Toothpaste on Burns-Does Toothpaste help or is it Good for Burns, Bruises, Cuts & Blisters

Using toothpaste on burns, bruises, cuts & blisters is a before-seeing-the-doctor or first aid action taken by quite a huge number of individuals. Why would someone consider using toothpaste in the first place? Is it good for burns? Will or does toothpaste help in healing or treating burns bruises and cuts? What do health practitioners say and studies say? Read on to discover if it works or a mere myth.

Why use Tooth Paste on Burns, Bruises, Cuts & Blister?

Burns, bruises and cuts are quite common skin injuries that occur in every household. Since most of these injuries are minor, not everyone wants to go and see a doctor. Some people choose to take care of these small troubles through household remedies rather than having to visit a medical practitioner.

Some will argue that going to see a doctor may turn out to be costly and time-consuming.

Toothpaste on burns-Is it good Does it help?
white toothpaste

Talking about household remedies for blisters, burns and cruises, one of the most common remedy is applying toothpaste on the burnt area. This is a widespread practice that is prevalent across the world.

A study, named The Bradford Burn Study, reviewed all burn attendances at a single emergency department in the UK over a 1-year period. The results of the study indicated that using toothpaste on burns is one of the pre-hospital remedies that patients use. The research was published by the Emergency Medicine Journal. Below a graphical representation of other home remedies other than toothpaste that the study discovered.toothpaste ouse on burns-study

However, the question remains, whether or not applying toothpaste is a good idea to get relief from burns. Since there is no concrete verdict about this issue, there are many who have doubts about the benefits of applying the paste on the area that has been burnt. Let us take a closer look at this and find out the facts and myths surrounding this.

How does Toothpaste on Burns Work? – Does it help or is good for Burns on Skin?

Burns occurring on the skin or face is pretty common when one is taking care of various household chores. Whenever one suffers a burn, one of the most common first aid is applying toothpaste to the burnt area. Not everyone has medicines for burn ready at home. Toothpaste gives relief to the area due to the cooling effect. Let us take a look at the various questions that arise regarding the use of toothpaste on burns.

How does Toothpaste work on Burns Bruises, Cuts & Blisters? -How to use

How does toothpaste work for burns-How to use
Minor burn on forearm

Basing on studies, it is very true that a couple of individuals do use toothpaste especially for burns. How does it work?

Toothpaste has a cooling effect. This due to peppermint, an ingredient that comes with the paste. This cooling effect certainly provides a relief from the burning sensation.

The idea that toothpaste is an effective home remedy for burns, bruises and cuts is only based on hearsays or second-hand-information. There isn’t enough scientific research or clinical studies to support its effectiveness. What research has confirmed is that it is indeed used as pre-hospital first aid for burns. Basing on the hearsays, toothpaste has worked for a number of patients particularly in case of minor burns.

How is toothpaste used or applied on burns?

  • Applying paste is simple. Here are the steps
  • Run cold water over the burn
  • Gently pat dry
  • Spread on a layer of toothpaste. The pain will go away

However, the question is regarding the safety of use of toothpaste and the effect it has on the healing of the skin. We can all agree about the fact that applying toothpaste can only be effective for less severe or minor burns (first degree burns).

For severe burns, that is, second and third degree burns, toothpaste will not help. Especially for third degree burns, the best option is to see a doctor: Household remedies won’t be of much help in this case.

What do Doctors or Medical Practitioners say? Does Toothpaste work as a first aid for burns or it is a Myth?

Considering what the medical practitioners and doctors have to say about applying toothpaste on burn area, it is quite clear that there many who associate applying toothpaste on burns as a bad practice and relates it to some myths that have passed on over the years. According to doctors and people associated with medical practices, toothpaste contains some chemicals such as peppermint and calcium and more, which are not at all good for the burnt skin.

These chemicals can aggravate the injury by infecting the area and causing more harm than good. How? It can cause the skin to slough away, leaving the tender lower layers susceptible to infection. Doctors even do not suggest applying ice on burn region as it reduces the temperature and stops blood circulation.

According to a report by the World Health Organization(WHO), using toothpaste as a first aid for burns is classified as a potentially harmful intervention that should be avoided. Instead, the report suggests that you apply cold water or allow the burnt area to remain in contact with cold water for some time.

