Three Myths About How to Treat a Burn: What Not to Do

treat a burn

So, you’re in Galveston celebrating spring break, a milestone birthday, the Fourth of July, or New Years. Accidents happen, and now that firework you lit has left you with a nasty burn. What do you do? Before you follow one of mama’s home burn remedies, you should note that how you treat a burn can impact the way it heals and how much pain you’ll have to endure, so be careful in your first aid approach.  You may have grown up being told to ice or lather up a burn with butter, but that may cause you more grief than you need to deal with. So, here are three things you should NOT do to treat a burn and why.

How NOT to Treat Burns

  1. Do not use ice. When you burn yourself, your outer skin becomes damaged and your underlying tissue can be exposed. If you put ice on the burn for too long, it can do further damage to your tissue. There’s also a chance that the ice may prevent the skin close to the burn from healing. Instead of using ice,  you can use a clean towel dampened with cool water.
  2. Do not use butter or honey on a burn. Your nana may have told you to throw some butter or honey on a burn, but the reality is that those things can infect your burn, especially when it comes to deeper burns. As an alternative, you can apply aloe vera or bacitracin to the burn to soothe the pain, and then cover it with gauze to prevent it from further infection. You can also take Tylenol or Ibuprofen to better manage the pain.
  3. Do not pop or burst your burn blister. Although your first instinct might be to pop a burn blister, it’s best to leave it to a doctor so you avoid infecting it. Note that the layer of skin underneath the burn needs protection, and a doctor will be able to ensure that it is properly treated.  If you’re ever unsure how to treat a burn, you can call your doctor will also be able to catch any early symptoms of infection.

Read our tips on firework safety and view other other topics related to family health and safety by the doctors of Hospitality Health ER in Galveston, Longview, and Tyler.