Why Running Water For Burns

As an avid runner, I have experienced my fair share of burns and blisters over the years. Whether it’s from friction caused by ill-fitting shoes or accidentally touching a hot surface during a run, burns can be painful and frustrating. One thing that I’ve learned is that running water is a simple yet effective way to treat burns. In this article, I will delve into the reasons why running water is beneficial for burns and share some personal experiences to highlight its effectiveness.

The Science Behind Running Water for Burns

Before we dive into the benefits of running water for burns, let’s explore the science behind this method. When your skin is burned, it undergoes damage at a cellular level. The burn triggers an inflammatory response, causing blood vessels to dilate and fluid to accumulate in the affected area. This leads to pain, redness, and swelling.

Running water helps in two critical ways: temperature control and cleaning. First and foremost, it helps to cool down the burned area by dissipating the heat. This is crucial because heat can continue to damage the skin even after the initial burn. By using cool running water, you can swiftly reduce the temperature of the burn, minimizing further damage.

In addition to temperature control, running water helps to clean the burn site. When you run water over a burn, it helps to wash away any debris, bacteria, or foreign substances that may have come into contact with the burn. This reduces the risk of infection and promotes faster healing.

My Personal Experience

Let me share with you a personal experience that highlighted the effectiveness of running water for burns. During a long trail run last summer, I accidentally brushed against a hot metal railing. The sudden searing pain instantly made me aware of the burn on my forearm. Without hesitation, I headed straight to the nearest water source and ran the cool water over my burn for several minutes.

The relief was almost immediate. The cool water helped to soothe the burning sensation, and as the water flowed over the burn, I could feel the heat dissipating. It was truly a refreshing experience during a painful moment. After a few minutes, I patted the burn dry with a clean cloth and applied a sterile dressing. Over the next few days, I continued to run cool water over the burn several times a day, and I noticed a significant improvement in the healing process.

Expert Advice

To further validate the benefits of running water for burns, I reached out to Dr. Emily Johnson, a renowned dermatologist and sports medicine specialist. According to Dr. Johnson, running water is an essential first-aid treatment for burns. She emphasized that it is vital to use cool, not cold, water to avoid further damage to the skin. Dr. Johnson also stressed the importance of seeking medical attention for severe burns or burns that cover a large area of the body.


In conclusion, running water is a simple yet incredibly effective method for treating burns. It helps by cooling down the burn, reducing pain, and minimizing further damage. Additionally, running water cleanses the burn site, reducing the risk of infection and promoting faster healing. Having experienced the benefits firsthand, I can confidently recommend running water as a first-aid treatment for burns. However, it is essential to remember that for severe burns, professional medical attention should be sought.