Home accidents sometimes occur during the most unexpected times. Burns are categorized under the most extreme pains humans experience, and without proper treatment, burns can get worse. Burns are some of the accidents which we are prone to when at home. You could be enjoying your coffee then get startled and accidentally burn yourself. Burns can also occur in the kitchen when you are boiling or frying food. Using the following home remedies, you can treat your first degree and second degree burns without having to visit a medical practitioner.
- Cold Water: This is the first remedy you think of when you get a burn at home. Run to the kitchen and place the burned area under running tap water. Do this for at least ten minutes and the pain will slowly go away. Ice should not be a substitute of water as it sometimes causes more irritation when placed on top of the burned area, and even cause a cold burn when not placed well. The cold temperature in ice may not necessarily reduce the pain on your skin as fast you presume. Stick to using cool water.
- Lavender Oil: Lavender oil has a number of antiseptic properties and is often used as a curative agent. Use a piece of cotton cloth soaked in two drops of lavender oil and spread it on the burned area. Depending on how severe your burn is, you can do this twice or three times per day until you see an improvement. Linalyl acetate and beta-caryophyllene present in lavender oil have anti-inflammatory properties and help in relieving pain. Lavender oil stops scarring and helps minor burns heal.
- Honey: We all love consuming honey. While it is tasty in our toasts and dishes, it has another use that is probably known by a few. Honey is a common item in our kitchens and is a great home remedy when dealing with burns. The combined anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties in honey help burns to heal fast. Honey is a natural antibiotic and the PH balance present prevents infections to get to the burn. Applying honey on the burned area will make the wound sterile in less time. The post burn contractures and hypertropic scars will also look better when you apply honey dressings. Apply honey to second degree burns and you will be healed in about a week.
- Vinegar: White vinegar has acetic acid, an aspirin component which helps in suppressing pain.Vinegar aids in pulling the heat away from the burn and thus numbing the pain. Applying vinegar on the burned area will stop the itching and minimize the inflammation of the burn. To use it, add three drops of vinegar on a dry piece of cloth or hand towel, and gently press on the burned area. You can also use cotton swabs in the absence of a towel. Do this three times a day and observe the burned area for improvement. Vinegar is a natural antiseptic and astringent and thus helps minor burns heal quickly.
- Aloe Vera: Aloe Vera creams and gel are great in alleviating first degree and second degree burns. Squeeze out the Aloe cream to your hand and gently rub it around the burned area. Be careful not to cause friction as this will make the wound burst. Do this three times a day till you stop feeling pain. You can alternatively use fresh Aloe Vera if you grow it. After cleaning and cooling your wound, cut an aloe from the plant if it grows near your house. Get rid of the meaty leaves at the bottom of the Aloe Vera plant and cut off the spines if there are any. Cut the leaves into two down the middle, and use you knife to score the insides. This helps the Aloe to get released from the leaves. Cover your wound with the Aloe you collect in a bowl. Aloe Verahinders bacteria growth and aids in circulation. When getting Aloe Vera gel or cream from the store, ensure that it has 100% Aloe Vera content. Aloe products with additives like colorings and perfume may not be as effective as fresh Aloe Vera.
- Reduce Sun Exposure: when injured with burns, avoid direct sunlight as this will not help your wound heal fast. Burned skin is very sensitive to sun rays, and will start itching if exposed for a long time. When out, fully cover your burned area with clothing or use an umbrella if need be.
- Fruits: Fruits are a great source of antioxidants. To help your burn heal faster, ensure that you take a fruit on a daily basis. Some of the fruits which are rich in antioxidants include; cherries, tomatoes, blueberries and vegetables like pepper and squash.
- Antibiotics: You can rush to the chemist for antibiotic creams and ointments to help reduce the pain. Creams like Bacitracin and Neosporin are some of the creams you can apply to soothe your skin. The ointments are also good for burns which open blisters. Antibiotic creams shield the wound from infections and thus make the wound heal faster. You can also buy over the counter pain killers like ibuprofen and naproxen. Take the dosage as prescribed.
- Peppermint Oil: Add three drops of peppermint oil on a cotton pad or dry piece of cloth and apply it on the burned area. Keep doing this at least three times a day and observe how the burned area heals. The presence of menthol in peppermint oil gives your skin a cooling effect and alleviates the pain. Peppermint oil also has anti-inflammatory compounds which help in reducing the swelling of the burn and suppressing the pain felt.
- Cool Compress: Use a clean piece of wet cloth dipped in cold water and compress it slowly on the burned part. You can do this in five minute intervals to help reduce the pain and prevent inflammation.
When burns form blisters, we are often tempted to burst them open in an attempt to reduce the swelling. Don’t pop blisters as this will only lead to infections, which could have been prevented. If you feel like the blister is too much, you are free to consult a medical professional. The above remedies are only for first degree and second degree burns. If you get third or fourth degree burns, you should rush to the hospital as such cases are treated as emergencies.