Butter Is for Bread – Not Burns!

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First – How Bad Is Your Burn?

Any time you are burned, your first aid priority is to run it under cold water. This lowers the temperature of the burned tissue and reduces, as much as possible, the intensity of the burn. Water also may remove infectious contaminants. After running the burn under water for a minimum of 5 minutes, you can take a look.

A simple description of the degree of burn is as follows:

  • Red – First Degree – usually considered a minor burn
  • Blisters or Bubbles – Second Degree – not a minor burn – keep dry and clean – don’t pop your blisters.
  • Wound or Hole – Third Degree – Serious – get emergency medical treatment right away!

Regardless of the degree of burn, one should never apply household kitchen ingredients, most popularly, BUTTER. It is also important not to put ointment or ice on a burn. Just use water.

Why Not Put Butter On Your Burn?

  • It may cause infection – the butter may contain infection, or prevent contaminated substances from being washed off. Remember, running water not only cools the burn, it rinses contaminants from the area.
  • Butter may prevent the burn from cooling as fast. If the burn is covered with butter, water can’t reach the tissue to remove the heat. Cold running water is the fastest method of removing heat from a burn.
  • Butter will need to be removed from the burn if a physician needs to treat it. One can only imagine the pain caused from the removal of butter stuck to an already painful burn.
  • Butter, which is fat based, may weaken the skin, which is fat based and now injured. There is no reason to weaken already injured tissue.

Other Ineffective Folk Remedies For Burns

There are many folk remedies for burns that have been passed on through generations. These include baking powder, pickle juice, toothpaste, sliced raw tomato, vinegar. As a CPR/AED/First Aid instructor, the author hears different folk remedies for burns with every class taught. While the list of ineffective burn treatments can never be complete, The American Heart Association instructs to use only running water. Never use ointment or any kitchen or household substances.


It is possible that Aloe Vera juice can help minor burns. There have been a studies looking at Aloe Vera’s potential role in treating burns. The evidence isn’t conclusive.

Benjamin Karp is the President of GA CPR. GA CPR is a full-service safety company. They offer complete solutions including onsite group CPR training, AED sales and consultation in the development of a compliant AED response program for your organization. For more information visit: https://www.gacpr.com

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