Some of the home remedies for burns include the use of cold water, honey, fruits, turmeric, tea bags, plantain leaves, calendula, salt, papaya, lavender oil, potato, vinegar, Aloe Vera, and tea tree oil in different forms. Burns refer to a condition that occurs when a part of body is affected due to thermal, chemical, or electrical effects that heat up the body cells, thereby damaging them.
Burns are categorized into three types, depending on their severity. Simple home remedies may alleviate the effect of burning in a few days in case of first degree burns, but for third degree burns, medical consultation must be sought immediately.
What are Burns?
Burns represent a serious condition in which a body part is affected by fire or any electrical object. Subsequently, a group of cells or tissues becomes damaged and the result can be very painful.
There is a variety of causes that form the base of this health problem. Let’s explore some of the common causes of burns.
Causes of Burns
Burns may be due to daily activities like the use of a toaster, stove, iron, or common chemicals. Thermal burns are caused due to holding hot objects, splashing hot liquid, fire, or exposure to steam. Electrical burns are due to electrical items like ovens. Chemicals may also cause serious injuries and accidents. Radiation, like ultra violet rays, are also major causes of skin damage and “sunburns”. Overexposure to the sun, hot water baths, and smoking carelessly are some of the common causes of burns that occur through normal behaviors.
Types of Burns
There are three main types of burns, first degree burns – cause reddening of the skin; second-degree burns – cause the formation of blisters and slight thickening of the skin; third-degree burns – cause major thickening and blackening of the skin along with numbness. There is also one another type of burns, known as fourth-degree burns, in which even the bones and tendons also get affected. Below we have discussed these types in detail.
First Degree Burns: Burns of the first degree affect only the outermost layer of the skin and usually heal up within 7-8 days. First degree burns lead to slight redness of the skin and pain. They are less severe and can be easily cured by following ancient home remedies.
Second Degree Burns: Burns of the second degree are more severe and affect more than just the uppermost layer of the skin. Second-degree burns reach into the deeper layers, thereby damaging blood vessels and underlying tissues, and result in the appearance of blisters. These burns can sometimes cover larger portions of the body as well, but can still be managed at home through means of some home remedies. Although, this is not to say that medical attention should not be sought. Consult a doctor if need be.
Third Degree Burns: Unlike first degree and second-degree burns, third-degree burns are the most severe and medical action must be sought as soon as possible. These burns affect all the layers of the skin, and not just that, but destroy the skin, blood vessels, tissues, glands, nerves, and even bones. These burns appear white in color, leathery or charred, and are usually painless due to nerve damage. These burns can also result in death, in a case of no proper medical assistance or delayed assistance.
Symptoms of Burns
First and second degree burns are characterized by following symptoms-
Pain and swelling
Peeling off of the skin
Itching and burning sensation
Fever and weakness
Skin becomes dry
Home Remedies for Burns
Some of the immediate and long term treatments through home remedies are explained below.
This is the best way to cool burns. Put the burnt part under running cold water or applying ice on the affected area. This should be continued for up to 10 minutes. One must also drink at least 8-10 glass of water daily until the burn is cured.
It is medically proven that applying honey over second degree burns prevents any kind of infection from forming. A few drops of honey are sufficient to prevent infection, as it is highly concentrated and powerful.
Fruits are rich in antioxidants. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, fruits must be taken regularly for the early healing of burns. Tomatoes, cherries, and blueberries are good sources of antioxidants. Vegetables like peppers and squash are also antioxidants.
It is good to take turmeric in the form of powder mixed in warm milk at night while sleeping. This is known to cure inflammation and pain.
Dip tea bags in water and keep them over the burnt surface. This helps in drawing heat from the wound and providing a soothing effect due to the presence of tannins. Otherwise, tea can be boiled in a cup of water and strained. This can then be applied over the burnt area using a clean cloth or cotton.
Plantago, which is otherwise known as ‘Isab Ki Bhusi’, is known to have expectorant properties, as well as antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effects. These also produce mucilage, which is a source of wetness in the burnt area. Juice from its leaves should be applied on the burnt portion of body for quick healing and relief.
The herb calendula is good for the treatment of burns, as it regenerates the burnt skin and reduces the appearance of scars. It can be regularly applied during the healing process.
Mouth burns caused due to eating hot food can be relieved by rinsing out your mouth with salted water. This should be done every 2 hours until the pain lessens.
Papaya can be applied to the affected area because it contains enzymes that have the ability to remove all the dead cells. The pulp should be applied after 3-4 days of the burn incident, after the internal healing process has already started.
The oil obtained from lavender is known to be effective for burns. These must be applied with gentle hands a few days after the injury occurred.
It is observed that the peel of boiled potatoes can be applied over the burnt area in the initial phase of healing. This aids in early recovery and protection from infectious agents. This technique is practiced in many hospitals.
As an antiseptic and astringent, vinegar works well in preventing infections. However, vinegar should be diluted with water and applied over the affected area.
The gel obtained from Aloe Vera is well known for its healing properties, analgesic action, and cooling effects. According to the Doctor’s Book of Home Remedies, Aloe gel should be applied 2-3 times a day over the burnt area.
Tea Tree Oil
Oil obtained from the tea tree should be diluted with a small amount of water. This is to be applied over the affected area.
It is advised that individuals who have suffered from a third degree burn should massage the affected area regularly. This increases the blood circulation and nutrient and oxygen supply in the same area so as to recover and regain the lost cells and tissues.
This is a critical period when special requirements of the body are to be fulfilled. Large amounts of minerals and vitamins must be consumed in the regular diet of the burnt individual. More proteins in the form of pulses and green vegetables should be given for a more rapid regeneration of tissues.
Food items like coffee, tea, tobacco, and alcohol are to be avoided, since these are stimulants. Red meat, pasta, bread, donuts, French fries, and other refined items should not be consumed by burn patients.