How to treat a curling tool burn

By Fiona Embleton

Photo: Gregory Harris

One false move can result in a burning scar. This is how to deal with it right when the incident happens

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Curling tongs create lust-worthy waves and where would we be without our trusty straighteners for magically transforming kinky strands into sleek, light-reflecting sheets? But as anyone who has ever tried to wrestle their hair between the plates, while angling their arm just so, heated styling tools also pose somewhat of a risk to the skin on our cheekbones, forehead, inner arms and even necks. One false move can result in a nasty burn, which left untreated can result in a scar.

When you first burn your skin, applying a cool (not freezing) compress as soon as possible can prevent a first-degree burn from blistering. "Keeping the area moist is important as this speeds up the healing process and prevents scars from forming,” dermatologist Dr Stefanie Williams told me when my curling tongs left an inch-long burn on the my cheekbone. She additionally recommended I coat my skin in a thin layer of La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume B5, a hero salve for compromised skin that contains the humectant glycerin to help your skin hold onto essential moisture, while panthenol soothes away discomfort and accelerates the skin’s natural repair process.

Keeping the area moist is important as this speeds up the healing process and prevents scars from forming

Dr Stefanie Williams

If the burn is on the face, avoid the temptation to apply foundation and concealer over the top until the scab has healed over. Even then, use a mineral foundation – Idun Minerals Mineral Powder Foundation is formulated with only four ingredients and is so gentle it is recommended by Asthma Allergy Nordic. Numerous dermatologists also recommend Oxygenetic Oxygenation Foundation SPF25 after cosmetic procedures to camouflage bruises as it contains Ceravitae, a complex that attracts oxygen to the skin to accelerate healing.

Finally, it's worth remembering that healed burns are extremely sensitive to sunlight and may actually sunburn more severely than the rest of your skin. Not to mention, you run the risk of discolouration and the burn turning a dark brown hue. Choose a mineral sunscreen as zinc oxide offers benefits beyond UV protection and has proven antimicrobial properties that soothe irritation and help wound healing. Coola Mineral Silk Creme SPF30 keeps inflammation at bay with niacinamide, while Karmameju Face Sunscreen SPF30 is laced with lavender, an antiseptic herb that increases collagen production in order to repair tissue.

The best products for treating curling tong burns

Cicaplast Baume B5

La Roche-Posay

Mineral Powder Foundation

Idun Minerals

Oxygenating Foundation SPF25


Mineral Silk Creme SPF30


Face Sunscreen SPF30