How to Treat a Minor Burn: 13 Effective Home Remedies for Burns
Burns are among the most serious and painful of all injuries. Medically, burns are divided into three categories - the first-degree burns that affect only the epidermis, or outer layer of skin; the second-degree burns –that affect both the outer-layer and the under lying layer of skin (dermis) causing pain, redness, swelling and blisters; and finally, the third-degree burns also called a full-thickness burn that destroys both the epidermis and the dermis often also involving the subcutaneous tissue. The severity of the burn depends on how deeply it has affected the skin tissue. Heat is the most obvious cause of burn injuries. Burns usually result from heat exposure including fire, steam, tar, or hot liquids. Exposure to chemicals and electrical currents also cause severe burn injuries. In severe burns, the loss of body fluids can be very serious, particularly in a young child.
Managing burn injuries properly is important because burns can turn to infections as they damage the skin’s protective barrier that works as a shield to protect skin from the infection. Unlike third-degree burns that require immediate medical attention, small everyday household burn injuries are easy to handle. Minor burns, however, can be treated with a few simple home remedies. Home remedies for burns provide easy yet quick and effective means of minimizing skin damage.
Home Remedies for Burns
No matter how you burned yourself, the key to quick relief is quick relief. Various simple remedies have proved effective in healing the burns fast. Here are presented a few home remedies for minor burns.
1. Water: Running cold water over the burned area should always be the first treatment for any type of burn. Cool the burn by running cold water over the surface of the burn for 10 minutes. It will prevent the heat from penetrating deeper into the tissues and prevent more damage.
2. Raw Potato: Raw potato slices can be placed on a burn to provide instant relief. Repeat process with additional potato slices, removing the slices as they get warm. This process neutralizes the burn and helps prevent scarring.
3. Egg Whites: One of the popular home remedies for burns is to treat the burn by putting on some egg whites. It helps keep the wound from drying out. It also helps to prevent the scars. Add half a tea glass of olive oil and 1 egg white to a cup and mix well. Apply this to the burn.
4. Witch Hazel: If you have suffered a minor burn and want to get some relief from the pain, apply fresh witch hazel or witch hazel oil to the burn, and it will stop the burn from hurting.
5. Aloe Vera: Aloe vera is a succulent plant that contains mannans, lectins and anthraquinones, which give this plant the healing properties that it possesses. For skin burn treatment, extract some gel from the leaves of the Aloe vera plant and apply it on the burnt area. The cooling effect of the Aloe vera gel helps to soothe the pain from burns, and prevent blister in minor burns. Aloe vera is a very good antioxidant and helps heal burns fast.
6. Honey: Whenever you get a first-degree burn, after washing down the burned area with cold water, smother it with honey and then cover or wrap the area with a towel. It is one of the best home remedies for burns. It was discovered that honey, when applied to a wound or burn, will produce an antibacterial agent called hydrogen peroxide, which will promote healing.
7. Spinach: The spinach leaves are soaked in boiling olive or soybean oil and they are bandaged on the burned areas.
8. Milk: A soft cloth soaked in milk and applied to a minor burn will ease the pain and also reduce the chance of blistering. Alternately, the burn can also be soaked in a bowl of milk for at least 15 minutes.
9. Yogurt: Another common home remedy for burns is to apply some yogurt on the burns and leave for some time. This will help to cool down the burns and also give relief from the pain.
10. Mustard: Applying a paste of yellow mustard will work almost instantly for a minor burn injury. Once it dries, wash it off and prevent the wound from blistering.
11. Lavender Oil: The many amazing properties of lavender oil make it one of the most excellent natural remedies for burns. Lavender is not only a very effective antiseptic, but is also a pain killing agent, which helps to reduce the pain of the burn injuries and promotes rapid healing. You can wipe the affected area with lavender oil. It is very advantageous when dealing with minor burns.
12. Onion: Whenever you get a minor burn, you can cut an onion and put it immediately on the burn. It is a wonderful home remedy for minor burns.
13. Ripe Papaya: Having ripe papaya also makes it good natural remedy for burns. The enzymes present in papaya, papain and chymopapain, helps prevent inflammation and eliminates the dead skin cells while replacing it with new cells.
Diet for Burns Healing
Knowing what types of food can help speed up the healing process of these burns can greatly help people with injuries from burns. Here are some dietary recommendations on what is good for those who have burns:
Some important components a person needs in his diet when trying to recuperate from burns are sodium, potassium, and fluids.
Dehydration is common in people with burn injuries. It is important to keep oneself nourished and hydrated throughout recovery; therefore, increase the intake of fluids. Taking tomato or apple juice, chicken or beef broth helps in refueling the body with the required fluid.
Vitamin C can be helpful in getting a burn injury to properly heal. So have plenty of vitamin C-rich foods to help the burn-healing process. Oranges, green peppers, watermelon, papaya, grapefruits etc. are the excellent sources of vitamin C.
For quick recovery time and healthier skin after burns, consume foods rich in protein and zinc. They help to heal burns and promote tissue repair. Zinc helps enhance the immune system by increasing the formation of white blood cells and helping them to fight off infections more efficiently. Some of the sources of zinc consist of meat, shellfish like lobster and crabs, cashews, seeds, beans, breakfast cereals with added zinc, whole grains, peas, and lentils.
Energy obtained by the intake of carbohydrates helps in healing the skin. Diet with sufficient quantity of fat provides essential fatty acids, which helps to strengthen the immune system. Caffeine, alcohol, and diuretics should be avoided at all costs.
If you find yourself the victim of a minor burn injury, these home remedies are likely to help minimize the pain. These home remedies for burns should only be tried when there is a first-degree burn. Second- and third-degree burns are serious and require emergency medical attention. Natural remedies can help after hospitalization to prevent infection and boost immune system defenses.