Doctor warns that using home remedies like toothpaste or flour on burns is never a good idea

Credit: Twitter (L), Right photo for illustration purpose (Credit: Flickr)

Some people put their faith in home remedies before resorting to over-the-counter medicine and doctors’ advice. Unfortunately, these home remedies more often than not have the possibility of backfiring.

A Malaysian doctor, Dr. Kamarul Ariffin recently shared a thread on Twitter reminding the public on what they should do in a situation where a scalded skin is involved.

In his thread, he shared an image of a severely swollen hand of a person who got scalded by hot oil on their hand and decided to apply some toothpaste on the burn area. 

Credit: Twitter

Unfortunately, instead of soothing the scalded skin, the toothpaste has resulted for the hand of the person to get severely infected and swollen that it was almost unrecognizable!

Contrary to popular old wives’ tale to apply toothpaste, corn flour, eggs or soy sauce on the burn area, Dr. Kamarul warned that these home remedies could actually worsen the burn and lead to bacterial infection.

He said that “(These home remedies) can cause severe inflammation and can also lead to infection.”

He then continued to explain that there are three primary types of burns which are first-, second- and third- degree.

For the first-degree burn, the victim will usually experience pain, redness and non-blistered skin. 

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

In the case of a second-degree burn, the victim will experience blistered skin along with redness and pain. For the third-degree burn, the skin has a widespread thickness with a white appearance. They may not experience any pain as the nerves are damaged.

Dr. Kamarul then went on to share the five steps for first aid treatment that everyone should do for minor burns. 

Image for illustration purpose only (Credit: Pexels)
  1. Move the victim away from the sources of the heat (fire, heater, hot water, electric, etc). Stay calm and do not panic.
  2. Remove all the jewelry, clothes or watch that got burned unless it got stuck on the burn area.
  3. Cool the burn with room-temperature water for 15-20 minutes to stop the burn. Never use cold water or ice.
  4. If there are any blisters formed on the skin, do not pop it. Just use a clean cloth to cover the blistered skin.
  5. Seek a doctor immediately for a second- and third-degree burns, or if the burn area is bigger than the size of a palm or if the injured area is the face or the genitals.


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