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Scorch & Sizzle: Do You Believe These Common Burn Myths?

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Ouch! Burns hurt -- there's no lack of truth there. The untruths rest in many opinions about first-aid, particularly when it comes to burns. Think you would know what to do if you or somebody else had a burn? Consider these myths and the actual truths behind them.

Myth: You should apply grease or butter to a burn.

Truth: Actually, pouring these items on a burn can actually prevent heat from leaving your burn. Plus, it leaves a greasy mess for your doctor or nurse to clean up when you receive treatment.

Myth: You should use alcohol to clean up a burn.

Truth: While alcohol is considered a good treatment for wounds, this is not the case for burns. You may actually just find yourself in intense pain instead.

Myth: You should press cold meat against a burn.

Truth: Nope! You should never hold meat against a burn, even if it feels soothing at first. The result could be a terrible infection that makes your burn worse.

Myth: It's okay to pick at burn blisters.

Truth: Don't be fooled. It's never a good idea to pick blisters, which leaves a scar. It also puts you at higher risk of infection.

Myth: Small burns don't require treatment.

Truth: Even the most minor of burns require first-aid treatment. Bacteria can enter even small wounds, leading to infection.

Myth: Exposing your burn to air will help it heal quickly.

Truth: Your burn will actually dry out quickly, causing many healthy cells to die. If you cover your burn with a bandage, it is actually much more likely to heal quickly.

Myth: A scab shows that the burn is healing nicely.

Truth: A scab could mean no harm at all, but it can also indicate that your skin is inflamed or welcoming bacteria.

Myth: You should always put saran wrap over a wound, including a burn.

Truth: Saran wrap does not stretch when your skin's elasticity changes. This means that if your house swells up with inflammation, the circulation of your limb is totally cut off.

Myth: You can cure a burn with vinegar.

Truth: While vinegar does have the ability to disinfect a burn, it is extremely acidic. It will leave your arm in intense pain and then dry the skin once it is gone.

You should never discount the ability of burns to cause severe issues. Even minor burns can lead to infection of your skin. Seek medical care as quickly as possible for any type of burn.