Savvy Tips Guru

Why You Shouldn’t Use Toothpaste on Burns


If you burn yourself, like when your palm touches a hot oven rack, the first thing to do is cool the burn under running, cool water for a few minutes to reduce the pain. You might have heard about using toothpaste on burns, but it’s not a good idea. Toothpaste isn’t good for burns because it can actually harm the affected area more. Instead, after cooling the burn, cover it with a clean, dry cloth or a sterile dressing and keep it protected. If the burn is large, very painful, or looks severe, it’s important to seek medical help right away.

Why shouldn’t you use toothpaste for burns?

A study in a science journal says that putting toothpaste on a burn could be bad for you. Toothpaste has stuff like abrasives and detergents, which are good for cleaning teeth but not for burns. It can make the burn hurt more and might even cause infection and scars. Below are more reasons why:

Third-degree burns

Third-degree burns happen when all the layers of the skin are completely burned away by heat. No home remedy or do-it-yourself solution can help with a third-degree burn. If a burn looks leathery or charred, is bigger than 3 inches across, or has brown or white patches, it’s likely a third-degree burn. These serious burns need immediate care from medical professionals; that’s the only proper way to treat them.

Second-degree burns

Second-degree burns are less severe than the most serious burns but still go deeper than just the top layer of your skin. These burns can blister, become pus-filled, or bleed, and might take a few weeks to heal. You might notice deep redness, sensitive skin, areas of white or uneven color, and a shiny, wet look, which are all signs of a second-degree burn. While these burns can heal with proper care, using questionable home remedies or harsh ingredients, like those in toothpaste, can raise the risk of infection and other complications.

First-degree burns

First-degree burns are the most common type of burn. You might get one from too much sun, using a hot curling iron, or touching something like a hot pot or oven. It’s best to treat these burns with proper first aid rather than home remedies like toothpaste. The sodium fluoride in toothpaste, which helps prevent tooth decay, can trap heat and bacteria when applied to burns. Even toothpastes without fluoride, but with baking soda or natural whitening agents, can delay the healing process of a burn.

Other So-Called Remedies to Avoid Putting on Burns

Using toothpaste on a burn isn’t the only home remedy that might make things worse. You should also avoid using these common DIY treatments for burns:

  • Butter
  • Oils (like coconut oil and olive oil)
  • Egg whites
  • Ice
  • Mud

Immediate Solution After Experiencing a Burn

If you get a small burn, first aid is the first step to take. You can treat small burns, about the size of a large coin, at home. For bigger or more serious burns, you should see a doctor.

  • Start by cooling the burn. You can put a cold cloth on it or run it under cool water. This helps take away the heat and begins to ease the burn. Aloe vera can also be soothing.
  • Once the burn feels cooler, you can put on some cream to prevent infections and then cover it with a clean bandage that doesn’t stick. Make sure not to use gauze or anything that might stick to the burn.
  • If the burn hurts, you can take a common pain reliever like aspirin or ibuprofen.

Alternative and Effective Remedies for Burns

If you have a first-degree burn, here are some proven home treatments that can help ease the pain.

Cold water

You should not use ice, but it’s good to soak your burn in cool water. This helps pull the heat out of your skin.

Aloe vera

Aloe vera can help heal your burns and soothe pain by reducing swelling. It’s best to use products that contain pure aloe gel, or you can break a leaf off an aloe plant and apply the gel directly to your burn.

Cold compress

A cold compress using cool water or a water bottle can help pull out the heat trapped in your skin. Just make sure the surface of the compress is wet with cool water so it doesn’t stick to the burn.

Antibiotic ointments

Antibiotic ointments from your first aid kit, like Neosporin or bacitracin, can clean bacteria from the burn and help it heal. Some of these ointments also have medicine that helps reduce pain and the sting.

When to Visit a Doctor

You should only treat minor burns at home. If a burn is bigger than 3 inches across, see a doctor. But remember, even small burns can be serious.

Here are signs that you need to see a doctor for a burn:

  • The skin looks white or patchy
  • There’s pus or fluid leaking from the burn
  • The area around the burn is getting redder
  • The skin is tough, brown, or looks burned
  • The burn is from chemicals or electricity
  • The burn is on your hands, feet, or a major joint
  • The burn affects sensitive areas like your groin, genitals, or inside your mouth
  • You have trouble breathing after getting burned
  • You have a fever or swelling after the burn

Sometimes, after a burn, you might need fluids to keep from getting dehydrated. Doctors can treat burns with the right bandages, strong antibiotics, and by checking on how well you are healing.

Take Proper Steps to Heal Your Burns the Right Way

Since you can’t put toothpaste on burns, knowing the right remedies is crucial. Remember, when dealing with burns, always opt for safe and proven remedies. Also, avoid other DIY solutions that can make things worse. Instead, focus on cooling the burn with water, using aloe vera, applying a cold compress, and using antibiotic ointments if needed. If the burn is severe or shows concerning signs, seek medical help promptly. Stay informed, stay safe!


  • Diane Silva

    Diane is a travel enthusiast, content creator, and master storyteller, capturing her adventures through captivating blogs and engaging vlogs. With a passion for the great outdoors and a love for literature, she brings a unique perspective to the travel world. Whether she's exploring hidden gems or discussing the latest trends, Diane is your go-to source for all things travel and beyond.