Candles are a lot of fun, but sometimes they can be a pain… Literally. I have experienced this more than a few times and I can verify candle wax burns. I looked into this and have a routine I follow whenever I get burned by candle wax, here it is. How to treat a candle wax burn?
Treat a candle wax burn by submerging the affected area into cold water for at least 20 minutes. Once the area is sufficiently cool, remove it from the water and clean away any remaining wax. Apply aloe several times a day and bandage if necessary. Ibuprofen can be taken for pain.
Never apply ice directly to a burn. The numbing sensation the ice gives you may feel better in the short term, but it will further damage the tissue. This will only cause you more pain in the long run.
Why cold water?
Candle wax is hot enough to cause second-degree burns. Cold water not only eases the pain, but it can help prevent blistering.
Remember cold, not freezing!
Second Degree Burn Symptoms
- Appears wet or shiny
You can find out more from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Not every treatment is possible for every person, every burn and every situation. Let’s take a look at some alternatives.
What if I cant submerge it?
If the burn is on a part of your body that can not be submerged in water then you should soak a towel in cold water and place it on the burn.
Change it out as many times as necessary so that the towel is still cold while being pressed against the burn.
What if I don’t have aloe?
If you do not have aloe it is suggested you use an alternative ointment such as petroleum jelly.
It is suggested that antibiotic ointments not be used as they can sometimes cause allergic reactions in certain people.
Can’t bandage it?
If it is someplace that you can’t bandage it then make sure you keep it clean. Any blister or break in the skin creates a chance that infection can occur.
Should you see a doctor?
Wax melts at temperatures between 115° F and 145° F so second degree burns are generally all you will see and a doctor is not necessary.
With that said, depending on the size and area covered by the burn you may want to consult with your doctor.
Sometimes the peace of mind it brings is worth the visit.
Paraffin Wax melts at 115° F
Soy Wax melts at 120° F
Beeswax melts at 145° F
You can see from the above numbers the most severe burns will be caused by Beeswax.
How do these burns occur?
If you currently have a burn, it is likely you already know. If you are just here reading about it, lets look at some potential causes.
Water interaction with hot candle. A few drops of water on a hot candle or a hot candle container can carry the potential to trigger a hot wax disaster.
Your candle can literally explode if you get it wet while it is really hot.
Candle is knocked over and you reach for it without thinking.
If your candle is falling, just let it go. No amount of wax on the floor is worth the pain the candle will cause you.
If you are worried about the clean-up, look here and look at an article I wrote called How To Remove Candle Wax – The Ultimate Guide.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long do wax burns last?
Wax burns can last for a few weeks before they completely heal. It may take a few weeks longer than that for any remaining marks to begin fading away. Once the burn has healed you can begin applying cream to help reduce the appearance of any marks.
What treatment is best for candle wax burn marks?
Apply antibacterial ointment to the burn area while it is healing. Once it has healed you may begin applying aloe vera to the area to help reduce any redness or remaining marks.
Should you cover a burn or let it breathe?
Loosely bandage a burn to to reduce air to the burn, reduce pain and keep it clean and to help make sure your antibacterial ointment does not come off.
What happens when you pour water into a candle?
If you pour water into a hot candle it is likely you will get burned by hot wax. Pouring water into a hot candle can cause the wax to pop and even potentially cause the candle to explode if it is hot enough. If this happens hot wax can potentially spread two to three feet outward from the container.
While candles are beautiful and fun to look at they carry the potential to cause you a lot of pain or worse. Make sure you have a proper candle holder, sitting in a secure place.
Never try to handle the candle with wet hands and never try to extinguish the flame with water. That is a disaster waiting to happen.
Just take some preventative measures and you can enjoy your candles, burn free, for years to come.