Remember when…? – Burn

We all hear of some old lady's trick for treating this illness or that condition. Some of those do work, while some of them are mostly urban legends that are still shared around, and passed as truth. When I was a kid, my mom worked with a lady whose son was a doctor. One day, she heard of a "new" tip to treat burns.

Common household item

The substance he was suggesting to use was ... toothpaste. Yeah. Not butter (which I had heard of when I was even younger). But toothpaste. And not just any toothpaste: only the regular Crest type. We certainly were not going to do an experiment and test this tip. That is, when something unexpected happened.

Hot fudge

I was in the kitchen, stirring the hot fudge my mom was making and it started boiling a bit much, so I stirred harder. In doing so, I must have done something to possibly avoid a splatter and knocked the pot down. It fell on my foot, spilling all the content on my slipper, and since my toes were exposed (hint: have closed shoes when you cook), they got covered in boiling fudge.

This is the time

I do remember my mom saying "Well, this is the best time to try", so she rushed to the bathroom and grabbed the tube of toothpaste. Luckily, we had the right brand. She smothered my toes with toothpaste. I looked ridiculous with that blue paste covering all the toes and the top of the foot. But the pain did stop. Amazingly.

How long to keep it

The next question was how long to keep the paste on my foot. This happened early in the afternoon, and my mom suggested I kept the toothpaste on for as long as possible. This meant that it was left there until I took my bath in the evening. I was quite "cute" walking around, barefoot, with toothpaste on!


In the evening, as I took a bath, I gently cleaned off the toothpaste from my foot, and guess what was underneath? Nothing (other than my toes of course). I had no blister at all, despite having been covered with boiling fudge. It was somewhat red, but that was it. From this day on, my mom always kept a small tube of regular Crest toothpaste in the kitchen drawer, just in case.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, and I know other doctors that would disagree with this remedy, but I have used it successfully several times over the year, on myself, friends and my kids. It probably would not work on a severe third degree burn or something like that, but for less severe wounds, it might work. It is up to you to decide if you want to try this or not and I am not offering medical advice here.

How about you? Do you remember using old tricks or odd tricks to help cure some illnesses or conditions? Did they work? Share those stories below, in the comments.

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2 thoughts on “Remember when…? – Burn”

  1. My mother grew Aloe Vera to apply to burns (of course, it’s only for minor burns and you have to have the presence of mind to cut the leaves apart so that you can get to the gluey centers (for a time our mother kept a few pre-cut leaves in the refrigerator but being prepared for a burn seems to guarantee you won’t get burned). I remember her telling us to put burnt hands under cold running water (not iced). I never heard of the toothpaste idea before. Interesting. I’m glad it worked, though I wouldn’t have a clue why.

    • I think the principle of the toothpaste is that it cuts off the air by smothering the burn and making a crust, which is the same as keeping the wound underwater. That is also why it works with the regular toothpaste and not the gel one, and definitely NOT the mint flavored ones! But again, i am not a doctor.

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