Skip to content
    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    First Aid Myths: Ignore These Summer 'Cures'

    Experts share first aid tips while debunking some common home remedies.
    By
    WebMD Feature

    Softball in the eye? Don't reach for a raw steak!

    Summer, with its whirl of sports and outdoor activities, can produce an appalling number of minor injuries, but you can make matters worse if you follow wacky, outdated advice and don't know the correct steps to take.

    Recommended Related to First Aid

    Coughs

    Is unconscious or not breathing Is gasping for breath Has trouble breathing or is breathing very fast when not coughing Has severe coughing attacks or continuous coughing Can't cry or talk because of breathing trouble Grunts when breathing Has blue lips May have a small object caught in her throat Is breathing very fast (this is also a symptom of fever) Looks very sick

    Read the Coughs article > >

    Myth: Put Butter on a Burn

    "Ludicrous!" Richard O'Brien, MD, an emergency medicine physician at the Moses Taylor Hospital in Scranton, Pa., tells WebMD. Grandma's tried-and-true remedy of slapping butter on a burn is just adding unclean, foreign proteins.

    Second- and third-degree burns -- when the skin is blistering or white and without feeling -- need to be treated by a doctor. First-degree burns -- when the skin is red but feeling is still normal -- can be treated at home.

    "You need to cool a minor burn," O'Brien advises. "Run cold water on the burned area for at least 10 minutes; then apply an over-the-counter antibiotic ointment." Put a cloth over that, he says, and then you can apply another cold compress for pain control. A bag of frozen veggies works nicely. Never put ice directly on the skin.

    Tip Sheet: What to Keep in Your First Aid Kit

    Myth: Throw Your Head Back to Stop a Nosebleed

    "Don't put your head between your knees or tip your head back," O'Brien says. The latter is especially bad because you can breathe the blood into your lungs or get it in your stomach and vomit.

    "Press the fleshy part of your nose," O'Brien says, "and not the part where your glasses sit -- lower than that -- as if you are trying to stop a bad smell." Now -- and this is the important part -- press firmly for a complete 10 minutes by the clock. "People don't do that, they let up every three seconds to see if it stopped," he says. Ten minutes! O'Brien says there are also medications and little nostril plugs for people who get frequent nosebleeds.

    If a nosebleed lasts for more than 15 minutes, occurs following a serious injury, or is accompanied by severe blood loss, you should call your doctor or go to the emergency room.

    1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

    Hot Topics

    WebMD Video: Now Playing

    Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

    Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

    Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

    Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

    disciplining a boy
    Types, symptoms, causes.
    fruit drinks
    Eat these to think better.
    embarrassed woman
    Do you feel guilty after eating?
    diabetes supply kit
    Pack and prepare.
    Balding man in mirror
    Treatments & solutions.
    birth control pills
    Which kind is right for you?
    Remember your finger
    Are you getting more forgetful?
    acupuncture needle on shoulder
    10 tips to look and feel good.
    Close up of eye
    12 reasons you're distracted.
    woman biting a big ice cube
    Habits that wreck your teeth.
    apple slices with peanut butter
    What goes best with workouts?
    Pink badge on woman chest to support breat cancer
    Myths and facts.

    Pollen counts, treatment tips, and more.

    It's nothing to sneeze at.

    Loading ...

    Sending your email...

    This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

    Thanks!

    Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

    Women's Health Newsletter

    Find out what women really need.