The skin plays an essential role in maintaining the temperature of the body. Therefore any damage to the skin can affect that balance. The skin also protects the body from germs in the environment. The skin is composed of three layers; the epidermis which is the outer layer, the dermis in which you find the blood vessels, sweat glands, hair follicles and nerves; and the hypodermis which is where the nerves and large blood vessels are present. The hypodermis is especially involved in temperature regulation. Burns may be caused by the sun, chemicals, heat, electricity or fire. They cause damage to the skin and the underlying tissues.
Some burns may lead to minor discomfort, while others may turn into a life-threatening condition. The damage caused by a burn depends on the location and depth. The amount of body area involved will also determine the severity of a burn. Minor burns are those that damage only the top layers of the skin, making the area red and painful. Minor burns are often referred to as first-degree burns and can be easily treated at home through simple measures such as applying anesthetic lotions or aloe vera gel. Deeper burns and those that cover larger areas of the body require medical attention.
Minor burns can develop painful blisters if not treated timely. Many natural remedies can promote healing and minimize pain.
Home Remedies for Minor Burns
You can stop a burn from spreading by running cold water over the burn area for several minutes within seconds of being burned. You can also place a cold compress over the affected area. Repeat the remedy every few hours to relieve pain. Do not use ice as it can restrict blood flow, which can eventually cause damage to the delicate tissues. You can use cold whole milk instead of water.
Raw potato can treat minor skin burns due to its anti-irritating and soothing properties. It will alleviate the pain and reduce the chance of having blisters. Simply cut a slice of raw potato and rub it on the burn, making sure the juice from the potato is releasing over the area. Use this remedy soon after the burn occurs for best results.
Aloe vera has painkilling, astringent and tissue-healing properties that can help in healing burns.
1. Rinse the affected area with cold water or vinegar.
2. Cut a small piece of the aloe vera leaf and apply the fresh gel directly on the burn.
If you do not have an aloe vera plant, you can apply a cream that has aloe vera as an ingredient.
Yogurt can help soothe and cool down minor burns. Apply two tablespoons of yogurt directly the burn, wait 15 minutes, and then remove. Plain yogurt is recommended, but flavored yogurt will work as well.
Honey is an old remedy for a multitude of things, including minor burns. Honey will also sanitize minor burns by drawing out fluids. Place a few drops of honey directly on the burn, then place a bandage over the infected area. A gauze bandage works well, and should be changed several times daily. With each bandage change, a few drops of honey should be reapplied.
The tannic acid in black tea works to help draw out the burning heat from a minor burn. Tea bags should be placed under cool, running water while collecting the tea liquid into a bowl or glass. Then simply sprinkle the tea water onto the burn. This can be repeated as often as necessary.
Coconut Oil and Lemon Juice
Coconut oil and lemon juice both can help to treat minor burn. Coconut oil is rich in Vitamin E and fatty acids such as lauric acid, myristic acid and capric acid that offer anti-fungal, anti-oxidizing and anti-bacterial properties. Lemon juice has acidic properties that naturally lighten the scars. For scalds due to burns, take coconut oil and add some lemon juice to it. Mix it properly and apply it on the scalds to facilitate healing.
Vinegar works as a purifying agent as well as an astringent for minor burns. Dilute one-quarter cup of vinegar with two cups of water. Pour the liquid over the burn and do not rinse it off.
Onion juice has chemicals like sulphur compounds and quercetin that can relieve pain, help heal the burn and reduce the chance of blistering.
1. 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.
2. Repeat the process several times a day.
Milk works to soothe minor burns and alleviate pain. Take a clean cloth, soak it with milk, and apply it to the burn. Repeat as often as needed for pain relief, washing the cloth between each application. Alternately, the burn can also be soaked in a bowl of milk for at least 15 minutes.
These remedies are only for minor and first-degree burns. For serious burns, you must see a doctor for medical treatment.