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InkyAnn's avatar

What is the best home remedy for welders flash burn?

Asked by InkyAnn (2433 points ) January 4th, 2012

Ok before you say it, going to the eye doctor is out of the question. This is for my boyfriend and he WILL NOT GO. We already know all about it and what can happen. Yes I know its stupid, but there’s nothing I can do. We don’t have the money in any way to go to a professional anyways.

That being said. I hear alot about putting peeled potatoes on the closed eyes, I also heard that staring at a florescent light for 2 minutes after the flash will prevent “sandpaper eyes” at night. What other tips or remedies do you know of that will help him.

And again, going to the doctor wont happen and we already know all about the possibilities of not getting it treated by a doctor, so please don’t comment with an answer of that sort. I don’t mean to sound like a Bleep but I am only looking for things that we can do other than that.

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22 Answers

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jrpowell's avatar

Potato works great. My dad owned a welding and machine shop. I went there after school to sweep for Lego money. I got welders flash and it is horrible. My mom cut a potato in half and put them on my eyes and it worked.

And welders flash is insanely painful.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Try tea bags that have soaked in water.

InkyAnn's avatar

@johnpowell Yeah he warned me, if he wakes up screaming during the night, dont be scared..

@Tropical_Willie Do I just soak them in cold water (and for how long)? Or do I have to boil them, then let them cool first?

Seelix's avatar

I’ve read that cool sliced potatoes or sliced cucumbers may work. A cold washcloth over his eyes might help.

You might want to go to a pharmacy and ask the pharmacist whether there are any over-the-counter drops you could use. You mention that you don’t have a lot of money, but if you can get an OTC numbing drop, it might be worth spending a few bucks.

CWOTUS's avatar

From Wikipedia

The pain may be temporarily alleviated with anaesthetic eye drops for the examination, however it is not used for continued treatment as anaesthesia of the eye interferes with corneal healing, and may lead to corneal ulceration and even loss of the eye. Cool, wet compresses over the eyes and artificial tears may help local symptoms when the feeling returns. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) eyedrops are widely used to lessen inflammation and eye pain, but have not been proven in rigorous trials. Systemic (oral) pain medication is given if discomfort is severe. Healing is usually rapid (24–72 hours) if the injury source is removed. Further injury should be avoided by isolation in a dark room, removing contact lenses, not rubbing the eyes, and wearing sunglasses until the symptoms improve.

I would say cool tea bags (or wet cotton balls, or cool, wet facecloth, folded in thirds to hold more moisture) would work fine. The potato thing I had never heard of.

I’ve had mild incidences of this from time to time (from very short exposures), and it was highly uncomfortable, but scream-worthy? Nah. As long as you don’t “overtreat”, and use completely inappropriate (or extended) remedies, he should be fine in a day or two.

Edit: Incidentally, if this happened during the course of employment, he definitely should report the injury first thing tomorrow morning. In fact, if this happened on a “legal” job (salary paid “above the table”, and employer operating legally in other ways – so your boyfriend isn’t afraid of reprisal or having “authorities” know about the job), then he should see a doctor as a Workman’s Comp case. A responsible employer would want nothing less.

InkyAnn's avatar

@CWOTUS No he wasn’t at work, this just happened about two hours ago. He was in the garage welding something up for his truck and his auto darken lens on his helmet took a sh*t in the middle of it. And being a stubborn man he kept going. Also this inst the first time hes had this. He said its like the 4th now..

Right now hes laying down in be with the potatoes on his eyes and he said that it like worked instantly for him. Actually I think I hear him snoring so I guess that’s a good sign. Thank you everyone for you advice! And if there was anything that wasn’t listed please mention it. I’m still open to hearing more remedies in case this one stops working for him.

Judi's avatar

Maybe aloe vera compresses?

bkcunningham's avatar

Very carefully rub a small amount of Vick’s Vapor Rub on the eyebrows and below each eye. It will pull the burn out of the eyes for some reason. My ex-husband was a steelworker. He and everyone else who worked around welders and/or cutting torches kept a jar of Vick’s Vapor Rub in the lunch buckets.

InkyAnn's avatar

@bkcunningham Thank you if its bad tomorrow we’ll try that

fredTOG's avatar

Vick’s Vapor Rub will hurt so bad ,try oat meal cooked and cooled .

InkyAnn's avatar

@fredTOG do i put it in a cloth or just smear it right on the eyes?

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

Both of my sons have gotten their eyes burned from welding. One is an auto mechanic, so he sometimes has to weld in tight places where protective gear won’t fit. It looks absolutely terrible, bright angry red. There is nothing the doctors can do, by the way, which is probably why your boyfriend doesn’t want to go. My sons just use Visine and hold a cold, damp washcloth on their eyes for a while. It takes a few days, but it does clear up on its own.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I’m curious how this worked out. My father did the same thing with an arc welder. He woke up in the night screaming in pain. This from a man than ran his hand through several pulley belts on a chopper and only swore.

bkcunningham's avatar

Vick’s Vapor Rub.

Seelix's avatar

How’s the patient, @InkyAnn?

InkyAnn's avatar

@Seelix He is doing very good! Went back to work today.He says his eyes are still a little sore, and thank you to everyone that offered advice. He said it really helped alot!

Thank you to everyone! You all really helped someone out. Makes me so thankful for this website! Your the best!!

CWOTUS's avatar

We can help with spelling and grammar, too. Just sayin’.

InkyAnn's avatar

@CWOTUS Really? Was that necessary?

fredTOG's avatar

What did you try ? And what worked the best ? And @ CWOTUS Really, Was that necessary?

InkyAnn's avatar

@fredTOG we started with the pealed and sliced potatoes with a cold rag over them. The in the morning we did the tea bags. He said that the potatoes worked best.

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