Burns are an injury that everyone experiences at some point in their life. They can be quite painful and depending on the degree of the burn and if not handled properly they can take even longer to heal, often leaving behind some horrible scar tissue that may even require cosmetic surgery. To allow the epidermis to heal and reduce the chance of scarring you should handle the burn with the proper type of care, immediately. Home remedies are quick and you probably have them right in your kitchen.
The skin is the largest organ of the human body and its health is just as important as any other organ. It is the body’s first defense against infection and when it is damaged, it puts you at risk for many ailments. Knowing how to diagnose and care for a burn is something that everyone should know, as well as knowing when to seek medical care and where. Every home should have an emergency kit containing supplies, but you should also have an up-to-date emergency phone number list in there, as well.
While there are several types of burns, they are usually the result of exposure to extreme heat, such as a fire, chemicals or exposure to the sun, as well as from electricity and exposure to other fluids or acids. You will need to examine the burn and see if it is a first-degree burn, a second-degree or a third-degree burn, then you will know what sort of treatment it will need.
First-degree burns are not life threatening and if handled properly; they are minor and can heal rather quickly. They may go through a few layers of skin, raising painful, inflamed red spot. Usually, home remedies can handle first-degree burns and they don’t usually require professional medical attention, if any at all. Home remedies can usually help with this type of burn without much scarring. First-degree burns are by far, the most common of all burns and symptoms can appear within the first twenty-four hours.
Second-degree burns go through several layers of skin and can cause painful blistering and inflammation. Medical treatment is usually necessary for this type of burn, but there are some types of first aid that you can use to relieve some of the pain until you can see a physician. Blistering occurs with second-degree burns and it’s important not to break the skin, as it can become infected and take longer to heal.
Third-degree burns are one of the most serious types and can affect all layers of the skin. This type of burn will destroy all of the skin in the affected area. Because of the depth of the damage, these usually result in less pain because the nerves and blood vessels within the burned skin are also damaged. The third-degree burns require emergency care and hospitalization because of the risk; they can be fatal.
Sometimes, a first-degree burn can go deeper in the first few minutes after the burn, causing it to become a second-degree burn. Severe sunburns are an example of these. It may merely be inflamed at first, but later develop blisters.
The first thing that you should do immediately after receiving a burn is to reduce the temperature of the burn area to prevent the heat from going deeper into other layers of the skin. You should run cold water over the burn for about ten minutes to cool the area. Dr. Oz says you should not put ice on a burn as it can actually hurt the skin to apply ice directly.
Thoroughly cleanse the burn and apply honey to the area to prevent infection and help the wound to heal. Dr. Andrew Weil recommends either “Manuka” or “Medihoney” for this purpose, but if you only have regular honey then use it. Aloe Vera is also good if you have the proper plant handy, you can cut off a leaf, split it with a knife and lay it onto the burn and let it soothe the area. You can do this several times during a day or buy some aloe Vera juice to rub onto wounds. Once it begins to heal, cut open a capsule of vitamin “E and rub the liquid onto the wound to prevent scarring.
Papaya fruit contains enzymes that can remove dead cells from burn wounds. Cut a slice and apply it to the burn area for ten to fifteen minutes.
Lavender oil is also great for applying to burn wounds, rub into the wound as often as needed. You can also mix equal parts lavender oil with aloe vera juice to rub onto the burn.
Another natural extract that works well is calendula tincture, gel or cream. Calendula is from the Pot Marigold and most health food stores carry calendula products such as, Boericke & Tafel’s, “Califlora” Calendula Gel.
For more severe burns, you want to get to the emergency room immediately; some of the above treatments will not work immediately for such burns as second and third-degree and proper medical care can mean the difference between a serious infection and a thorough healing. Your diet is quite important in helping the healing process of your skin. A high-protein, high-calorie diet is one of the best for successful healing of burn patients, because burns can cause skin to lose micro-nutrients, like, copper, zinc and selenium, which slows the healing process and increases any risk of infection. Vitamins like “B” complex, “C”, “E”, copper, zinc, selenium along with nutrients like arginine and glut-amine are vital to the healing process of skin. It’s also very important to drink plenty of water and stay well hydrated whenever you have suffered a burn of any type or degree. Staying hydrated will help your skin to heal faster.