Here’s a valuable life lesson I’ve learnt from watching every movie ever: if you want something to run its course smoothly, don’t ever say “What can possibly go wrong?!” Because the answer to that question is — EVERYTHING! Like the time I burnt my neck with a scalding hot curling iron — think to the tune of 345 degrees F. Making fun of my best friends when I was in high school for having a hickey over a long weekend was a very real thing that happened to me at the age of 22. It was also a very enlightening thing to happen — and by enlightening I mean possibly karmic, painful, uncomfortable and embarrassing. Makes you really wonder about what kind of thoughts you put out into the universe, right?
The pity is that I was even wearing one of those heat protective gloves! I must remember to put on an entire bodysuit next time. So aside from the fact that it hurt enough to make me cry and actively disrupted my sleep, I was also at the receiving end of “WHAT IS THAT?” about six times a day. I was more concerned about it scarring — because I’m super prone to scars and would not only have to endure the shame of a hickey-burn for a few weeks, but it might turn into the eternal shame of a hickey-scar. Can you even imagine the horror?!
So I did what any rational human being would do — frantically reached out to all my friends in the industry and asked them whether I’d be scarred for life, and got the same response from all of them, “Talk to a derm.” FINE. I was told to cool the site of the burn and stop progression — either using a cold damp cloth or cold running water — regardless of the burn severity. I however, did not do this, and reached straight for the ice, which is apparently counterproductive. Did you know that it can cause frostbite and damage skin further?
A strange but helpful immediate treatment is minty toothpaste, which apparently numbs the pain. It also has cleansing properties that protect the burn from bacterial infections. Full disclosure: I didn’t try this but am curious to see how it would work for me. This is mostly because I spent the immediate proceeding hours of my burn groaning about how it hurt.
Other things you can try are baking soda, and thrice-a-day neurotic applications of arnica and Vitamin E. As of today, the scabbing on my burn is gone but it’s still healing. I truly hope you never get a hickey-burn, though beauty is painful, guys.
(The writer loves to over-share, drink wine and watch period dramas)