Advertisement

Why shouldn't I treat a burn with ice?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

There are two major reasons for NOT treating a burn with ice. First the ice can cause further damage to the tissue and even result in frost-bite, if left in contact with the tissue too long. The burn may expose underlying tissue which is fragile and more likely to be damaged by exposure to ice. Also if the skin surrounding the burn is damaged by the ice it may impede the healing process. The other reason is specific to second and third degree burns in which the epidermal surface of the skin is damaged. Putting ice directly on these burns can cause a burn victims body temperature to become to cold which places them at risk for additional complications.

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

Burns shouldn't be treated with ice because it can make the body too cold. The affected area that comes in direct contact with the ice can become so cold that additional damage is done. Room-temperature or cool water is best as ice water can pose the same potential problems as ice.

Continue Learning about Burn Treatment

how do medications treat burns ?
Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhDDr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Antibiotic ointments can help treat burns by preventing infections from developing. Pain medications...
More Answers
are there alternative treatments for burns ?
Diana MeeksDiana Meeks
Minor burns can be treated at home with cold water and some aloe or antibiotic ointment. You may hav...
More Answers
when should i see a doctor about a burn ?
Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhDDr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Minor burns may not need a doctor's care, but more serious ones do. A minor first-degree burn, chara...
More Answers
what are the treatment options for burns ?
Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhDDr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Minor burns are usually treated at home by putting a cooling agent (such as cold water) on the burn,...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.