Burn injuries can be extremely painful regardless of how you sustain them. The degree of pain differs depending on the severity of the burn injuries. However, burns are quite common in households, particularly among people who are involved in the kitchen. As a common household injury, burns are categorised on the basis of severity. The categorisation is as follows:
These are considered the least severe burns since it only affects the topmost layer of skin, also known as the epidermis. You will experience mild pain, redness, and swelling if you get a first-degree burn.
Second-degree burns affect deeper layers of your skin, also known as the dermis. These burns can also cause blisters on the skin that can be painful in nature.
These are more severe burns that destroy both the epidermis and the dermis along with surrounding tissue. Third-degree burns are more serious and may require skin grafts.
Fourth-degree burns are the most serious and involve injuries to the deeper tissues, bones, and even muscles. In many cases, fourth-degree burns may also damage nerve endings.
You should treat the third- and fourth-degree burns as medical emergencies and get immediate treatment at a hospital. However, if you have sustained a first- or second-degree burn that’s less than 3 inches in diameter, you can treat it at home using simple home-based remedies.
Read on to know the best home remedies for burns that can help you treat the affected area.
Now that you are familiar with different degrees of burns, you understand that not all burns require hospitalisation. Mild burns can take up to a couple of weeks to heal completely and don’t usually cause scarring of the epidermis. Burn treatment at home should suffice for such mild burns.
Listed below are the most popular and effective home remedy for skin burn.
If you have sustained a mild burn, immediately pour some cool water over the affected area. This will provide instant relief and reduce the impact of the burn. Try to run cool water over the burn for over 20 minutes. You can then gently wash the burned area with mild soap and water. This will help prevent the burn from reaching deeper layers of your skin.
Another way to reduce the impact of a mild burn is to use cool compresses over the burned area to get relief from the pain. You must use the cool compress at intervals of 5 to 15 minutes. Ensure that you are not overusing the cool compresses since it might cause damage to the tissue and irritate the burned area. If you don’t have a cool compress, here’s a hack: fill a plastic bag with ice and wrap in a cloth and gently put it onto the affected area.
Antibiotic creams and ointments are considered one of the most effective home remedies for burns. These are most suited for preventing infections. You can apply the antibacterial cream to the burned area after cleaning it and cover it with a sterile cloth. Over-the-counter antibiotic ointments can be an excellent solution to blisters that may result from the burn. It heals the burn wounds faster and eases discomfort.
The remedial effects of aloe vera have been long proven. Various studies establish the efficacy of aloe vera as a burn wound care. Aloe vera is an anti-inflammatory agent and its antibacterial properties prevent the growth of bacteria on the wound while it heals. You can apply pure aloe vera gel which also acts as a cooling agent for first-degree burns. However, you must be careful with the type of aloe vera you use. Avoid cosmetic products with added chemicals, particularly perfumes and colouring agents.
Honey has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. It’s great for healing minor burns and is known for its cosmetic wonders. A study has shown that honey has clinical benefits when applied to burns. If you apply honey to a bandage and then palace it over the burned area, it can sterilise the area and prevent infection. Ensure to use only medical-grade or Manuka honey.
After you have sustained a first-degree or second-degree burn, you must limit or avoid exposure to the sun. Keep the burned area covered with a cloth since it’s extremely sensitive to direct sunlight. If you leave the burned area uncovered in the sunlight, it might worsen, causing redness and irritation.
One of the most important things to keep in mind is to never pop your blisters. If you burst the blisters formed on burn wounds, it might lead to infections. You can consult a medical professional if you are worried about a blister caused by a burn.
The last remedy on our list of home remedies for burns is an OTC pain reliever. If you experience intense pain on your burn wounds, OTC or over-the-counter pain relievers, such as naproxen (Aleve) or ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) are quite effective. However, make sure to use the OTC pain reliever in the prescribed dosage.
There are numerous home remedies for burn treatment. However, these remedies range from effective, and ineffective to outright dangerous if used incorrectly. Some of these remedies have emerged from old wives’ tales and hold no accuracy in their effectiveness.
Here is a list of the remedies you should stay away from while you have sustained a burn injury:
You must never use butter on a burn. There’s not much research proving the effectiveness of butter as a home remedy for skin burns. On the other hand, since butter retains heat, it may increase the burning sensation and even worsen the injury.
Contrary to what’s popularly believed, coconut oil can’t heal every wound; especially not burns. Similar to butter, oils (regardless of which oil you are using) too have a smoking point and retain heat which can worsen the damage caused by a burn.
You should never use the egg whites of an egg to treat your burn wounds. It can cause an allergic reaction and also carries a potential risk of bacterial infection.
Toothpaste is a common, widely-used burn wound care. Regardless of how extensively it’s used in treating household burn injuries, its effectiveness is not backed by evidence. On the other hand, toothpaste can cause irritation to the burn and lead to infection.
Last on our list of home remedies for burns you must avoid is ice. Direct application of ice and chilled water on the wound can irritate your burned area. Furthermore, ice can even cause a cold burn if not used properly. The trick is to use ice wrapped in a cloth as a cold compress and never directly on a burn wound.
You must be able to identify the severity of the burn to decide whether you should consult a doctor for treating burn injuries. You should see a doctor in the following cases:
The burned area is more than 3 inches in diameter
The burn has affected your face, private parts, hands, groyne area or joints
The burn wound has become too painful or smelly
You develop a high fever
You believe you have sustained a third-degree (or higher) burn
If you have taken your last tetanus shot more than 5 years ago
Home remedy for skin burn can be effective but only to an extent. It is advisable to seek professional medical advice in case of burns, especially the severe ones. Get the Burns Benefit Cover via Bajaj Markets to cover the costs of your treatment, so that you can get the best aid without any worries about finance.
Burn wounds can be classified as first-degree burns, second-degree burns, third-degree burns, and fourth-degree burns on the basis of how extreme the injury is.
For a mild to moderate burn, it can take up to a couple of days before you get some relief from the pain. However, severe burns can take a significant amount of time to heal.
Generally, it is advised to avoid using petroleum jelly, particularly when the burn has affected deeper layers of your skin. Since petroleum jelly is not sterile, there are high chances of it causing infections.