Home Remedies for Burns
Ever singe your hand on the oven door while taking a peek at your batch of cookies? Or maybe you had a clumsy moment and slopped some boiling water out of your teakettle or pasta pot directly onto some exposed skin. Your immediate reaction after a kitchen burn is probably to run it under some cold water—as you should! But if you’re looking for some stronger, longer-lasting relief, you might try reaching some of these home remedies:
1. Aloe Vera
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, aloe contains compounds that help to heal burned skin. One of these is glycoproteins, which work to stop pain and inflammation. Glycoproteins are what are at work when you apply aloe to your burn and feel the pain start to subside. After this stage, polysaccharides (examples of which include cellulose and starch) promote new skin growth. So, the application of aloe actually provides exactly what your skin needs in order to heal quickly. In fact, the New York Times reported on a study that showed that burns treated with aloe actually healed a few days faster than those treated with silver sulfadiazine, a commonly prescribed burn cream.
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Honey applied to a burn helps to draw out liquids, which cleans out the wound. You can apply a small amount of honey to a gauze bandage to apply over your burn, and leave it to work its magic.
Vinegar is another home remedy often used to clean out a burn. Vinegar works as an antiseptic and, if used to clean a burn, can prevent an infection. Dilute it with equal parts water to make it less harsh on your skin and gently rinse or scrub the affected area.
It might sound strange, but oatmeal is another standby for burn treatment (at least for minor, at-home burns). Have you ever heard of an oatmeal bath used to soothe itching from Chicken Pox? Burns can itch, too, especially when they're in the process of healing. To relieve the irritation, try soaking your burn for 10-15 minutes in a miniature oatmeal bath. If you're treating a larger burn - like a sunburn - you can make a real oatmeal bath: add one cup of oatmeal to a bath of lukewarm water as the water is running and wait until the tub is filled before climbing in. For longer-lasting relief, let your burn air dry afterwards so that a thin coating of the oatmeal remains in place to prevent itching.
So, the next time you singe yourself in the kitchen, try reaching for some of these remedies that you probably already have at home. It’s cheaper, all natural, and doesn’t require a trip to the drugstore. Interested in other home remedies? Try taking the quiz to test your knowledge of other recommended home treatments for burns.