Burns is the most terrible thing that can happen to anyone. It not only causes pain and blistering, but also leaves a lifelong scar.
Burns are characterized by the degree of severity of the tissue damage. The three categories of burns are:
- First degree
- Second degree
- Third degree
First degree of burns effects the outer layer of the skin, the epidermis. The burn causes pain and redness. Most of the household burns are of the first degree and can be easily treated at home. They are usually caused by steam, fire, electricity or hot water.
Second-degree burn involves both epidermis and dermis. The fluid leaks from the damaged blood vessels, causing blisters. Most of the second-degree burn can be treated at home, but if the burn is large and involves the hands, feet and genitals then it may require medical attention.
Third degree burn is the most serious and damaging burn. The burn involves both the outer and inner layer of the skin. The hair, nerves, blood vessels, fat and muscle can also be damaged. The burn is white or black in color and is usually painless since most of the nerves are destroyed.
Raw honey contains healing and antiseptic properties, which can help treat minor burns. It sterilizes the affected area, while minimizing the possibility of scarring. When applied to the wound, honey draws out the fluid from the tissues, effectively treating the wound. Apply honey directly on the affected area 3 to 4 times a day. Or, take a sterile gauge bandage and drop a dollop of honey to it. Place the bandage on the burn, upside down. This method is less sticky and uncomfortable than direct application. Make sure you change the dressing three to four times a day.
Vinegar is an excellent natural first-aid treatment for soothing burns. It works as an antiseptic and astringent, preventing infection and treating minor burns. Dilute vinegar with water and rinse the burned area. Soak cotton in the vinegar solution and place on the affected area. Compress until the pain subsides and then wrap with a bandage. Replace the cotton every 2 to 3 hours.
3. Aloe vera:
Aloe vera is the best natural ingredient to treat mild degree of burns. Apply aloe vera gel on the burnt portion of the skin and its soothing and regenerating properties will heal it in no time. Acemanen, an active ingredient in aloe vera, breaks down quickly, thereby soothing and healing the burn. Take an aloe vera leaf and squeeze the gel out of it. You also mix vitamin E with the gel to make it more effective. Aloe vera will cure the burn with minimal or no scarring. So, keep an aloe vera plant on your windowsill for prompt use.
4. Lavender oil:
Lavender oil has excellent antiseptic and pain-killing properties, which can help reduce the risk of scarring. It also helps to reduce pain caused due to the burns. Combine aloe vera gel with lavender oil and vitamin E and apply it throughout the day to treat the wound.
5. Banana peel:
Banana peel is very effective in treating minor burns. Put the inside of the banana peel on the burned area until the peel turns black. Repeat this 4 times a day.
Applying yogurt, oil mixed with olive oil can reduce the pain and discomfort caused due to the burn. Alternatively, combine equal portion of turmeric, yogurt and barley and apply on the affected areas for relieving pain and promoting healing.
Oatmeal is effective for treating the itchiness caused due to burn. Take one cup of cooked oatmeal and transfer it into a bath of lukewarm water. Soak the burnt area for 15 to 20 minutes and then let it dry naturally so that a thin coating of oatmeal remains on the skin.
8. Tea bags:
The tannic acid found in black tea helps to draw out heat from the burn. Steep tea bags in cool water and gently dab the liquid on the burnt area. Alternatively, make a concoction by combining three tea bags, 2 cups of fresh mint leaves and 4 cups of boiling water. Let it steep for 5 minutes and then strain the liquid. Transfer it in a jar and store it in the refrigerator. Soak a cotton ball in the concoction and dab it on the affected area. Alternatively, keep cool tea bags directly on the burn and wrap it with a bandage to keep it in place.
9. Ice cube:
Little kids often sip their hot chocolate before it cools down, which results in tongue burn. A tongue burn is best treated with an ice cube. Before sucking on the ice cube, rinse it under the water so that it does not stick on the tongue or lips.
Milk is another excellent natural ingredient to treat burns. The fat content in milk will soothe the burn and promote healing. Soak the burned area in milk for 10 to 15 minutes and apply a washcloth soaked in milk to the area. Repeat this method several times a day to relieve pain.
11. Plantain leaves:
Plantain is a popular ingredient for treating burns. This weed plant is native to Europe and Asia, but is now grown all across the world. The leaves of plantain contain mucilage, tannins, iridoid glycosides and expectorant properties, which may help soothe burns. Crush some fresh plantain leaves to extract the juice and apply it directly on the burn. Alternatively, pound the leaf and then wrap it around the affected area.
12. Witch hazel:
Witch hazel is another excellent herbal remedy for burn. Wet a gauze bandage with witch hazel decoction and bind it on the burned area. The burn will heal within a few hours.
Raw potato is useful for treating minor burns. Its anti-inflammatory and soothing properties alleviate the pain. Besides, it also reduces the chances of having blisters. Slice a raw potato and rub on the burnt area, making sure that the juice of the potato is released on it. This remedy should be followed soon after the burn occurs. Potato peel is also useful for treating minor burns. In fact, doctors have found that the potato peel bandage works better than a regular bandage and dressings in soothing the pain.
14. Coconut oil:
Coconut oil is rich in vitamin E and fatty acids like lauric acid, capric acid and myristic acid that provide it its anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. Apply coconut oil on the burn several times a day to heal the wound and lighten the scars.
15. Onion juice:
Onion juice contains sulfur compounds and quercetin that can help to relieve pain and reduce the chance of blistering. Cut a fresh onion and apply the juice to the affected area. Make sure you use fresh cut onions only, as onions left even for a few minutes can lose their medicinal properties. Repeat this process several times a day.
16. Cotton ash paste:
The cotton ash remedy has been used for centuries to treat severe burning. Take a large piece of cotton wool and burn it in a metal pot. Take the ash of the burned cotton and mix it with olive oil to make a thick paste. Spread this paste on the burned area and cover with a bandage or cling film. The pain and stinging sensation will ameliorate within minutes. If the pain strikes you again, use a fresh cotton paste on the wound.
17. Colloidal silver:
Colloidal silver contains antiseptic and healing properties that can help the damaged tissues regenerate. Most of the hospitals use the colloidal silver bandages and ointments to treat minor to severe burning. It treats the burn with little or no scarring.
- Lower the temperature of the hot water in the kitchen to below 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Extremely hot running water can lead to second-degree burn.
- Keep steaming hot coffee or tea out of a child’s reach.
- Do not let your child enter the kitchen and keep them away from stove and oven.
- Keep a fire extinguisher and baking soda nearby, in case of fire.
- If the burn is severe, then visit the doctor as soon as possible. Cover the burn with a clean and dry cloth to reduce the risk of infection. Make sure you do not put any medicine on the burned area so that the doctor can assess the burn properly. Also, do not put ice as it can further damage the skin tissue.
- Wash your hands well before cleaning the burn. Do not touch the affected area with anything dirty as it can infect the blisters badly. Do not break the blisters.
- Applying Colgate liberally over the burnt area can also help soothe the tingling and burning sensation.
Before applying any of these remedies, you need to cool off the skin first. Immediately put some cold water on the burned area to arrest tissue damage. Rinsing will stop the pain in just 15 to 20 minutes. Once it is cooled, use these remedies to diminish the pain and heal the injury. Remember, blistering and infected burns require immediate medical attention. These home remedies are ideal for treat mild or first degree of burn only.