The “salt and ice” challenge is going viral again. For Queensland mum Rebecca Etherington, this comes as terrifying news. Her teenage daughter is still suffering from when she did the challenge two years ago.
The challenge involves people putting salt on their skin, and then pressing an ice cube on top. The temperature of the mixture rapidly drops to well below freezing point, causing intense pain. It can result in injuries similar to frostbite.
In January 2015, Etherington’s 14-year-old daughter Hannah took part in the challenge at a sleepover. Etherington says for Hannah, it was all about the “pain factor”.
“The reason she did it was to prove that she could hold out longer than the guys,” she explains to Mamamia. “That was the thing. They knew it was going to hurt.”
Hannah ended up with a third-degree burn about the size of a business card on her leg. It quickly became infected, requiring treatment with antibiotics.
The burn on Hannah's leg, soon after the challenge. (Image: Rebecca Etherington)
“Because it was such a bad burn, it blistered, and then once the blister went away, she was left with this pile of grossness," Etherington remembers. "There was skin trying to grow back, but it was still filling with partial blisters. Any knock would start it bleeding again, and then more blisters would come up."
The healing was a long process.