You burn your hand—on the stove, an iron, or a hot plate. According to a popular old wives’ tale, you should spread some butter on the burn to ease the pain. But that isn’t a good idea, says VanRooyen. “Butter was thought to coat the burn, but it can cause infection and create an environment for bacterial growth.”
Run the burn under cool water immediately to help remove the heat and put an end to the damaging process. “The water will also clean the area, decrease the risk of infection, and make it feel better,” says VanRooyen. Next, wrap the burn with sterile gauze or a nonadhesive bandage, and keep it clean and dry. If blisters form, don’t break them—the fluid inside is sterile, and it creates a natural bandage over the burn.
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