Considering that burns are amongst the most common household injuries, it can be very helpful to know which at-home burn remedies actually work and how to use them for the best results. It is also important to know which burns can be treated at home, and when you need to go to a doctor ASAP.
Based on how severe they are, there are four categories of burns.
First-degree burns are the easiest to treat using only natural burn remedies. With a first-degree burn, you get a skin that is red, swollen, sensitive and painful.
Second degree burns have all the symptoms of the first-degree, plus blisters. The skin is very red and sore and has a wet appearance. There is also a higher risk of developing an infection.
Third-degree burns include damage to all layers of the skin, while fourth-degree burns affect even bones and joints.
Third and fourth-degree burns, as well as all electrical burns and burns caused by chemicals, require immediate visit to the ER. All of these can have hidden major damage of the internal tissues.
Most first and second-degree burns, especially the ones that are less than 3 inches in diameter, can be treated at home. The following at-home burn remedies can help you decrease the pain, speed up the healing process and reduce the possibility of infection and scarring:
The Best At-Home Burn Remedies
When you get a first or second-degree burn, the first and the easiest thing you can do is place the burned skin under cool running water for around 20 minutes.
The cold will stop the inflammation, cool down the area and prevent damage to the deeper layers of the skin. The cold water can also numb the area and reduce the pain.
However, you should never apply ice or ice cold water to the freshly burned skin. Ice can damage and irritate the skin even further and even cause cold burns if left on the skin for too long.
Aloe vera gel
Aloe vera gel is one of the best natural burn remedies. It is commonly used to soothe irritated, itchy or inflamed skin. It is especially popular for treating sunburns, but it can help with any kind of burns and skin damages.
Aloe vera gel provides lots of moisture to the dry, damaged skin. It has unique anti-inflammatory and healing effects and it enhances the skin regeneration process. Aloe vera gel also has natural antibacterial properties, so it reduces the risk of infection.
Apply a thin layer of the gel directly to the burned skin. Leave it on for 1o minutes, then rinse off with cool water. You can do this several times a day, to quickly relieve the discomfort and pain.
As a natural antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal product, honey can help disinfect the burned area. Similarly to aloe vera gel, honey also prevents infections, moisturizes the skin and speeds up the healing process.
Apply a thin layer of raw, organic honey directly to the burn. Leave it on for 15 – 20 minutes and reapply if needed. After that time, rinse off the honey with cold water and gently pat dry the skin.
You can also make the ‘ultimate’ at-home burn treatment by mixing equal amounts of honey and aloe vera gel. Together, these two products are sure to quickly soothe the skin, relieve the pain, irritation and itching and help the burned skin heal in no time.
Just make sure you mix them in a clean bowl and using a clean teaspoon, or you can increase the possibility of the burn getting infected. In fact, it would be best to wipe the bowl and teaspoon with rubbing alcohol first.
Black tea bags
If you have some black tea bags on hand, they can help a lot in treating minor burns and making them less painful.
The tannic acid in black tea helps soothe burns by drawing heat from the burned skin. This way, black tea reduces the inflammation and soothes the pain and discomfort.
To use black tea to soothe burns, make the tea as you usually would and wait for the bags to cool down completely. Place the wet tea bags on the burned skin and hold them like that for 20 – 30 minutes.
You can also soak cotton pads or cotton balls in the cold tea and use them instead of the tea bags.
Another popular sunburn remedy that will also work perfectly for any kind of small burns. Especially if you use it refrigerated, because the cold will help as well to reduce the inflammation.
Yogurt is full of enzymes and probiotics that prevent infections and speed up the healing of the skin. The lactic acid in yogurt dissolves the dead skin cells and stimulates the new skin cell growth. That way, yogurt encourages the skin to renew itself.
Apply a thin layer of cold yogurt to the burned skin. Leave it on for 10 minutes. If your skin soaks it up, you can add another layer. After 10 minutes, gently wipe it off and rinse the skin with cool water.
Though oatmeal powder can be used on a fresh burn, it is more helpful at the stage when the burn starts to heal and the irritated skin becomes very itchy.
Just like the other burn remedies above, oatmeal powder also has natural soothing and healing properties. Oats contain saponins, which gently cleanse and detoxify the skin. Oats also hydrate the skin and strengthen the skin’s natural protective barrier.
If your burn is on your arm or leg, you can dissolve a few tablespoons of ground oatmeal in a bowl filled with cool water and soak the skin in the mixture. If not, prepare the mixture the same way and soak a piece of gauze or a clean cotton cloth in it. Place the gauze on the burn and keep it like that for around 20 minutes.
You can also make a thick paste by mixing the oatmeal powder with a small amount of water. Apply a thick layer of the paste to the skin. After 10 – 15 minutes, gently wipe it off.