7 Easy Home Remedies for Burns!
Burn injuries may affect only the outermost skin layers or may penetrate the deepest tissues including skin, muscles and bones. Minor sunburn or accidental contact with a hot object can cause minor burns while electrical and chemical burns may become a serious threat to life. Most minor burns can be treated by simply cooling the skin with tap water but serious burns must be treated in the hospital.
Classification of Burns
To distinguish between varying degrees of burns and apply proper treatments, it is best to know this burn classification:
Minor burns which affect only the outermost layer of the skin- epidermis. Symptoms include redness and pain, which usually resolve within a week with common first-aid measures. A classic example is sunburn.
Injury affects the epidermis and the dermis, which lies next to it, causing pain, redness and swelling. The affected area may look moist and blisters may develop. Pain is severe and healing can lead to scarring.
Injury reaches into the fat which lies beneath the dermis. The skin appears stiff, waxy, tan or leathery. Nerves may be destroyed, causing numbness.
Severe burn affects deeper structures such as muscles and bones. Skin appears charred and blackened and nerve damage may be substantial, making pain absent.
Top 8 Home Remedies for Burns
Following natural home remedies for burns can be used to treat first-degree and small second-degree burn injuries.
- Aloe Vera. Aloe vera is famous for its cooling and soothing effect for burns and other injuries. Apply aloe vera juice or gel to the burn can effectively relieve the pain and redness caused by minor burns.
- Ice Cubes. Ice cubes can relieve a tongue burn after sipping hot soup or chocolate. Don’t forget to rinse the ice cube in water to prevent it from sticking to the tongue.
- Oatmeal. Oatmeal relieves the itch of healing wounds. Dissolve one cup of uncooked oatmeal in lukewarm water while filling the tub. Soak in the bath for 15-20 minutes then air dry to leave a thin coat of oatmeal on the skin.
- Honey. As a popular folk remedy used to disinfect wounds and burns, honey draws out fluids from tissues, thereby cleaning the affected area. Honey can be applied to a gauze bandage, to avoid direct application of the gauze to the wound. The dressing must be changed 3-4 times a day.
- Tea Bags. Tea bags can be used to cool burn injuries by placing moist bags directly on the burn. Another way to use them is to put them in a small bowl of water and dab the fluid on the wound with cotton or cloth. Tannic acid content of black tea draws out heat from burns.
- Milk. This may be used to soak minor burns for about 15 minutes. It can also be applied to the affected area with a cloth. Repeat several times during the day to relieve the pain.
- Vinegar. Vinegar works as an antiseptic and astringent on minor burns, thus preventing infection. Rinse the area with vinegar diluted in equal parts of water.
When to See a Doctor
While you can care for minor burns at home, you have to see your doctor if:
- Burns cover face, hands, buttocks, groin, feet, or a major part of the body, or airways.
- Have third-degree burns or fourth-degree burns, electrical or chemical burns
- Experience swelling, increased pain, redness or wound
- Burn does not heal in a few weeks
- Have new symptoms, such as difficulty breathing