchen cooking and baking, but I am quite the klutz and I burn myself with surprising frequency. After years of running for ice to soothe a burn, I just learned that this practice is a no-no. Ice actually further damages burnt skin. You should run the burn under cold water, which also cleanses the area as well. If you are concerned about water consumption — there is a drought happening here in rainy Northern California — a cold compress can help as well.

Butter and mayo are not good for burns either. First degree burns are easy to treat at home, but depending on how large a second degree burn is, it might require medical attention.


Join The Conversation
Calimie Calimie 8 years
I knew that ice can actually burn your skin: ask any mountaineer. And yeah, I've been holding my arms under cold water for years: hot cooking oil keeps jumping on me, lol. So far no burn marks.
marie-lee marie-lee 8 years
I have always been told in first aid courses and in health class in primary and high school not to put anything on a burn, to run under cold running water for at least 10 minutes, longer is better. Immersing in cold water is not ideal as the burn will heat up the water. Don't apply anything at all to the burn; not butter, moisturiser, aloe will seal the burn and hold in the heat. If it is bigger than a 50 cent piece (don't what the equivalent size is in American money) to seek medical attention. Coincidently I live in South Australia (driest state in the driest continent) and would still use running water every time for a burn, even if you have a container under the running water to collect it and use on the garden.
Spectra Spectra 8 years
Another good tip: Keep an aloe vera plant in your kitchen. After you run cool water on a burn, break off a leaf from the aloe plant and rub it on the skin to soothe it even more. It also works great on sunburns.
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
I had no idea!!! Now I know, thanks!!
Fitness Fitness 8 years
Widgit, Just scroll down on the page the link sends you to — the info is there along with other health questions and their answers.
gooniette gooniette 8 years
Restaurant secret: put salt on a burn. It will lessen the intensity and draws the heat out a lot faster than water.
sunshinepointe sunshinepointe 8 years
Am I the only person who keeps reading burn as bum? As a figure skater I was interested in why not to ice my poor bruised butt and then halfway through the article I was like waiiiiit a second...
Widgit Widgit 8 years
Interesting. Note: The link "ice actually further damages" takes me to an article on blood pressure.
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