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Running Water or Ice On Burns

From the Colorado Dermatology Institute in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
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Video Transcript

So here’s another daily tip from your friendly local dermatologist!

All right, so if you get a burn and it’s not a severe burn, it’s just a localized small area of a burn, like a little grease splatter or something like that, what’s better? Is ice better or running water better? I don’t really know. I think that if you have something like grease on it running water would be better to help get the grease off and have a steady stream of cool water. You also have less risk of frostbite if you have running water than if you put ice right over it. If you’re gonna put ice over it, you need to have a some sort of barrier between ice and your skin. You can’t do it for more than five minutes cuz the last thing you want to do is to get a burn from heat and then on top of that get a burn from cold. Okay, so we don’t want to add damage to damage. So please, be cautious, be reasonable, only treat the really really small things. Running water or a little bit of ice, but if it starts to look infected. So, hot, tender, red, irritated or if it’s a big area or if it’s gone below just a very superficial burn and a good tip for that is if it hurts. It’s probably fairly superficial. If it’s a bad burn and you can’t feel anything in the area that is a big problem and you need to get attention immediately.

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