There’s nothing worse than being so excited to eat your food or sip your coffee that you burn the inside of your mouth. Up until now, the best relief came from a little milk, but that doesn’t last long, and does nothing to help heal the burn either. Now, scientists have come up with a patch you can place directly on the burnt area of your mouth to help cool it off.
The dissolving oral strip can also help protect the burn so it heals faster. While at the University of Texas Austin, researcher Jason McConville helped develop the non-toxic strip, which looks similar to those breath strips you can buy today. But instead of breath fresheners, the strip contains a local anesthetic (benzocaine) along with a “therapeutic polymer” to aid the healing process. Unlike breath strips, the burn strip will actually adhere to the injured area, and gradually dissolve over time.
McConville, who is now at the University of New Mexico, plans on seeing if there’s a way to develop a strip that could last 2 or 3 days for really severe burns – like that time I was so excited for my pizza that I scorched the roof of my mouth and it stung for days. You know the feeling.
The current prototype strips are mango flavored, but the next step in the process of bringing the strips to market will be human experiments and potentially creating more flavors. Hopefully, we’ll begin to see the strips in mass-production in the near future if all goes well.