Burns are categorized by their severity from first to third degree. A first-degree burn is the least severe and can be treated in the home. These minor ones are common in the home. You could burn your hand on a pan or spill hot tea on your lap. Here are some home remedies for burns as well as some remedies which you should avoid.
The first thing you should do is run cool (not freezing) water over the burn area for about 20 minutes. This soothes the burn and prevents further injury. It reduces or stops the pain and prevents the burn from worsening and damaging deeper layers of skin.
Clean the burn
After cooling it, it’s essential to clean the burn thoroughly. Use a mild antibacterial soap to gently clean the area and avoid scrubbing. Cleaning prevents an infection from developing. An infection can compromise the healing process and if it doesn’t heal well, it may force you to seek medical attention.
Apply an antibiotic ointment to your burn to prevent infection and encourage faster healing. Cover it with cling film or sterile cloth. A bandage is necessary if the affected area is a place where chafing is likely, or dirt can easily enter the wound.
Get some over-the-counter medication to deal with the pain. Medication can also help reduce the swelling.
Aloe vera is often referred to as the burn plant. Studies show that aloe vera is effective in healing first- to second-degree burns. It’s anti-inflammatory, promotes circulation, and inhibits the growth of bacteria. If you have access to the plan, apply a layer of aloe vera gel taken from the leaf onto the affected area. If you have to purchase the gel, avoid products that have additives and make sure it contains a high amount of ale vera.
Honey is a natural antibiotic and has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which help the burn heal faster. Applying honey to a bandage that you then use to cover the area can help sterilize it and prevent infection. It may also soothe burned skin, easing some of the pain. Apply honey to the affected area three times daily.
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Remedies to avoid
Never use ice on a burn. It can restrict blood flow to the skin, further damaging the tissue. Ice and very cold water can also irritate the affected area more. Use cool running water instead.
Butter and oils
Don’t apply butter or other oils to your burn. They hold in heat and can even cause the skin to continue to burn. Never use butter, coconut oil, olive oil, or cooking oils on a burn.
Have you heard the one about the healing power of toothpaste? I have, however, there’s no evidence that toothpaste helps burns heal. If anything, it could just irritate the burn creating a favourable environment for an infection.
Applying uncooked egg whites to a burn is an old wives’ remedy that may do more harm than good. Egg whites carry a risk of bacterial infection and can also cause an allergic reaction.
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