A cast-iron skillet can get very hot over an open flame. Have you ever forgotten the pot-holder and grabbed the handle with your bare hand? It can lead to a nasty burn.
Home cooks have come up with a number of home remedies to soothe the pain and relieve the redness of a kitchen burn. This reader prefers one of the more unusual approaches, plain white school glue:
White School Glue for Kitchen Burns:
Q. I use white school glue for kitchen burns. It works great to remove almost all the pain and redness and prevent blisters.
I put the glue over the burn and let it dry. I leave it in place for as long as possible, the longer the better to prevent blisters.
A. Cold water is always the first step in treating household burns. After that, soy sauce, cold mustard or white glue can all provide relief.
Soy Sauce for Burns:
We first heard about soy sauce to ease the pain of a burn shortly before Thanksgiving. Over the holiday, we inadvertently had a chance to try it out ourselves, as Joe bumped his hand on a hot oven rack taking the turkey out. After several minutes of soaking the hand in cold water did not get rid of the pain, he doused the burn with soy sauce and was able to join the family at the table without discomfort.
Some of the other stories we have heard about soy sauce being used to treat burns are even more remarkable. Ranger Charles told us about his experience in Army training at Fort Bragg:
We’d like to emphasize that a serious burn should get immediate medical attention. In fact, if there is any question in your mind, get urgent or emergency care for a bad burn.
Nonetheless, Kadriah reported success even with a rather severe burn:
“I have been using soy sauce for years for minor burns for myself and my children. I soak a cotton ball with soy sauce immediately after getting burned. I keep the burn completely covered until long after the pain is gone.
“Until yesterday, though, I had only used this remedy on very minor burns without blisters. Yesterday, I badly burned 4 of my fingers. They immediately blistered and the skin turned white. I tried the soy sauce anyway.
To my amazement, an hour later there were no blisters, NO pain, no damage. The skin where the blisters had been is now a little shiny and I have decreased sensitivity on those areas. It feels slightly numb. The numbness goes away in a few days. To me, this is a miracle cure!”
Yellow Mustard for Burns:
If you keep your mustard in the refrigerator as many folks do, the cold is soothing immediately. The mustard does seem to have some special power of its own to ease the pain of a burn. Here is what Tracy reports:
“This absolutely works and wish I had learned this in nursing school or as an ER nurse. I burned my fingers on my daughter’s curling iron that had been sitting on for more than 4 hours.
“Every time I removed my hand from ice water it throbbed and brought me to tears. I found this site online and went to the kitchen to grab the yellow mustard, squirted some into a plastic sandwich bag and plunged my finger in.
“The first few minutes the intial coldness kept the pain at bay but then it came back in waves-but not as bad as earlier. After about 15 minutes it only hurt slightly, and after about 30 minutes I rinsed it off and it no longer hurt! Incredible! No pain the next day either, although my finger is stained yellow.”
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.” Read Joe's Full Bio.
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