In an unfocused moment, I burned my index finger pretty badly while flat ironing my hair. Apparently, I clamped too soon and my finger was not clear. Immediately running cold water over the wound, I thought I had done my best to treat it. Guess not, it looks gross and feels worse- especially when I do the dishes with warm water!
The incident got me wondering what I should have done to treat the burn because if it had been on my face, like most hairstyling burns are, I would be a hot mess. At least my hands are not as easily observed. My focus turned to find out the right way to treat a burn in case it happens again- and it will- either to me or to my daughter, who is rapidly approaching the age of wanting to style her own hair. (I remember the early days of heat styling and the pain that often came with it!)
Ways to Treat Minor Burns:
The goal is to relieve the pain, speed the process of healing and reduce the risk of scarring.
- The first thing you should do if you are burned is cool it down. Your skin will continue to burn even after the heat source has been removed. Apply an ice pack (a bag of frozen veggies works too) or immerse the burn in cold water. Keep the ice pack or cold water on the burn for several minutes.
- For a topical remedy, nothing works better than aloe vera. It has been used for centuries to treat burns. It can be used for accidental sunburns (we do not sunburn to tan anymore, right ladies??) and for other types of burns. If you don’t have a plant at home to use, you can purchase Aloe Vera gel at most drugstore. Buy some and keep it in stock!
- Make a super concoction: mix your aloe vera with 1/8 teaspoon of Vitamin E oil and 5 drops of Lavender Essential Oil. Lavender essential oil is an excellent burn remedy, offering pain relief. Vitamin E oil speeds skin regeneration and prevents scarring.
- Over the counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can be used for the pain of a mild burn (typically redness only). If stronger pain relief is needed, contact a physician or go to the emergency room.
- If the area blisters and breaks open, wash with antibacterial soap and water, apply an antibiotic ointment, and bandage.
- Once area is initially treated, keep it moisturized so it doesn’t scab and scar. Keep the Vitamin E or Lavender oil flowing! Use SPF and cover-up when in the sun.
I’m hoping your beauty (or other) burns will be non-existent but if they do happen, treat them as described to help reduce inflammation and scaring. Please, please, please do not pick! When you have a burn on the face, it’s tempting to “help it along” but all you are doing is increasing your chances of scaring!