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10 Effective Home Remedies To Treat Welder’s Flash

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ISSA Certified Specialist in Fitness & Nutrition
10 Effective Home Remedies To Treat Welder’s Flash September 22, 2017

You must have noticed welders wearing protective eyewear while they work. There is a very important reason behind this – to protect their eyes from developing welder’s flash or welder’s rash. And it’s not just welders who can be affected by this condition. Anybody whose eyes are exposed to strong ultraviolet light, for example from directly looking at a solar eclipse, can also suffer from this damage to their eyes.

If you already know what welder’s flash is, you would definitely be aware of how painful it is. But just like most problems, this can be cured and prevented as well. If you are affected by welder’s flash or want to prevent its occurrence, there are a number of ingredients that can help you out.

Want to know the top home remedies that can help you get rid of the tormenting welder’s flash? Read on!

What Is Welder’s Flash?

Welder’s flash is a painful condition that is caused when the eyes are overexposed to harmful ultraviolet light. The clear tissue that covers the eyes is known as the cornea. This tissue can get damaged due to various reasons and cause this eye condition. Scientifically, it is called Ultraviolet Keratitis and has the following symptoms:

  • Mild to severe pain in the affected eye (or both the eyes)
  • Increased sensitivity to light
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Blurry vision
  • Watery eyes
  • Irritation in the eye
  • A feeling that you have got something in the eye (1, 2)

The flash from the welding torches, known as the welder’s arc, is known to seriously damage the cornea of the eye. This gives welder’s flash its name.

What Causes Welder’s Flash?

Ultraviolet radiation from these sources can cause welder’s flash:

  • Welding torch
  • Direct sunlight
  • Solar eclipse
  • Reflection of the sun on water or the snow
  • Lightning
  • Sunlamps (found in tanning salons)
  • Other lamps like halogen lamps, photographer’s flood lamp, etc. (2, 3)

Welder’s flash needs accurate care and treatment since this ophthalmic condition is very painful. Other than medical aid, a few home remedies can also help to speed up recovery from this condition. Here are these remedies.

How To Get Rid Of Welder’s Flash

  1. Potatoes
  2. Milk
  3. Tea Bags
  4. Vicks Vaporub
  5. Ice Pack
  6. Cucumber
  7. Rose Water
  8. Almond Oil
  9. Wet Cloth
  10. Banana

Home Remedies To Treat Welder’s Flash

1. Potatoes For Welder’s Flash

1. Potatoes For Welder’s Flash Pinit

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • 1 potato
  • A washcloth
  • Water
What You Have To Do
  1. Peel and grate the potato.
  2. Wet the washcloth and wring out the excess water.
  3. Place the grated potato in between the washcloth in two lumps next to each other with a gap of 1-2cm between them.
  4. Wrap the washcloth around this and place in the refrigerator for a couple of minutes.
  5. Now, lie down and place this on both the eyes, with each grated potato lump on each eye.
  6. Stay in this position for 15 minutes.
How Often You Should Do This

Repeat this twice a day, with a gap of a few hours in between.

Why This Works

Potatoes are an amazing home remedy for welder’s flash. They offer a cooling effect and reduce inflammation around the affected eye (4, 5). This reduces the pain and relieves the itchiness and irritation.

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2. Milk For Welder’s Flash

2. Milk For Welder’s Flash Pinit

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • Breast milk
  • Cotton ball
What You Have To Do
  1. Dip a cotton ball into the breast milk and apply it directly on the affected eye.
  2. Leave it on for a couple of minutes before wiping it off with a clean, wet washcloth or soft tissue.

You can also add a drop of warm milk to the affected eye using a sterilized eye dropper.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this twice a day until you get relief.

Why This Works

Breast milk contains natural enzymes that can take care of the itching and dryness related to welder’s flash. It lubricates the eyes and relieves pain to a certain extent. Its usage was also shown to enhance the healing of the corneal epithelial layer in lab experiments (6, 7).

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3. Tea Bags For Welder’s Flash

3. Tea Bags For Welder’s Flash Pinit

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

A used tea bag

What You Have To Do
  1. Keep the used tea bag in the fridge so that it cools down and dries up a little.
  2. Place this on the affected eye for 10-15 minutes.

Green tea and chamomile tea bags work the best.

How Often You Should Do This

This should be repeated twice a day for best results.

Why This Works

Tea bags are yet another wonderful and instantaneous pain relief option for welder’s flash. They are amazing sources of antioxidants (tannins) that can reduce inflammation almost immediately. They are often used for treating eye problems like stye and conjunctivitis (8, 9). The coolness of the tea bag will also help in alleviating the pain caused due to this eye problem.

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4. Vicks Vaporub For Welder’s Flash

4. Vicks Vaporub For Welder’s Flash Pinit

Editorial credit: MailHamdi / Shutterstock.com

You Will Need

Vicks vaporub

What You Have To Do
  1. Carefully apply some Vicks under the eyes. Make sure not to get any into your eyes.
  2. Leave this on for as long as you can stand it.
How Often You Should Do This

Repeat this once or twice a day, depending on how your eyes are responding to it.

Why This Works

Using Vicks vaporub for welder’s flash is a remedy that is quite popular among welders. The vapors from the essential oil infused jelly are said to make your eyes water and clean them out, giving relief from welder’s eye symptoms.

