Burns are classified into three degrees based on the extent of the damage to the skin. First degree burns, such as a mild sunburn, affect only the epidermis; these burns make the skin red and painful can cause peeling. In second degree burns, the underlying skin layers are affected. As a result, the skin weeps, cell fluid is released, burn blisters form and some scarring may occur. Third degree burns leave the skin either white and sensitive to the touch or charred and deeply encrusted. The tissue damage can extend down to the deepest layers of the skin, sometimes destroying muscle. However, because nerves also may be damaged, pain is often less severe than with other burns. When large areas of skin are destroyed, even in second degree burns, the patient may experience fever, circulatory disorders and shock, which require the care of a physician. Less severe burns can be treated at home with a cold water treatment for the pain or herbs that help soothe the skin.
Aloe Vera helps burns heal
The gel like juice of aloe vera leaves has a cooling effect on fresh burns; it also aids in healing and promotes the regeneration of the skin. Aloe also reduces inflammation and moisturizes the skin. While aloe-vera gel may be purchased commercially, you get the best results from using fresh leaves. Cut open the thick, fleshy leaves and place them directly on the injured area. You can also scoop the pith out of the leaves and spread it on the wound. Aloe plants are available from most greenhouses or nurseries.
What you can do?
To cool a minor burn, place it under cold, running water immediately and keep it there for 15 minutes. This relieves the pain and minimizes blistering while flushing away germs. The wound should then be covered with a clean, damp cloth. Watch for signs of infection, pus or extreme redness near the burn. Poultices and compresses have proven to be very effective in caring for minor burns. In addition, there are many herbal and homeopathic remedies you can consider as an adjunct to traditional treatment.
Tea tree oil disinfects burns
Australian tea tree essential oil is an effective remedy for burns because its powerful antiseptic and disinfectant properties keep burns from becoming infected. Apply the oil directly to the affected areas. It immediately eases pain and speeds up the healing process.
Drink plenty of fluids
When skin is burned, it loses its protective function, and tissue fluid, called lymph, escapes. To compensate for this loss of fluid, make sure you drink a freat deal of liquid, preferably mineral water or tea.
Apple-cider vinegar soothes the skin
You can use cider-vinegar compresses as a treatment for first and second degree burns. Cider-vinegar prevents infection, soothes pain and kills germs. Moisten a clean cloth with cider vinegar that is undiluted and place it on the injured area. Repeat often. Do not apply this treatment to open wounds.
Foods for health
When recovering from second or third degree burns, it is recommended that you change your diet to ensure a high protein intake and to consume more calories. This will encourage your body to repair tissue and aid healing.
Natural Healing Techniques
Potato compresses are a traditional remedy for mild burns. Grate a raw potato and spread it on a damp line cloth; place this on the wound. Be sure to change the compress when the pain starts to worsen. The potato cools the burn and helps relieve the inflammation.
Bring 1 tbsp. each of St. Johns-wort leaves and flowers and comfrey root to a boil in 2 cups of water; strain. Rinse the wound with the tea. Or, you can soak a linen cloth in the tea and place the compress on the wound.
Lavender essential oil
Lavender is also effective for the treatment of burns. The oil may be used undiluted by rubbing several drops onto the skin or placing it on gauze or a cotton ball and applying it to the burn.
Cantharis 6X, 6C, 30C or 200C
Cantharis is good for all types of burns, especially for those with blistering. Take a few pellets of a low dosage every 15-20 min or a higher dose every hour. Reduce if symptoms improve.
Causticum 6x, 6c, 30C or 200C
Causticum helps chemical burns and skin that fails to heal following a burn.
Consult a physician immediately:
- If the injuries are serious second or third degree burns;
- If you are burned on the face;
- If an infant is burned.