A HORRIFYING image has been shared by a doctor in a bid to warn others against using toothpaste to treat a burn.
A Malaysian woman attempted an at-home toothpaste remedy after burning her hand with scorching hot oil.
But the DIY solution made her hand look unrecognisable and instead of soothing the pain, her hand ballooned in size.
Medic Dr Kamarul Ariffin warned that using home remedies for burns could backfire, by causing infection and irritation.
And it’s not just toothpaste the doctor has seen patients use for amateur burn relief.
Dr Ariffin said he had come across people using oil, flour, soy sauce, eggs and butter as so-called treatments for burns.
He urged people to follow medical advice in the event of suffering a burn.
This includes removing any burnt clothing, jewellery or watches from the affected area, if possible, and then rinsing it with clean, room temperature water for 15 to 20 minutes.
He added that burns sufferers should never pop any blisters or attempt to treat their injuries with very cold water or ice.
People with more serious burns, or burns that were larger than the palm of their hand or on a sensitive area, should seek medical attention, he advised.
Toothpaste giants Colgate have posted advice on their website to people who are tempted to use toothpaste to treat burns.
It warns: “Toothpaste contains abrasives and detergents, which work well for cleaning your teeth, but not so well when in easing the pain of a burn.”
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Dr Arrifin’s post sparked a lively debate on social media where a number of people asked whether aloe vera could be used to treat burns.
He replied: “Stop the burning first. Run water first. If it’s a first degree burn, can apply aloe vera. If it’s second or third degree, see a doctor first before applying anything.”
One person noted: “So suggesting toothpaste for everything might not be the best idea after all.”
HOW TO TREAT BURNS
FIRST AID FOR BURNS
Stop the burning process as soon as possible.
This may mean removing the person from the area, dousing flames with water, or smothering flames with a blanket.
Do not put yourself at risk of getting burnt as well.
Remove any clothing or jewellery near the burnt area of skin, including babies’ nappies.
But do not try to remove anything that’s stuck to the burnt skin, as this could cause more damage.
Cool the burn with cool or lukewarm running water for 20 minutes as soon as possible after the injury.
Never use ice, iced water, or any creams or greasy substances like butter.
Keep yourself or the person warm.
Use a blanket or layers of clothing, but avoid putting them on the injured area.
Keeping warm will prevent hypothermia, where a person’s body temperature drops below 35C (95F).
This is a risk if you’re cooling a large burnt area, particularly in young children and elderly people.
Cover the burn with cling film.
Put the cling film in a layer over the burn, rather than wrapping it around a limb.
A clean clear plastic bag can be used for burns on your hand.
Treat the pain from a burn with paracetamol or ibuprofen.
Always check the manufacturer’s instructions when using over-the-counter medication.
Children under 16 years of age should not be given aspirin.
Sit upright as much as possible if the face or eyes are burnt.
Avoid lying down for as long as possible, as this will help reduce swelling.
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