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Old 02-04-2004, 08:23 PM
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 119
Baking soda to treat burns?

My mother always told me that the best thing way to treat a burn was to mix baking soda with water, and coat the burn with it.

She once told me a story about how my aunt, when she was a toddler, had a pot of boiling water from the stove spill on her. According to the story, my grandmother coated her with the mixture and rushed her to the hospital. And, according to the story, she still has a scar on the one part of her body where my grandmother supposedly missed putting the mixture.

Anyone have any insight as to the validity or fallacy of this 'remedy'?

- Freewill39.
Randle Patrick McMurphy :
[about shock treatments]
"They was giving me ten thousand watts a day, you know, and I'm hot to trot! The next woman takes me on's gonna light up like a pinball machine and pay off in silver dollars!"
Old 02-04-2004, 09:27 PM
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Sydney
Posts: 2,260
Dissolving sodium bicarbonate in water is endothermic. It sucks in heat.

The best treatment for burns is cold water.

Yes it sounds like a true story. These days though we have fridges, so ice packs and ice cubes as well as cold water are more convenient.
Old 02-04-2004, 11:21 PM
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: In a hole
Posts: 3,436
During my Standard First Aid course, the instructor told us that pretty much anything that was put on a burn had to be scraped off at the hospital. Cold water is the best immediate treatment, and then a loose, dry dressing to cover lightly while seeking medical attention.

Other "home" remedies to avoid include butter (fries the wound nicely), any cosmetic or hand creams and elastic bandages.
"He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."
- Frederich Nietzsche
Old 02-05-2004, 03:30 AM
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 3,919
Baking soda is a decent neutralizer for acid burns. For scalding water I agree that cold water and/or ice is better first aid.
Old 02-05-2004, 09:24 AM
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Location: Location:
Posts: 10,482
From my wife who works the OR at a burn center at a majot Philadelphia Hospital : cool water, but not excessively cold (I mean, if you have a choice)

Vanilla. They do use vanilla to keep scars to a minimum.

In sever cases, most decisions should be left to a doc experienced with this. At first, the objective is to get cool water on the burn. In more severe cases, it's cool water and saline solution to prevent infection.

In minor burns, cool water and vanilla.
Old 02-05-2004, 07:21 PM
MLS MLS is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 7,841
For minor burns, a COLD, wet teabag helps, too.
Old 02-05-2004, 07:38 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 4
Originally posted by Phillster
Vanilla. They do use vanilla to keep scars to a minimum
Of the extract or ice cream variety?


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