yellow mustard, burn

Q. I foolishly picked up a plastic honey bear that was in a pot of boiling water and the honey squirted out of the little pour hole all over the palm of my hand. Immediately I ran it under cold water and then I then ran to get your book because I knew there was something I could put on burns that was natural: MUSTARD.

I had mustard in the fridge and I poured it all over the palm of my hand. It still burned like the devil but I left it on while I read more. I put more mustard on and wrapped gauze bandage around it and left it on for a while until the pain subsided.

I babied the hand and was afraid it would blister. The pain did ease enough for me to go to the mall in the afternoon. The palm was a little mottled pink and I really didn’t notice for a couple of days that I apparently didn’t get any mustard between the pinky and ring finger over to the first knuckle. That is where a huge blister appeared! To me, that proves the mustard worked; otherwise the whole palm of my hand would have been blistered. Thank you.

A. We have heard from other readers that cold yellow mustard can soothe a kitchen burn. Soy sauce has a similar reputation, and several people have reported blistering on a burn where they neglected to put soy sauce although the rest of the burned area recovered well.

Cold water is the first measure to be taken, just as you did. Bad burns always require prompt medical attention.

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  1. RL

    I grabbed a skillet handle that had been in a 400 degree oven and burned my palm and fingers badly. I put ice on my hand for about thirty minutes, and the pain was excruciating. My husband offered to take me to the clinic. Instead, I remembered the mustard treatment suggested in PP and sent him to the corner store. When I took my hand out of the ice I already had large blisters across my palm and down each finger.
    I slathered on the mustard and the relief was amazing. It still hurt but felt much better. I wrapped it in gauze for the night and was able to sleep without ever noticing it. The next morning most of the the blisters were gone and the skin was tough — not tender. I already had a doctor’s appt that morning. And less than 12 hours after I had burned it, he said it looked like it had been healing for a week or two.

  2. JJJ

    I burned my middle and ring finger on a STEAMING HOT hair crimper. While I contemplated on what to do, I immersed my hand in a bucket of cool water. This helped the pain temporarily. Then, I remembered the remedy of using mustard. After 30 minutes, the blistering went down and it no longer hurt. Mustard will only work for minor burns, though. Seek medical help if your burn is more than 3 inches long or if the burn reached your 2nd layer of skin.

  3. Lou

    My wife poured bacon grease on her hand. She immediately poured cold water and followed that with ice. We were debating whether to go to the emergency room. I remembered reading about a strange remedy from this web site. I chose the mustard remedy…..I lathered yellow mustard on her hand…..wrapped it with gauze….let it stay for about 45 minutes…….realized that it was starting to dry so I ttok the gauze off….after it dried….(about 75 minutes)….she washed it off and her hand was like new….the only part that hurt was the part with no mustard… 2 hours she was back to normal….Thank You

  4. Carla

    I have had this same experience of preventing a painful second degree burn (blistering) by using a few drops of Lavender (Augustifolia) essential oil on the area burned by an iron.

  5. JoeMac

    Your response to the incident above should have also included a mention of the recent admonitions against warming any food or other ingestible substances which are contained in plastic, either by microwaving or heating in warm/boiling water.
    It is thought that chemicals, which can mimic hormones, can be given off in the heating of the plastic, which, in turn, can be absorbed by the contents of the container and ingested. Some of these chemical compounds are thought to be carcinogenic, depending upon the type of polymer used in the plastic.
    It is prudent to treat all plastic containers with reasonable caution.


  6. tp

    2 burn stories:
    I received a second degree burn on the top of my hand between my thumb and pointer finger from a clothing steamer. My physician checked my tetanus record (over 5 yrs) and recommended a booster for this type of a burn.
    A friend told me that another remedy for a burn is to immediately pour 91% (70% is what you usually find) rubbing alcohol on the burn. It will burn like crazy, but she claims it almost immediately heals over with pink new skin. NOTE: I have NOT tried this myself, but they are in the medical field and claim they have used this technique for cooking burns.

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