Toothpaste on Burns: What Home Remedies Can You Use to Treat Burns?

By Erica Loop in Natural Products

Your pasta dinner boiled over, and now your hand feels like it's on fire. Slathering toothpaste on burns is a trick you may have heard of. But you're not sure if it really works. Before you break out the pastes and gels, here's what you need to know about natural remedies for burns.

Can I Use Toothpaste on Burns?

The baking soda. The peroxide. The drying effect it has on just about anything. These basic attributes of toothpaste make the dental care product seem like an ideal option for treating burns, acne, and more. Even though the list of seemingly soothing ingredients may have popped up on your "how to treat a burn at home" search, toothpaste is not a realistic remedy for your kitchen injury.

According to research published in the journal Burns and Trauma, more than 53 percent of people surveyed used toothpaste as a home burn treatment. But this doesn't mean you should, too. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) notes that toothpaste is not a way to treat first-degree burns. Instead of clearing the burn or alleviating pain, a toothpaste product may actually cause an infection.

What about Butter?

Now you've nixed the notion of toothpaste as an effective or safe burn treatment and are ready to try a different natural option. But what DIY or at-home remedy should you try? Next to toothpaste, butter is another popular choice. But much like toothpaste, the salty dairy product is not an advisable burn treatment, according to the Beth Israel Lahey Health Winchester Hospital. The same goes for most body lotions.


Proven Natural Remedies for Burns

According to a literature review published in the Annals of Burns and Fire Disasters, honey has a long history of treating burns, scalds, and infected wounds. This may come from honey's ability to promote healing and reduce inflammation.

A 2011 study in the journal Wounds UK also found healing benefits from honey use. Researchers looked at the effects of honey-based ointments on wound healing in children with partial-thickness burns. In comparison to a povidone-iodine treatment, the honey proved a faster, more effective remedy.

You can try this method by spreading a few teaspoons of honey on the burn to start, or soak a piece of gauze in it before application. You may need more of the sweet stuff for a larger area.

Like honey, aloe vera has a long history of use on burns, too. According to a review of research in the journal Burns, aloe vera may help burns to heal quickly—in comparison to other options.


Do You Need a Lotion, Cream, or Ointment?

It may seem like all the natural remedies are made to slather over your skin. But this isn't always the case. According to the AAD, cool water is one way to treat a first-degree burn. The AAD recommends immersing your skin directly in cool water or applying a cold, wet compress. Keep the burn under the water or compress for ten minutes. If you still have pain, continue to soak or cover your burn.

Are you looking for more natural remedies? Visit the @tomsofmaine DIY Naturally Pinterest board for ideas!

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Why It's Good

From honey to cool water compresses, natural remedies for burns can help you heal at home.