Experts Warn Against Using Ice and Toothpaste for Burn Injuries

During emergencies, resorting to common first aid practices readily available can sometimes pose risks. Experts have cautioned against traditional remedies like using ice or applying toothpaste for burn injuries, advocating instead for a more scientifically sound approach. At the WOUNDCON 2024 medical education event hosted by the Society for Wound Care and Research at King George’s Medical University (KGMU), specialists emphasized the importance of keeping burn injuries under flowing water until the pain subsides.

According to Prof Brijesh Mishra from KGMU’s plastic surgery department, while ice and toothpaste may seem like quick fixes, they can exacerbate burns and increase the risk of infection. Mishra explained that ice can damage the skin by freezing it and halting blood flow, while toothpaste contains substances like calcium and peppermint that can aggravate burns. Additionally, applying oil can trap heat, making it harder to cool burns.

Prof Vijay Verma, head of KGMU’s plastic surgery department, recommended rinsing burn injuries under running water, covering them with fresh bed linens, and seeking prompt medical assistance for severe burns. He stressed the importance of hydration and protein intake for healing damaged skin, muscles, and tissues. For electrical burns, he advised applying a sterile bandage or clean cloth to prevent fibres from sticking to the skin.

Dr K.S. Murthy, another plastic surgeon, highlighted the potential of fish skin products enriched with omega fats and fatty collagen acids in healing burn wounds. These purified fish skin products have shown promising results when applied to wounds, he added.

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