Burns are one of the common emergencies we encounter at home in our day-to-day life. Minor burns are those that damage only the top layers of the skin, making the area red and painful.
They are often referred to as first-degree burns or superficial burns. These can be caused by contact with hot fluids or objects, steam, or sun exposure, and can develop painful blisters if not treated timely. Many natural remedies can promote healing and minimize pain. Minor burns tend to heal within a few days or up to three weeks. Let us find some easy remedies for such burns at home.
Due to its anti-irritating and soothing properties, potato will alleviate the pain and reduce the chance of having blisters in case of minor burns. Just cut a slice of raw potato and rub it on the burn making sure the juice from the potato is releasing over the area. Another option is to grate a raw potato and applying it on the affected area for about 15 minutes soon after the burn occurs.
Aloe Vera has astringent and tissue-healing properties that can help in healing burns. A small piece of the aloe vera leaf when cut gives fresh gel, which can be applied directly on the burn or also mixed with equal amount of turmeric and then applied. If you do not have an aloe vera plant, you can apply a cream that has aloe vera as an ingredient.
Honey can effectively disinfect wounds and help heal burns, thanks to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It also reduces the chances of developing hypertrophic scars. Spread honey on a gauze bandage and put it directly on the burn. Change the bandage three to four times a day.
Black Tea Bags
The tannic acid in black tea can help draw heat out of a burn and thus reduce pain. Steep three tea bags in a pitcher filled with warm water for a few minutes. Allow the solution to cool and then soak a clean cloth in it and place it on the affected area. Re-apply as needed. You can also put cold, wet tea bags directly on the burn.
A wonderful and widely available household first-aid item for healing and soothing burns is diluted vinegar. Cover the burn area with a cloth soaked in diluted vinegar. Refresh the vinegar compress as often as needed, especially if the pain becomes stronger again.
Sometimes, placing a banana peel on the burned area of the skin till it becomes black has proved beneficial for burn injuries.
Onion juice has components like sulfur compounds and quercetin that can relieve pain, help heal the burn and reduce the chance of blistering. Cut a fresh onion and apply the juice onto the burn. Only use freshly cut onions, as after a few minutes onions lose their medicinal properties.
As minor burns heal, they can become itchy. A good way to relieve the itch is by putting this breakfast cereal into the tub. Crumble 1 cup uncooked oatmeal into a bath of lukewarm water as the tub is filling. Soak for 15 to 20 minutes and then air dry so that a thin coating of oatmeal remains on your skin. Use caution getting in and out of the tub since the oatmeal makes surfaces slippery.
There are some common mistakes we make in management of a burn.
Here are some things we should keep in mind when we get a burn.
- Avoid applying oil, butter, petroleum jelly, or egg whites to a burn as it may trap the heat instead of drawing it out. Raw egg whites may also contain bacteria.
- It is believed that applying ice can bring relief, but it is usually not recommended as it tends to slow the healing process.
- If the wound develops blisters, then don’t break the blisters as it may increase the risk of infection.
- Do not use adhesive dressings on the wound.
- Protect the burn from friction.
- Avoid re-injuring or tanning the affected area.
It should be noted that these remedies are only for minor or first-degree burns. For serious burns, you must see a doctor for medical treatment. The same is suggested for electrical burns, or if a minor burn covers larger areas of the skin or gets infected.