How to Treat Candle Wax Burns (What to Avoid)

Getting hot candle wax on yourself can be pretty painful.

Below are treatments to help you alleviate the pain as quickly as possible and what to avoid when treating your wounds.

While these treatments are great for minor burns, contact a medical professional immediately if you suffer from a severe burn.

DISCLAIMER: The information in this post is for educational purposes only. Contact a medical professional for medical advice.

What Happens if Candle Wax Gets on Your Skin?

Hot candle wax can lead to 2nd-degree burns on your skin.

First-degree burns affect the outermost layer of your skin and will lead to redness, minor swelling, pain, and dry peeling skin.

Second-degree burns affect the skin beyond the outermost layer and can lead to blisters, redness, and soreness.

How Long Does a Candle Wax Burn Take to Heal?

Treating your skin as soon as possible is essential to reduce recovery time.

Of course, the severity of your burn will also play a significant role in how long it’ll take to recover fully.

Remember to treat your skin as soon as possible and be consistent with your treatment until you fully recover.

First-degree burns typically heal within 7-10 days without scarring.

Second-degree burns can take 2-3 weeks or even longer to heal. Although second-degree burns typically heal without scarring, there is a possibility for pigment changes to the skin.

How to Treat Candle Burns

You can treat the burn at home effectively with a minor wax burn (about the size of a quarter), but you should see a doctor even when the burn is not severe if the burn affects a large area of your skin.

When treating, always keep your wound clean and loosely bandaged to prevent infection.

If you’re unsure what you’re allergic to, consult a doctor before using any lotions or medication.

Cool Water

It’s important to note that this is cool water, not very cold or ice water.

You can run cool water over the wound or soak the area in a cool water bath for 20 minutes.

Once your wound has cooled, remove it from the water and clean the wound to remove any wax on your skin.

If the wax cannot be easily removed, leave the wax in place, and cover the wound with a cool, damp cloth. Continue this in 5-10 minute increments, ensuring the damp cloth is cool until you can remove the wax.

Assess the severity of your wound and take note if there are any blisters. If blisters are present, be careful not to damage the blisters while removing the wax, which can increase the risk of infection.

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera can help heal minor burns, reduce recovery time, and moisturize the skin.

Apply the aloe vera to the wound 3-4 times per day to soothe the burning and promote healing.


Honey has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, and you can apply the honey in addition to or in place of aloe vera.

Protect the Wound

Always protect your wound after cleaning and applying any ointments or lotions.

Wrap or cover your wound with gauze or a bandage to protect it from outside elements and reduce the risk of infection.

Wrap loosely to avoid irritating the skin.

Don’t Use Ice

Avoid ice because this can make the wound worse and further damage your skin.

Avoid Small or Loose Fibers

Don’t use anything with small or loose fibers, like cotton balls, to treat the wound.

The tiny fibers in cotton balls can stick to your wound and increase the risk of infection.

Can You Put Vaseline on Wax Burns?

Vaseline should not be used as a first aid for burns with damaged skin, like first-degree burns.

According to the national library of medicine:

“Grease should never be applied to a fresh burn where the superficial part of the skin is missing. In addition to being occlusive, it is non-sterile, promotes bacterial proliferation on the surface of the wound, and may lead to infection.”

Vaseline is suitable for very minor burns only but is still not as effective as aloe vera.