When you hear the word burn, what does your mind think of? Sunburn? Burns from touching hot objects? Those are the most common ways to get a burn. Summer is here and many people are flocking to the beaches to enjoy the warm weather. Sometimes, it takes a while for a sun burn to make itself present. A person might not feel the sunburn until a few hours after they’ve gotten out of the sun. By then, they’ll feel the heat and the tightness of their skin and then realize they have gotten a sun burn.
Not all burns happen because of the sun though. Burns happen when the skin comes into contact with anything hot. You might grab a pot or pan from the stove and not realize how hot the handle is until it’s too late. Hot grease and even boiling water can burn skin if you spill it on yourself.
Three degrees of burns
- First degree burns are mild and will only cause the skin to turn a light shade of red. It may be a bit painful, and can take anywhere from three to six days before it heals.
- Second degree burns are a bit worse. Not only can second degree burns turn the skin red, they can also cause blisters, swelling, and the skin can start peeling.
- The worst of the burns is the third degree burn. These are quite serious, as they can actually cause the skin to char. Third degree burns can cause damage to the nerves, and burn the skin well below the top layer.
How To Treat Burns
If you’ve got a first or second degree burn, you’ll be able to treat them yourself. However, if you get a third degree burn, get to the doctor or the hospital right away. There are many ways to treat first and second degree burns at home. These natural burn remedies are easy and inexpensive. When you first get burned, or when you first realize you’ve gotten a sun burn, it’s best to lower the temperature of the burnt skin. Cool compresses, a cool bath, or a milk bath (mixture of milk and water) can do this. Leave the cool compress or stay in the cool bath for about 15 to 30 minutes and it should relieve some of the pain and discomfort. You don’t want to get the compress or water too cold, as this can actually make the discomfort of the burn worse.
A great household item that can relieve burns is honey. First wash the burn area with cool water and soap, then apply the honey to the burn. Honey is good to use on burns that have caused blisters, because when a blister pops, there’s a slight chance that it can get infected. The honey will stop any infections and will also help the wound to heal. Another food item that helps with second degree burns is papaya. Certain enzymes are present in the papaya that remove dead cells from the wounded area.
One of the more common natural burn remedies is Aloe Vera. Aloe Vera is an ingredient found in many body lotions on the market today. Aloe Vera is very soothing on the burnt skin and can promote healing. Fresh aloe Vera in combination with vitamin E makes for faster healing. You can cut some fresh leaves from an aloe Vera plant and apply it to the burnt skin. When the area begins to heal break open a vitamin E capsule and apply the liquid to the area. This combination will prevent the wound from scarring.
The healing process of a burn may be sped up by what you eat. A high protein and high calorie diet may help the burn to heal faster. When the skin is burned, this causes a loss in micro nutrients the body needs, such as zinc, copper, and selenium. When these micro nutrients are lower than they should be, the risk of infection is greater. Other vitamins that are important in the healing process are vitamin C, vitamin B complex, arginine, and glutamine.
Additional natural burn remedies include the following:
- St. John’s Wort
- Witch Hazel
- Egg whites
- Eating citrus fruits
- Eating broccoli
- Eating potatoes
Burns are never fun to get, but they do happen from time to time. Whether you get burned from the sun, from grabbing a very hot item, or spilling hot liquids on yourself, the natural remedies above may help relieve some of the pain and discomfort. Remember to always apply sunscreen when you go outside. And if you get a severe third degree burn, seek medical attention immediately.
Photo by DarlingSnail