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5. Ice Pack

5. Ice Pack Pinit

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

Ice pack

What You Have To Do

Simply place it on the affected eye for a few minutes.

How Often You Should Do This

Repeat as often as required.

Why This Works

Ice packs are amazing home remedies for the reduction of inflammation and pain seen with flash burns in the eyes. Their low temperature cuts the pain sensation in and around the affected eye. They also reduce redness and inflammation (10, 11).

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6. Cucumber

6. Cucumber Pinit

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

2 thick cucumber slices

What You Have To Do
  1. Refrigerate the slices for a few minutes and place them on the eyes.
  2. Leave them on for 10-15 minutes.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this twice or thrice a day.

Why This Works

Cucumber is an amazing cooling agent that is extensively rich in water as well. Thus, it soothes the dry, itchy, and painful skin around the eye and also hydrates it. It also offers deep moisturization to the affected area (12).

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7. Rose Water

7. Rose Water Pinit

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • Rose water
  • Cotton balls
What You Have To Do
  1. Soak cotton balls in rose water and place them over your eyes.
  2. Keep them on for 10 minutes.

Use cold rose water for faster results.

How Often You Should Do This

This can be done twice a day.

Why This Works

Rose water offers the much-needed relief from pain caused due to welder’s flash. It works as a coolant and alleviates the sensation of pain and irritation to a great extent (13). The cooling sensation also reduces swelling and itching.

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8. Almond Oil

8. Almond Oil Pinit

Image: Shutterstock

1-68

You Will Need

1-2 drops almond oil

What You Have To Do
  1. Using your ring finger, carefully apply the oil on the eyelids and under the eyes.
  2. Leave it on for as long as possible.
How Often You Should Do This

Reapply the oil twice a day.

Why This Works

Almonds are rich sources of vitamin E (14). This works as a lubricator for eyes. Almonds also reduce eye fatigue, inflammation, and the burning sensation (15).

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9. Wet Cloth

You Will Need
  • A soft face towel or napkin
  • Cold water
What You Have To Do
  1. Dip the towel in the cold water and wring out the excess.
  2. Place this over the affected eye and keep it on for 10-12 minutes.
How Often You Should Do This

Repeat this twice a day.

Why This Works

Using a cool, wet cloth gives relief from the pain and swelling seen with welder’s flash. This home remedy works best until the cloth remains moist.

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10. Banana

10. Banana Pinit

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

1/2 banana

What You Have To Do
  1. Peel the banana and mash the pulp so that no lumps remain.
  2. Apply this pulp on closed eyelids and leave it on for 3-5 minutes.
  3. Rinse it off slowly with plain water.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this once or twice a day.

Why This Works

Banana slices are rich sources of vitamin B2, which is an amazing vitamin that can heal eye fatigue and inflammation (16). It can also lubricate the eyelids and protect them from dryness and flaking. We know it sounds unconventional, but you can surely try using a banana to treat welder’s flash.

Back To TOC

The home remedies for welder’s flash treatment listed above offer great relief from pain and inflammation. However, this acute eye condition needs proper medical guidance for complete recovery. So, it is best to consult a doctor if you unfortunately ever suffer from it.

Here are some more tips for you to deal with welder’s eye.

Tips And Warnings

  • Wash your hands before touching the eyes to administer any prescribed drops or ointments or use any home remedies.
  • A simple pain reliever like ibuprofen or paracetamol can be taken on the first day to deal with the pain. Do not take multiple painkillers.
  • Stay indoors as much as possible.
  • Wear sunglasses to protect the eyes from dust and dirt. These can also help you as your eyes become sensitive to light after a flash burn.
  • Don’t read or watch television. Listen to music for some entertainment while you are resting.
  • Always wear protective eyewear when welding or even when you simply venture out into the sun. Use sunglasses that provide both UVA and UVB protection.

We have answered some more questions pertaining to this topic below.

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

How long does welder’s flash last?

The cornea usually heals itself in 1-2 days. If it doesn’t, consult an ophthalmologist.

Will welder’s flash make you dizzy?

Welder’s flash is a temporary damage that occurs in the eyes and does not make you feel dizzy. If you have a flash burn from welding and it is accompanied dizziness, it is because of the welding fumes.

When should you seek medical care?

Seek immediate medical care if you experience any of the following:

  • Worsening glare
  • Worsening vision
  • Blurry vision (not due to the eye drops or ointment)
  • Seeing flashing spots or light (17)

Corneal flash burns can be easily avoided if you use the right protective gear for your eyes or simply stay away from blinding light that can damage your eyes. If, for whatever unforeseen reason, you do suffer from welder’s flash. Now that you know how to get rid of welder’s flash, what are you waiting for? Start using these remedies with the prescribed eye drops and/or ointment for a quick recovery.

Have you ever experienced welder’s flash? What did it feel like and how did you treat it? Share with us in the comments section below.

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Kushneet Kukreja

She is a Biotechnologist, what we in normal English would call Scientist. While she is an expert in experimenting, she also holds an exceptional talent in juggling words and churning out content with just the right amount of sass added to it. When not saving the world with her articles, she likes to hang around with her Siberian Husky (because, aren't dogs the best?). In her spare time, she likes a little 'jibber-jabber, full of chatter' time with her friends. So, what gives her the energy to do all this? If you ask her, she would say,"My cup of sanity - an extra large mug of coffee!"