Home Remedies for Burns
Learn how to use home remedies for burns, such as homeopathic remedies, herbs, and other nutritional supplements to treat minor burns,
We can get burned from various things, such as heat, steam, the sun, hot liquids, chemicals, and electricity. Treatment of a burn depends of course on the type, severity,
and location of the burn.
For heat burns (such as those caused by hot water or by fire), they are classified by degree.
First-degree burns injure only the outermost layer of skin. It is red and painful, with no blisters, and goes away after seven to ten days. An ordinary sunburn, for
example, is a first-degree burn.
Second-degree burns are those injuries that have penetrated deeper into the skin. The burns develop blisters and have a raw, moist surface that is painful to touch.
Any second-degree burn that covers an area of skin larger than a quarter should receive medical attention.
Third-degree burns damage nerve endings, so they may be less painful than other burns. The burns involve all skin layers, and they leave the skin charred or
white-colored. Third-degree burns are medical emergencies that always require medical care.
When to Seek Medical Care
You should consult your doctor for:
- All electrical burns (Electrical burns may cause small damage on the surface, but the damage may be more extensive underneath).
- Any burn that blisters or turns the skin white.
- Any burn that remains red or oozes longer than 24 hours and intensifies in pain.
- Any burn on the face, the mouth, the hands, the genitals, or over a major joint.
- Any burn that is larger than 3 inches (7.5 centimeters) in diameter, or covers more than 10% of the body.
Home Remedies for Burns
Burns, even minor ones, require immediate attention to prevent further tissue damage, so be sure that cold applications and natural remedies are readily available at
home and at work.
Natural home remedies for burns are effective for treating minor burns. They can relieve the pain of minor burns, promote skin healing, and prevent secondary
skin infections. Natural remedies such as homeopathic remedies, herbs, and nutritional supplements such as vitamins are helpful treatments for minor burns.
Home Remedies for Burns - Homeopathy
Homeopathic remedies can help to soothe the pain of burns and reduce the chance of blistering. Common homeopathic remedies for burns should be included in your
first-aid kit so that they are readily available.
To use homeopathic remedies for burns, choose one that closely matches your symptoms and follow the instructions on the label for use and dosage.
- Arnica Montana: This remedy is excellent in reducing pain and swelling and in preventing the onset of shock after any injury.
It can be used as a first-aid remedy immediately after a burn. Another remedy that is more specific to the type and severity of the burn should then be considered.
- Cantharis: This remedy can help with any burn, but is most often indicated for severe ones (second or third degree). It prevents
or reduces blistering and burn pain caused by intense scalding burns or sunburns. This remedy can be given to a burn victim while on the way to the hospital.
- Arsenicum album: This remedy is for burning pain that feels worse from cold and better from warm applications. People who need this
remedy are restless, anxious, and weak.
- Causticum: This remedy is for severe burns, especially caustic chemical burns. Rawness and soreness may develop in the injured area.
It is also helpful for old burns that do not completely heal.
- Hypericum: This remedy is for burns that affect the nerves and cause a sharp, stabbing or shooting pain.
- Phosphorus: This remedy is a specific remedy for electrical shocks and burns. It can be given to the patient while on the way
to the hospital.
- Urtica urens: This remedy can be used if Cantharis is not helpful. It is mainly used for first- and second-degree burns.
The primary symptoms are redness and stinging pain.
Home Remedies for Burns - Herbs
For first-degree and small second-degree burns, there are a number of herbal home remedies for burns that can soothe the burn pain.
- Aloe Vera: Aloe vera is an excellent herb for burns. It contains enzymes that have a soothing effect on the wound, reduce inflammation
and decrease redness and swelling. Aloe also has antibacterial and antifungal properties, which might help prevent burns from getting infected.
In addition, aloe increases the amount of blood flowing to areas of burned tissue, which can promote healing of the wound. Get an aloe gel product (80% or higher)
and keep it in your first-aid kit. Apply the gel to the burned area two times a day.
- Calendula: Calendula is another great wound-healing herb. Use a calendula gel to help heal burn wounds. Apply twice daily.
- Gotu kola: This herb contains compounds that stimulate collagen synthesis, a key element in skin repair. You can use a cream containing 1%
of the herb to help repair skin tissue.
Home Remedies for Burns - Nutritional Supplements
Several nutritional supplements can be considered as home remedies for burns. They include:
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C helps to promote skin heal by enhancing new tissue growth and strength. Take 1000 mg three times a day. Reduce the dosage
if diarrhea develops.
- Vitamin E: Vitamin E is an antioxidant that promotes tissue healing. Take 400 IU a day. The gel or cream of vitamin E can be used
topically once the burn has healed and new skin has formed.
- Beta-carotene: Beta-carotene is an antioxidant that converts to vitamin A in the body. Doctors suggest that beta-carotene should be taken
with vitamins C and E to defend the body against free radical damage resulting from burns.
- Multivitamin: Take a daily multivitamin that contains antioxidants such as vitamins A, C, E; the B-complex vitamins; and trace
minerals such as zinc, and selenium. The antioxidants will help to neutralize free radical damage resulting from burns, including sunburns.
- Essential Fatty Acids: EFAs, especially Omega-3 fatty acids, can help to decrease inflammation, promote healing, and strengthen immunity. Take
1 tablespoonful of fish oil, one to two times daily.
- L-glutamine: L-glutamine helps to promote tissue healing. It also prevents secondary infection that may occur with burns.
- Manuka Honey: Manuka honey can be applied topically to burns. It helps to promote healing and prevent infection.
Home Remedies for Burns - Diet
Because burns speed up your metabolism, you need more vitamins and minerals as well as more protein, especially for more serious burns. Try to:
- Drink plenty of water and electrolyte drinks daily.
- Eat fish (e.g. salmon), nuts (e.g. walnuts), and seeds (e.g. flaxseeds) to get extra essential fatty acids.
- Eat antioxidant foods, including fruits (such as oranges, blueberries, cherries, and tomatoes), and vegetables (such as squash and bell peppers).
- Reduce or avoid sugar-rich foods since sugar interrupts tissue healing.
Balch and Stengler, Prescription for Natural Cures, (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2004)
Duke, J.A. The Green Pharmacy Herbal Handbook. (St. Martin's Paperbacks, 2002)
Editors of Prevention Health Books, Prevention's Healing with Vitamins, (Rodale Books, 1998)
University of Maryland Medical Center (http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/burns-000021.htm)
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