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Author Topic: Why does putting a burned finger in cold water help the pain?  (Read 3716 times)

Offline Alan McDougall

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From the time I was a boy I knew that by putting my very painful burned finger in ice cold water nearly took away the pain. I had to be patient and keep my finger in the water until I could tolerate it out of the cold water.

How does this work and why?

Alan


 

Offline LeeE

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Why does putting a burned finger in cold water help the pain?
« Reply #1 on: 05/07/2008 12:11:45 »
When you've burned something, say a finger, it means that you've heated it up.  Air's quite a good insulator, so your heated finger stays hot and continues to be damaged until you cool it down.  Sticking your finger into water, which is quite a good conductor, cools it down by transferring the heat to the water.  However, this won't stop the pain from the damage that's already been caused but if you stick it into ice-cold water there may also be a numbing effect.
 

Offline Alan McDougall

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Why does putting a burned finger in cold water help the pain?
« Reply #2 on: 07/07/2008 20:38:35 »
Lee,

Thanks that makes sense

Alan
 

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Why does putting a burned finger in cold water help the pain?
« Reply #2 on: 07/07/2008 20:38:35 »

 

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