Does Ice Help Burns?

Burns of all types, mild or severe are nasty and painful. However, they happen to be one of the most common household injuries. Mainly while cooking or baking, unpleasant burn injuries can frequently give someone a challenging time. Then there are severe burns which can be caused by direct contact with fire or a heated object. In medical terms, burns can be categorized as per their severity — the first, second, third and fourth degrees. The first and second-degree burn can be treated at home, while third-degree which affects the skin deeper should be treated in a hospital. In this post, we are aiming to explore ice and what it can do to first and second-degree burn.

Why is ice bad for burns ?

Some people claim ice can help cool the tissues and stop the progression of the burn. While others say, one should not use ice, or ice-cold water, on burns. Extreme cold applied to a burn can further damage the tissue.

To cool and clean a burn properly, get rid of any clothing that covers it. If the clothes adhere to the burn, do not peel it away; this could damage the underlying skin.The best thing to do to a mild burn is to cool it off by running the burned area under cool water for about five minutes. You can also apply a compressor a clean, cool and wet cloth on the burned area.

Then clean the area using a mild soap, and apply a topical antibiotic cream to shield the area from infection. While cooling the burn is a very effective way of decreasing pain and minimize the extent of damage, pay attention to the following measures below to avoid complications

Why does cold water help burns?

When a person gets a burn, the skin damage for the first and some of the second degree is just on the surface of what is changing in the body; most of the damage occurs internally under the skin as thermal damage. Running cold water bombards the sensory nerves and distracts it and helps stop the spread of thermal burn beneath the skin which the naked eye cannot see.

How long should you ice a burn?

How to ice a burn?

If you have had a minor burn, then you probably know how these burns hurt. Possibly you run cool water or applied some ice to the affected area- well as already discussed that is not a good idea. But what is the right thing to do for a minor or a major burn before you see a doctor. First, it is essential to know the degree of the burn and is mild (one that can be treated at home) or a major burn (one which will require doctor's care). Then you can proceed as elaborated below.

Minor burn with blisters

Major burn care

Major burns (usually forth, five and sixth degrees) need immediate medical care or emergency room in a burn center. Call 911 if you cannot take the victim to a medical facility. You can do the following measures before you get medical help:

Things you should not do a major burn

How do you get a burn to stop stinging?

How to relieve a burn?

As discussed in the section above, most of the minor burns can be treated at home. Burn treatment aims to reduce pain, prevent infections, and heal the skin faster. Apart from the methods discussed in the previous section, you can use antibiotic ointments to get a burn to stop stinging. Antibiotics ointments and creams help prevent infections.

Ice pack burn

Both heat and cold can burn human skin. Severe cold causes frostbite. Spending time in freezing temperatures or being in contact with an object that is extremely cold, such as ice cube packs, can destroy the skin tissue and cause an ice burn.

When a person experiences an ice burn, the skin becomes red, white, dark or gray. They may also experience pain, blisters, and itchiness. Numbness, hard or waxy skin and tingling are also signs of ice burn. When a person experiences an ice burn, the following happens to the tissue:

How to treat an ice pack burn?

If you get an ice burn, you should immediately take the following actions:

It is necessary to warm up the skin gradually instead of using boiling water or air, as extreme heat can make the injury worse. Typically, people can treat ice burns at home using first aid. Most of these burns often go away without the need for further medical attention. However, if a person experiences a more severe ice burn, they should see a doctor and medical care. The following are signs and symptoms of a severe ice burn:

What to put on a burn?

You can treat most of the first-degree burns and second-degree burns at home. Read on this section to find out which remedies are best for healing your skin, and also which remedies should be avoided. Mild burns basically take around a week or two to completely heal and usually don’t cause scarring. Burn treatment aims to reduce pain, prevent infections, and heal the skin faster.

Run cool water over the burn - The first measure you should take when you get a mild burn is run cool (not cold) water over the burn area for at least twenty minutes. Then wash the burned region with mild soap and water.

Cool compresses the burn - Apply a cool compress over the burn area to relieve pain and swelling. You can apply the compress in intervals of five to fifteen minutes. Try not to use excessively cold compresses since they may irritate the burn more.

Antibiotic ointments for burns - Antibiotic ointments and creams help prevent infections. Apply an antibacterial ointment like Neosporin to your burn and seal with cling film or sterile, non-fluffy dressing.

Use aloe vera to soothe the burn - Aloe vera is often labeled as the “burn plant. Medical evidence shows that aloe vera is effective in healing minor degree burns. Aloe is an anti-inflammatory agent which promotes circulation and hinders the growth of bacteria. Apply a thin layer of pure aloe vera gel to the affected part. If you purchase aloe vera in a store, you might want to ensure it contains a high percentage of aloe vera and avoid products that have additives, especially coloring and perfumes.

Apply honey to the burn - Honey just got sweeter. Apart from its delicious taste, honey, it can cure a minor burn when applied topically. Honey is anti-inflammatory and naturally antibacterial and antifungal.

Reducing sun exposure - Try to avoid exposing the region with the burn to direct sunlight. Burned skin can be very sensitive to the sun . Thus it is essential to cover its clothing.

Do not pop your blisters - As tempting as it may feel, do not pop the blisters. Bursting a blister can expose the burn to infection. If you are concerned about blisters that have formed because of the burn, see a physician.

Take an over-the-counter pain killer - If you are experiencing pain, buy pain killer such as ibuprofen or naproxen. Make sure you read the label for the correct dosage

Scroll to Top