Candle wax provides a great medium for a host of uses, not just in candles. They help us to create skin moisturizers and can provide a medium for a plethora of art projects. Solid or liquid, there’s a use for candle wax in almost every area of our lives. But when it gets hot, it does present some problems.
Will candle wax burn skin? Candle wax is excruciatingly hot, therefore, it will burn skin. As a matter of fact, it can cause second degree burns. While most of these you can treat at home, there may be some cases where you might have to make a trip to the doctor.
This is why it’s imperative that you observe the utmost caution when dealing with hot, burning liquid wax. In many cases, it shouldn’t be too bad. But you always want to prepare yourself for the worst-case scenario.
Does Candle Wax Cause Burns?
Because of the flame coming into direct contact with the wax, when it touches the skin it will burn it. But, just because the wax is warm and melted doesn’t always equate to burning. For instance, many people use paraffin wax on their hands and feet to soften the skin and provide a protective layer.
That said, it will greatly depend on how hot the wax is in order for it to create a burn that requires treatment. The following list indicates the average melting point of each type of wax and thus when it will burn your skin:
- Beeswax melts at 145°F
- Carnauba wax melts at 185°F
- Coconut wax melts at 130°F
- Paraffin Wax melts at 115°F
- Soy Wax melts at 120°F
As you can see, all of these will create some degree of burning on the skin when it hits its melting point. But beeswax and carnauba wax will present the severest burns out of them all. That said, it’s not like coconut wax or soy wax will be comfortable either. Even with paraffin wax coming in at the lowest temperature, if it hits your skin, it will scald it.
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It Bad to Put Candle Wax on Your Skin?
Putting candle wax on your skin in and of itself isn’t bad. As a matter of fact, it can be kind of fun depending on what you’re doing. Candle wax is a useful ingredient in DIY skin care products like lotions and body butters. It also makes for an interesting medium in caustic art paintings or as a kinky erotic prop.
What is bad about it is when you create skin blisters and burns for yourself as a result of it coming into contact with your skin. In the cases of caustic artwork or erotic exploration, people aren’t as careful as they should be. Therefore, accidents happen.
In the event a burn does occur, the other bad thing is that it can take a few weeks for the burn to heal. This will be particularly true if the burn was severe and permeated the outer layer of your skin.
What’s the Best Way to Treat a Candle Wax Burn?
Once that scalding wax comes into contact with skin, it’s imperative that you take immediate action. First, it’s important to understand that you should not start with ice. Although the numbness will feel good, it can further damage the delicate layers of skin. Follow these steps to treat a candle wax burn:
- Cold Water: Put the affected area under cold (not freezing) running water from a faucet or hose. This will ease the pain and prevent blistering. If you can’t get that part of your body submerged in water, use a towel with cold water. Replace it as much as needed so that the surface is cold when you press it against the area.
- Aloe Vera: Once the sting of the burn ends and you’re fairly confident that you’ve reduced the possibility for blistering, apply aloe gel.
- Ice: After a few applications of aloe, then you can go ahead and apply ice to the burn. But do not put it directly onto the skin. Either put some ice cubes in a sealable plastic bag or wrap them in a kitchen towel before applying it. You can also use ice packs, but wrap it in a towel of some kind.
- Let It Breathe: If the burn is bad enough, you can lightly and loosely bandage the affected area. But you want to allow as much air and oxygen onto the skin as possible. This will speed up healing and get the aloe to absorb fully into the dermis and epidermis layers.
- Other Ointments: Once the burn begins a sure healing process, you can bandage it a little tighter with some antibacterial ointment. This is advisable for those burns where you couldn’t control the blistering.
- Doctor’s Visits: In the case you’re unsure about the burn and there isn’t any noticeable improvement within three days, get emergency medical care ASAP.
Candle wax is a fabulous byproduct of nature. It allows us to seal, protect, create and explore. Whether used in actual candles or for art projects and beyond, candle wax is the king. But, when it gets hot, we risk burning ourselves and badly if we aren’t mindful.
Anything that heats up over 100°F is going to create a burn on our delicate, precious skin. So, when it happens we have to take direct steps to take care of it. We have to ensure it doesn’t create any serious medical issues. But, in most cases, burns are quite manageable, albeit unbearably uncomfortable and very painful.
This is why when you do choose to use wax in its luscious liquid form, you should take deliberate steps to ensure you don’t burn yourself. Keep some aloe gel on hand at all times, some bandages and a plan of action for submerging burns in cold water. If you can do this, taking care of any mishaps will be a breeze.