- Alternative & Natural Medicine
14 Home Remedies For A Burn - Identify the Burns You Can Treat At Home
Types of Burns
Dealing correctly with a burn is important for the person to recover. In order to do so you need to be able to identify the type of burn the person has sustained. There are First Degree and Second Degree burns which are minor burns, while Third Degree burns are major burns. The burns are categorized on the severity of tissue damage that has been caused to the patient.
First Degree burns are superficial. They may show mild redness and some swelling in the area of burn. When you touch this injured skin it will turn white. There are no blisters formed on the skin and usually no break of skin tissue.
Second Degree burns are those which affect the dermis or the middle skin layer. Blisters will form on the skin which turns an angry red color. The blisters may also release a white fluid discharge. The pain and swelling will be stronger.
Third Degree burns are those that damage all three skin layers. They will not be as painful because the nerve damage done is very bad. The skin is literally singed and hair and outer skin tissue may be completely destroyed. There are no blisters and the skin in badly discolored.
Immediate First Aid
First and Second Degree Burns
Wash the skin with cold water to cool it. Clean the area with a soft cloth and dry off before covering injured skin with an antibiotic cream. Cover with a sterile bandage if the burn is more than 2 inches in radius to keep it clean and protected. Some pain killer can be taken if the pain is unbearable. Do not break any blisters that form as that leaves them vulnerable to infection.
Third Degree Burns
Any major burn needs a doctor to tend to it. So rush the patient to a hospital as soon as you take a few seconds for basic first aid. This will include covering up the burn area with a sterile cloth so that it does not remain vulnerable. Don't try to yank off any clothing that has been burned. You may inadvertently hurt the skin tissue. Keep the burnt area elevated above heart level if possible. Monitor the breathing and ensure the circulation of the person is constant.
Basic Treatment of Minor Burns
The basic treatment of any minor burn involves
Cooling off the skin,
Run cold water on the skin
Protecting it from infection
Apply an antibiotic cream on the skin
Taking the edge off the pain.
Use an over the counter pain killer
14 Home Remedies for Burns
While there is no question of treating third degree burns at home, for the minor burns you can use some home remedies to ease the suffering. Remember if more than 3 inches of the skin is affected and the skin is broken you need to see the doctor because that is a major burn.
Once the immediate first aid action of running cold water over the burn has been completed you can use any of the following home remedies to ease the discomfort of the burn and hasten its healing.
1. Aloe Vera
The Aloe Vera plant is a kind of cactus which has fleshy triangular stems. If you cut the stem open and apply the gel that is released by the plant on to the burn area it will help cool the skin and heal faster. In case you do not have the plant handy you can use a herbal product which contains aloe vera and water as well.
2. Cold water and Ice cubes
Use running cold water to cool off the burn area and then press ice cubes into the skin. The ice cubes will numb the pain caused due to the burn and also prevent the formation of painful blisters later on.
3. Egg White
This is a time honored remedy for burns. Just be careful not to use it if the skin is broken as using egg white may make it more vulnerable to infection. You can use it easily enough on the skin which is not broken or blistered to release the pain and reduce the chance of scarring.
Pour a little honey over the burn area to soothe the skin. The burn will have caused the skin to lose moisture and the honey helps to return some moisture to the skin. Don't rub it into the skin, just gently dab it on and cover the burn area.
5. Lavender Oil
Lavender essential oil is very helpful in burn cases. Dab a little lavender oil on to the burn area to act as a painkiller and also promote faster healing. In case that is not convenient use a clean gauze to spread the oil onto the skin. This will also reduce the scarring of the burn.
6. Lemon Juice
Add the juice of one lemon to a large glass of cold water and use on the burn area to cool it off. The lemon juice mixture can be poured into a spray bottle and sprayed periodically on the skin to cool it off.
Dip a clean cloth in cold milk and apply it to the burn area. Repeat the process as the cloth dries up. This will help cool off the skin faster in the burn region. Do not use a cloth which may stick to the skin, plain cotton is best for the deed.
In case you have a potato handy grate it and apply the grated potato on to the burn area to help take away the pain. You can also squeeze out the juice of the grated potato and apply it to the burn area of the skin to reduce scarring.
9. Shaving Foam
For some strange reason shaving gel, that men use to shave facial hair with, has a cooling effect on burns. So if you don't have any other ingredient handy just grab the can of shaving foam and apply it on to the burn area of the skin.
10. Tea Bags
Soak some tea bags in cold water and place them on the burn area. The tea contains tannin or tannic acid which helps to reduce the pain caused by the burn. When the damp tea bags dry up you should not wash the skin but let the tea stay on it.
Slice up a tomato and place it over the burn area to help it cool off. Works even better if the tomato comes from the fridge. The juice of the tomato contains tartaric acid which helps to reduce the scarring caused by the burns as well. Tomato juice is great for taking off sun tan from the skin as well..
This works rather like the shaving foam. Squeeze out some toothpaste and apply it to the burn area to cool the skin. Use a generous amount of toothpaste and leave it on for at least 24 hours. It will prevent the formation of blisters on the burn area as well. Rinse it off gently using running cold water from the tap to ensure minimum damage to the skin.
13. Vinegar and Water
Add a portion of white vinegar or balsamic vinegar to cold water and dip a clean cloth in it. Use the damp cloth as a cover on the burn area to cool off the burn. As the pain returns refresh the cloth with a dip in the cold water mixed with vinegar and repeat the process.
14. Vitamin E capsule
Snip open a vitamin E capsule and pour the liquid on to the burn area. It helps in speeding up the healing process for the skin. Vitamin E is good for protecting your skin even if you do not have a burn. That's why a number of anti-aging products have vitamin E as an ingredient. It speeds up the restorative qualities of the skin.