Hopefully as you read this the barbeque season is well and truly upon us and chilling out
with friends and family is in full flow, along with the ice cold beers and Pimms. Of course,
as soon as barbeques are mentioned someone’s bound to want to demonstrate their flare
for cooking, then squeal as they fry their fingers rather than sauté the sausages. It can
happen to the best of us.
One theory that’s been rattling around the internet for some time and has come to our
attention is the use of egg whites on burns and scalds, the theory being that the white
dries and forms a protective layer. Advice according to the internet states that egg white
is a natural collagen and applying several layers of beaten egg white can stop pain and
leave little trace of the burn, and there are several examples explaining the short and long
term benefits.
But is this good advice or simply an old wives’ tale? We thought the best people to ask
would be the St John’s Ambulance, the organisation whose mission it is to teach first aid.
We were told by the medical team that using egg whites to treat burns used to be
accepted practice many years ago, but it would not be what they would advise for
treatment now.
Isobel Kearl, Training Development Officer from the St John’s Ambulance, instead offered
this simple first aid advice for how to treat minor burns:
Cool the injured part under cold running water for at least ten minutes or
until the pain is relieved. If water isn’t available, you can use milk or a cold
canned drink.
We do not recommend the use of creams to treat burns.
Remove any jewellery or tight clothing from the injured area before it
begins to swell and cover the area with kitchen film or a clean plastic bag.
Never burst a blister caused by a burn, as the wound could then become
So there you have it, the view of the experts. You can find out more about the St John’s
Ambulance at