Use Eggs To Treat Burns-Fiction!

Use Eggs To Treat Burns-Fiction!

Summary of eRumor:

This is a story of a man whose face was badly burned in an accident.  He was helped by a woman who used egg whites to treat his burns.  This remedy produced positive results with no scarring because they contain collagen, a substance used for treating burns.

The Truth:

The Mayo Clinic web page on first aid for burns lists the steps to properly identify and treat burns but warns against the application of  ointments because of the high risk of infection.  

According to the Mayo Clinic burns are identified by three levels or degrees, rated by severity minor to major: first, second and third. Treatment for burns varies depending on their severity.  The more severe the burn the greater the need to call for professional response.

According to the website severe burns are dressed by surgeons with oxidized regenerated cellulose and animal collagen.  Eggs whites do contain collagen but it is not known if avian collagen is the same as animal collagen.  There is also the question of how sterile they are in the treatment for burns.

It should be noted that materials used for the treatment of burns should be sterile owing to the high risk of infection and depending on the local Good Samaritan laws, legal complications could develop if first aid treatment is done by someone who is not properly trained.   In the U.S. this law protects strangers who respond to helping their fellow human beings but there is also a negligence clause that protects the patient and their families in the case of a death or complication when improper treatment is used.

Updated 7/23/11