Butter, Blisters and Bunk: How Not to Treat a Burn Injury

Many of the ideas and traditions passed down to us from our grandparents and great-grandparents are valuable and precious. Unfortunately, some of them aren’t so great, especially when it comes to treating minor burns at home. If burns are treated improperly, infection can occur quickly and spread to other parts of the body. Here are several of the most popular burn treatment myths.

Butter Belongs on Biscuits, Not Burns

Spreading cold butter on a sunburn might feel good at first, but when it melts, it actually produces more pain and may even cause an infection. Turning to dairy products is never a wise first aid choice.

Alcohol Is Not the Answer

Unless you’re a masochist, save the alcohol for something else. Applying alcohol to a burn will kill germs, but it’ll also dry out the skin and cause intolerable pain. This myth may be related to alcohol’s ability to produce a cooling sensation on the skin, but the effect only works if skin is healthy and intact.

Save Your Steak for Dinner

Almost everyone understands that raw meat is full of bacteria, so why would anyone think it’s safe to put it directly onto a skin wound? Wrapping a raw pork chop around your burn might feel good at the time, but you’re practically begging for an infection if you do it.

Leave Those Blisters Alone

Blisters form for a reason. Your body actually knows what it’s doing. Wounds heal faster in a moist environment, and the serum contained in the blister’s fluid is actually creating new cells to help heal the burn. If you pop it, the damaged, delicate skin underneath will be more vulnerable to infection. If the temptation is just too great, buy some bubble wrap.

The Right Way to Treat Burns

Holding the affected area under cold running water is the correct method for cooling the skin after a burn occurs. For minor, superficial burns, keeping the skin clean and applying aloe vera gel or over-the-counter burn cream is also beneficial. If burns cover a large portion of skin or show signs of blistering, severe damage or tissue death, get medical help immediately, especially if the victim is very young or elderly. All but the most minor burns can become serious if not treated correctly. Don’t take chances.

Apple Care Immediate Care Clinics Can Soothe the Sting

It’s easy to get burned in the Georgia sun, so being familiar with your local immediate care clinic is always a good idea. At Apple Care, our experienced healthcare providers can treat your burns, cuts, sprains, allergic reactions, fractures and other emergencies without the long emergency room waiting times. Walk-ins are always welcome, and we also offer convenient primary care services. Contact us to schedule an appointment, or visit our website to learn more about our services.