Q. I have been making jewelry as a hobby for 15 years and was told by an old jeweler to use toothpaste on burns. Using a torch and working with hot metal make burns a regular, if not frequent, occurrence.
I put Crest toothpaste on burns and small blisters and they disappear shortly after applying it. My family doctor said it made sense to her because of some of the ingredients. I have told many other jewelers who have found the suggestion worked for them as well.
A. We’re glad your doctor thinks that toothpaste makes sense because of its ingredients. We don’t have any idea why it works, but many remedies that people use for minor burns are equally mysterious. Those include soy sauce, cold yellow mustard and vanilla extract.
When we searched the medical literature, toothpaste for burns was mentioned only as an inappropriate home treatment (Journal of Emergency Nursing, March, 2010).
The recommended first aid for a burn is immediate application of cold water. Serious burns require medical attention.