Why does putting a burned finger in cold water help the pain?

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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
The Truth remains the Truth regardless of our beliefs or opinions the Truth is always the Truth even if we know it or do not know it (The Truth remains the Truth)

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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.
...And its claws are as big as cups, and for some reason it's got a tremendous fear of stamps! And Mrs Doyle was telling me it's got magnets on its tail, so if you're made out of metal it can attach itself to you! And instead of a mouth it's got four arses!

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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
The Truth remains the Truth regardless of our beliefs or opinions the Truth is always the Truth even if we know it or do not know it (The Truth remains the Truth)