Burns damage the skin which normally controls the heat in the body, holds our body fluids and protects us from infection. Burns on the fingers as well as the hands are not very dangerous; but those that affect even small areas of the skin can become serious.
Burns can be caused by over-spilling of hot water, chemicals, hot objects, steam, sun, fire, electricity, fore and sun.
The very first emotion that the term ‘burn’ evokes in our mind is ‘pain’. Though all burns are not caused due to fire, we often relate burns with fire. Skin burns also result from touching hot electrical appliances, chemicals, or radiation. Whatever the cause of burn, we all want the pain to subside at the earliest. Though minor burns can be treated at home to some extent, those which are of serious nature require medical attention.
Natural home remedies for Burns:
Though all kind of burns require medical attention, in case of less severe burns (mostly First degree) certain home remedies along with some preliminary treatments work effectively. These are as follows:
- Use Cool Water to Reduce Skin Temperature: Soak the affected area of the skin in cool water for 15-30 minutes to reduce temperature of the skin
- Natural home remedies for Burns by Use of Honey: To prevent blisters and to avoid skin infection, apply honey on the burnt area of the skin after washing your skin thoroughly with cool water. Honey contains enzymes that helps to kill bacteria
- Natural home remedies for Burns with Aloe Vera Leaves: On the burnt skin, put some freshly cut aloe vera leaves and leave it for sometime. Once the pain starts reducing, spill contents of vitamin E capsule on the burnt area to prevent scarring.Vitamin E reduces pain and helps in faster healing of wounds
- Natural home remedies for Burns with Chinese Poultice: This Chinese treatment for skin burns involves dressing of the wound with honey and pollen. The treatment is considered so powerful that it can reverse the process of gangrene and prevent spreading of infection
- home remedy for Burns from Proper Diet: Consuming high protein and calorie-rich diet helps in recovering the loss of micronutrients like zinc, copper, selenium etc. caused due to burning. Experts suggest that eating papaya helps in shedding dead cells from the burnt area of the skin quickly
Types of Burns:
Burns are of 3 categories: First-degree burns, second-degree burns, and the most severe third-degree burns.
- First-Degree Burns: These burns are the least severe. There is redness in the skin with minor swelling, with no blisters. The superficial layer of the skin peels off in 1-2 days and the wound takes about 3-6 days to heal
- Second-Degree Burns: These are of more serious kind as the layer beneath the topmost layer of the skin also gets affected. The area of burn develop blisters, and are more painful than the First-degree burns. The situation becomes worse when blister breaks and skin becomes wet and pinkish. Depending upon the severity of burns, healing time for such kind of wounds varies between 2-3 weeks
- Third-Degree Burns: These are the most severe kind of burns and immediately deserve medical attention. Burns affect all layers of the skin involving the underlying tissues. These types of burns cause little or no pain as the nerves underlying the skin also get damaged. The surface of the skin appears dry from outside. Depending on the severity, the skin becomes waxy white to severely charred. Usually takes very long time to heal
For other kinds of burns such as electrical burns that may not be obvious from the outside but may cause enough internal damage, the best remedy is to take the patient right away to the hospital. In case of chemical burns, the burnt area must be washed with copious amounts of water and left open without putting anything on the skin because it may cause chemical reaction.
What measures to take when a person gets burnt?
- One must try to stop the burning process. Cool the area with cool running water. Continue running water on the affected spot till the ambulance arrives.
- Look for sloughing, charred or blistered skin. In the case of blistering as well sloughing the top layer of the skin gets completely damaged.
- If a whole arm is affected or the abdomen gets burnt then one should take the person to the emergency ward.
Mild burns whereby the skin becomes red can be treated with an ointment.
- Cool water also reduces the pain.
- Do not apply butter on the affected area.
- After the burn is cooled with the help of water or a cold compress apply lotion to the affected area.
- Do not try to break the pus-filled blisters.
- For major burns, seek immediate medical attention.
Burns can be very painful. They can mar the skin. One must treat them immediately. Major burns must be taken care of by medical specialist