THE FACTS Like a cup of tea for a, a batch of ice for a
may seem like the perfect remedy for millions of Americans who will spend a little too much time in the sun this summer. But many home remedies that seem like common sense are less than helpful, and the old ice-for-a-burn technique is no exception. It can help soothe some initial pain, but in the end it will slow the healing process. That has been borne out over the years in various studies of simple treatments for minor scalds and sunburns. In one by Danish researchers in 2002, 24 healthy volunteers were inflicted with first-degree burns and subjected to different treatments. Those who received a cooling treatment similar to ice did not experience reduced pain or inflammation compared with those who received a placebo treatment. In in the journal Burns in 1997, another team of scientists compared easing burns with ice cubes for 10 minutes with other remedies and found that ice caused Бthe most severe damage.
Б БUsing an ice cube immediately after injury,Б the authors added, Бis harmful in some instances. Б According to the, putting ice on a burn can cause and damage the skin. For better results, try running cool water over the area and taking a pain reliever. Then cover the area with gauze but no ointment. Most minor burns heal without further treatment, the clinic says. THE BOTTOM LINE Never use ice to soothe a burn. Most minor burns will heal on their own, and home treatment is usually all that is needed to relieve your symptoms and promote healing. But if you suspect you may have a more severe injury, use first-aid measures while you arrange for an evaluation by your doctor. First, stop the burning to prevent a more severe burn.
Heat burns (thermal burns): Smother any flames by covering them with a blanket or water. If your clothing catches fire, do not run: stop, drop, and roll on the ground to smother the flames. Cold temperature burns: Try to warm the areas. Small areas of your body (ears, face, nose, fingers, toes) that are really cold or frozen can be warmed by blowing warm air on them, tucking them inside your clothing or putting them in warm water. Liquid scald burns (thermal burns): Run cool tap water over the burn for 10 to 20 minutes. Do not use ice. : After the person has been separated from the electrical source, check for breathing and a heartbeat. If the person is not breathing or does not have a heartbeat, call. : Natural foods such as, which contain a substance irritating to the, can cause a burning sensation. When a chemical burn occurs, find out what chemical caused the burn.
Call your local Poison Control Center or the National Poison Control Hotline (1-800-222-1222) for more information about how to treat the burn. : Immediately run cold water over the hot tar or hot plastic to cool the tar or plastic. Next, look for other injuries. The burn may not be the only injury. Remove any jewelry or clothing at the site of the burn. If clothing is stuck to the burn, do not remove it. Carefully cut around the stuck fabric to remove loose fabric. Remove all jewelry, because it may be hard to remove it later if swelling occurs. Cover the burn with a clean, dry cloth to reduce the risk of infection. Do not put any salve or medicine on the burned area, so your doctor can properly assess your burn. Do not put ice or butter on the burned area, because these measures do not help and can damage the skin tissue.