Reviewed by Michael Smith on March 20, 2017

Sources

Scientific American: "Soft-Boiled Science: Egg-cellently Cooked Eggs.", Mayo Clinic: "Salmonella infection," "Burns: First aid.", University of Maryland: "Aloe.", University of Utah: "Aloe."

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Video Transcript

ELIZABETH: My grandma told me that every time I get a skin burn, crack an egg and put the egg white on the skin to heal faster. Is that true?

JUAN RIVERA, MD: I love this story because I can picture my own abuelita saying the same thing to me with absolute conviction. Except that my grandmother didn't treat minor burns with egg whites but with toothpaste. Go figure...

Alright, let's go through the process. You're making dinner and you get a minor burn on your hand. Ouch! You rush to the fridge, pull out an egg, separate the yolk from the white, and immediately put the gooey stuff on your burn.

Let's think about this. The fact that the egg is cold provides an immediate soothing effect...and I can be convinced the water in the egg white can be helpful too.

BUT abuelita forgot to consider that raw eggs sometimes have tiny invaders of BACTERIA called salmonella! Just a tiny little detail grandma forgot. You definitely don't want that sneaking into your body through an open wound.

So using egg whites for minor burns is a no-go for me, and I can't recommend that you use it. Sorry, abuelitas!

Here's what I recommend instead. Run tap water over the burned area for 10-15 minutes. Then apply aloe vera. Aloe vera soothes your skin instantly, and there are no side effects! It actually helps speed the healing process and promotes the growth of healthy tissue and skin over your wound. So save the eggs for a nice Spanish tortilla or pisco sour.