WebMD says toothpaste on burns is a No-No home remedy because it has no benefit other than a slight cooling effect.

Even though doctors warn against use of toothpaste, in case of minor burn it is best to apply toothpaste instead of not applying anything at all, courtesy of hearsays. At least it has a cooling effect which of course is better than nothing at all.

Colgate white toothpaste

Colgate for Burns

But not all types of toothpaste can be said to work on burns. It is best to use the conventional toothpaste on the burnt region. White toothpaste is the best for this purpose. Colgate is definitely one of the best brands of toothpaste you should consider . Of course, Colgate is one of the most popular brands of white toothpaste that is used across the world. It is also the most popular when it comes to home remedies for minor burns.

How does Toothpaste help Sunburns-Is Toothpaste good for  Sunburns?

Toothpaste is not only beneficial for regular burns; it is also quite good in case of sunburns. If the level of a sunburn is not too high and blisters have not formed in the area, applying toothpaste can be a perfect remedy against burn. Toothpaste should be applied to the sunburn area liberally to ease the burning sensation. It can be applied to any part of the body. This will cool off the area and  prevent the formation of blisters. The redness will also get reduced.

Toothpaste offers instantaneous cooling effect to the sunburn region. This offers great soothing relief. Also, toothpaste creates a layer on the skin. This prevents further burn as well. However, it is always best to use some sunscreen while you are on a beach to avoid such issue in the first place. If there is blister formation due to the sunburn, it is never advisable to use toothpaste on the blistered region.

Does Toothpaste work for surnburns-Is good or helpful
Sunburns on back of a lady

Toothpaste on Bruises, Cuts & for Blisters

Bruises and Cuts

Toothpaste can be used for the treatment of bruises, cuts and blisters as well. Besides burns, toothpaste finds its place in the home remedies for bruises, cuts and blisters as well.

Bruises happen when blood vessels rupture within the skin due to sudden impact. There is a bluish or dark reddish tinge that occurs on the skin which we called a bruise. Toothpaste can be a great remedy in healing bruise. To get rid of the bruise, you should apply toothpaste and lotion to the bruised area and leave it overnight. It is best to do this before going to bed. Cover up the region so that toothpaste does not stain the area. Repeating the process for a couple of night will take care of the bruise. Repeat till the bruise is gone.

In cases of small cuts, toothpaste can be an emergency remedy. It will help ease the pain and give a soothing sensation. However, it must be noted that toothpastes are for external uses only as there are chemicals which can cause harm if it comes into contact with an open wound. Thus, do not use toothpaste unless absolutely necessary. Also, never use toothpaste on major cuts.

If you are suffering from fever blister and have nothing near you that can help relieve the pain, you can try toothpaste and salt. You can make the combo by mixing one teaspoon of toothpaste in half tablespoon of salt. Then apply this mix to the blistered region. This will give you relief.

Using Toothpaste for Burns Tips and safety Measures

Toothpaste has many great  uses and is majorly used to treat burns as already mentioned. However, there are a few points to keep in mind. Toothpaste is not sterile and it comes with chemicals which are not good for the internal parts of the body. It is good to treat minor burns, but can never be used on second or third degree burns or major burns and blisters. The keyword here is minor. For severe cases, it is highly recommended that you see your doctor immediately.

Other Natural Home Remedies to Heal Burns Fast

Here in this video Dr Axe discusses 3 ingredients to heal burns and surnburns quickly. These ingredients, reduce inflammation, soothe the skin while relieving pain

  • Peppermint Essensial oil
  • Ornganic Aloe Vera Gel
  • Lavender Essential Oils

Resources and References:

  1. Yuan J et al. Assessment of cooling on an acute scald burn injury in a porcine model. Journal of Burn Care Research, 2007, 28:514–520.
  2. Ghosh A, Bharat R. Domestic burns prevention and first aid awareness in and around Jamshedpur, India: strategies and impact. Burns, 2000, 26:605–608.
  3. WebMD-5 Home Remedy No-No’s
  4. The Bradford Burn Study: the epidemiology of burns presenting to an inner city emergency department

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