Lois has over ten years' experience in the home/herbal remedy field. She seeks to inform her readers and help them to save money.
The largest organ of the human body, the skin plays a hugely important role. It actually is the most important organ since it is the first line of defense in protecting your other organs against infections. If your skin becomes damaged due to burns, if left uncared for, your body becomes at risk for many ailments.
Since burns come in all types, you need to know what type of burn you have and the proper way to care for it. It is always a good idea to have a first-aid kit that contains gauze bandages, burn treatment ointments, band-aids, Neosporin and phone numbers for your primary care provider.
Three Types of Burns
There are three types of burns. They are:
- First Degree
- Second Degree
- Third Degree
First Degree Burns
First degree burns are the most common type of burn and they are more an annoyance than a life-threatening condition. You can get these just by doing simple household chores. For example, you might be ironing clothes and accidentally touch the bottom of the iron with your hand. You might be cooking vegetables on the stove and scald your hand from the steam. You might have a cup of your favorite tea and spill some on your leg. The most common cause of first degree burns outside of the home comes from too much sun exposure. The next time you spend hours on the beach and get sunburnt, you actually have this type of burn.
Symptoms of first degree burns are redness, inflammation, and peeling skin. The burnt skin will be sensitive to the touch. This type of burn heals quickly and there is minimal damage to the skin once it heals.
Second Degree Burns
Second-degree burns are more severe than first-degree. This type of burn goes through several layers of skin and takes a longer time to heal. While there is redness and swelling associated with first-degree burns, there is also blistering and is very painful to touch. Some first-degree burns can turn into second-degree ones. For example, some sun burns may be red at first but later on, develop blisters. Depending on how hot your tea is, if it is hot enough it can cause a more severe burn.
Third Degree Burns
The most severe burn is a third-degree burn. This type of burn is normally caused by continued exposure to chemicals, electricity, fire or steam. This type of burn damages all the skin layers and causes nerve damage as well. Burnt skin from this type of burn can look red, white or charred. If there is nerve damage, the victim may not experience pain.
With a third-degree burn, it is important to seek medical treatment. If left untreated, it can be fatal. The healing for this type of burn is a long process and usually involves having skin grafts done. Even second-degree burns should be treated by a doctor since it can be worse than what you think it is. With first-degree burns, there are many treatments you can do in your home to relieve the redness, swelling, and pain.
Always care for the area that gets burnt immediately. If you are in the middle of making your favorite cake, do not wait until you are done baking it. That can wait. Your burnt skin cannot. Without immediately cooling and medicating it, you can cause further damage to your skin.
The first thing you must do is to remove and jewelry and clothing from the burnt skin. Your skin tends to become inflamed when it is burnt and may be more sensitive when something is touching the skin.
The next thing is to run the burnt part of the skin under cool water. Make sure the water is not cold and do not use ice because it can increase the pain of the burn. Running the exposed area under cool water for at least ten minutes helps relieve the pain of the burn. To protect the skin from becoming infected, and after the pain has abated, wash the skin with anti-bacterial soap.
While running the burn under cool water helps make the pain go away, it will come back. While the pain will not be as severe as the initial pain, you will want relief. Add equal parts of apple cider vinegar and distilled water in a shallow bowl or cup. Soak a cotton ball with this mixture and apply it to your burn.
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If any blisters have started to form, do not pop them. Doing this can cause infections and delays the healing process of burns.
To prevent blisters from forming, cut an onion and squeeze the juice over the burn. This vegetable contains antiseptic properties and can stop the skin from becoming infected.
Most people keep yellow mustard in their kitchens. Applying a small layer to burnt skin is an excellent way to prevent blisters from forming. You can also make a paste with dry mustard and water and apply it to the skin.
Protection Against Infection
Colloidal silver has both antiseptic and antibiotic properties. Applying this to a burn helps prevent your skin from getting infected. Apply it to your skin up to three times a day until the burn is healed.
Like cuts and scrapes, burns start to heal and form a scab after three days. While it might be tempting to pick at the scab, it is best not to do this since doing this can cause an infection. A safer way is to take the pulp from a papaya and make it into a paste. Apply it over the burnt area and leave on for fifteen minutes. The enzymes from this fruit contain anti-inflammatory properties and also helps remove the dead skin cells.
If you never cared for the taste of honey, here is a very good reason to include it on your next grocery list. It has been used for centuries because of its medicinal purposes. Apply a thin layer to a paper towel and using this as a patch, apply it to your burn. This not only will stop the burn from becoming infected, it will also heal the burn faster and may even prevent scarring.
Aloe has always been recognized as an effective treatment for minor burns. Like honey, this has been used throughout the world for its many medicinal properties. It contains anti-inflammatory properties which help relieve the pain of many minor burns. Most stores sell a wide variety of lotions and gels that contain aloe. However, did you know that you can easily grow an aloe plant easily in your kitchen? All you need to do is to pluck a leaf off the plant and cut it in half. Applying the gel from the leaf to the burn helps relive the plant and speeds up the healing process.
Even after a burn has healed completely, it may leave behind an unsightly scar. You may wonder why there have to be scars after any type of injuries including having a burn. This actually is a natural part of the healing process. They are fibrous tissues that replace the damaged skin after an injury. While you may not want your perfect looking skin to be marred by a scar, these ugly reminders play a role in protecting that area from further injuries and protect the injured area from infections. While with some minor burns you may not notice any type of scarring, with larger areas of burn skin it will take longer to heal and create a more noticeable scar.
While scars may never go away completely, you can make them less noticeable. As already mentioned, honey helps reduce the appearance of scars. The same can be said about aloe. You can also reduce and improve scarring by applying one or more of the following to the burnt area:
- Egg Whites
- Organic Coconut Oil
- Plain Yogurt
- Juices from a Cut Potato
A healthy diet is always important to follow. Eating foods that are high in anti-oxidants are always good for your skin. With burns, your skin loses micro-nutrients such as copper, selenium, and zinc which are all needed for healthy skin. To replenish these include the following in your diet
- Blue Berries
- Bulgur Wheat
- Dairy Products
- Dark Chocolate
- Goji Berries
- Morel Mushrooms
- Red Meat
- Swiss Chard
- Whole Grains
Since our bodies also need vitamin C, E and A for skin healing, including the above foods will provide you with these essential vitamins.
As an adult, you will experience a burn at least once in your life. They can be painful and if you do not handle them in the proper way, they can take longer to heal, leave scars and may even, depending on the severity of the burn, require cosmetic surgery. Common kitchen items are perfect home remedies for minor burns. However, if you suspect that your burn is either a second or third-degree burn seek medical assistance immediately. While the above home remedies are excellent for first degree burns, if your child is a burn victim, always get him treated professionally.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2019 Lois Ryan
Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on November 16, 2019:
Very cool and I thank you. This is quite helpful.