Burned Yourself with a Curling Iron? Here's What to Do (and What Definitely Not to Do)
Ouch. So you got a bit carried away with making those beachy waves and your curling iron left you skin sizzling. Googling to find a fix? I hear you—I was doing the same thing last week after an unfortunate incident involving a curling wand and my neck. But then I dialed up N.Y.C. dermatogist Dr. Dendy Engelman to get some sound advice on how to help heal my skin and keep it from scarring.
Step 1: Bring down the temperature immediately
Open the freezer and grab a bag of frozen veggies, or, better yet, an actual ice pack, and set it on the area. If you're not near a kitchen, splash some cold water to the burn. Repeat or maintain contact until the area has cooled down completely. "The longer the heat [from the iron] is on the skin and not reversed, the more damage that can be done. It's essential to bring the temperature of the skin back down," says Engelman.
Step 2: Moisturize
The burn may enter a blister phase and you want to use gentle emollients to promote healing. I religiously applied Renée Rouleau Pro Remedy Oil ($72; reneerouleau.com) which contains antioxidants and healing benefits via cranberry oil and pomegranate seed oil. Coconut oil fan? That works, too. (We like Jax Coco Organic Coconut Oil, $19; jaxcoco.com) "Coconut oil is anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and anti-fungal, so it acts like a natural antiseptic," says Engelman. If you only have creams lying around, keep your choice basic. You don't want to put your anti-aging creams on the burn: Aggresive ingredients (like alpha hydroxy acids) can irritate the sensitive area, says Engelman.
Step 3: Resist picking!
Consider the scab a natural Band-Aid. "The burn is less likely to scar in a moist environment, under the scab. The skin underneath is regrowing, so you don’t want to reinjure it by lifting off the scab before it's ready to shed naturally," says Engelman.
Step 4: Protect
Once the burn has healed, apply a physical sunblock with titanium or zinc dioxide daily to shield it from sun damage (which can make any lingering marks darker). "New skin may also be more sensitive. Zinc and titanium dioxide are not likely to irritate the skin since they’re mineral based," explains Engelman.