• LaurenWallace

How to Treat a Burn at Home

By Annie Price, CHHC

November 28, 2018

Original article and page source found here.

Burns occur from exposure to heat, steam, hot liquids, chemicals or the sun. The treatment of burns depends on the severity of the burn.

Severe burns can destroy all layers of skin and even damage muscles and underlying fat. Severe burns need immediate medical attention. Natural therapies can help with wound healing and decreasing pain.

Wondering how to treat a burn at home? I’m about to tell you some of the best natural remedies that can reduce the risk of infection and help areas heal without scarring. What is good to put on a burn? To help heal burns naturally, home remedies for a burn include applying essential oils, antioxidants and plant compounds topically. You can also reduce foods that increase inflammation and slow healing while increasing anti-inflammatory foods that promote optimal healing.

Types of Burns

Burn symptoms can include red skin, swelling, pain and blisters. For a really bad burn, it can take one to two days for symptoms to be fully present. How can you tell if a burn is minor enough to be treated at home? The severity of symptoms can help you figure out the degree of your burn. It can also help you to figure out whether or not you need medical attention.

Depending on the level of skin damage, burns are typically categorized as follows: (1)

  • First degree burn: This is the most minor type of burn that affects only the outer layer of the skin known as the epidermis. Symptoms can include redness and pain.

  • Second degree burn (also known as partial thickness burns): This burn affects both the epidermis and the dermis (the second layer of skin). It can result in swelling and red, white or splotchy skin. Blisters can develop and pain can be severe. A deep second-degree burn can result in scarring of the skin.

  • Third degree burn: This severe burn goes all the way down to the fat layer beneath the skin. Burned areas can be black, brown or white and the skin can appear leathery. Third-degree burns can destroy nerves, resulting in numbness.

The best way to treat a burn depends upon the type of burn. First degree burns often occur from common activities around the house, especially in the kitchen. The following popular internet searches will give you an idea of common causes of minor burns: “how to treat a burn from a hot pan,” “how to treat a burn from boiling water,” “how to treat a grease burn” or “how to treat a burn from melted sugar.” Unfortunately, I bet you are familiar with at least one of these circumstances that can easily result in a burn to the skin.

While serious burns require immediate medical attention, the good news is a first degree burn is typically easy to treat with natural home remedies. What is the best way to treat minor burns? Let’s take a look now!

How to Treat a Burn: 10 Home Remedies

1. Cool It Down

Whether you’re trying to figure out how to treat a burn on finger, how to treat a burn on hand or how to treat a burn anywhere else on your body, the first thing you want to do is calm down the affected area. Put the burned skin under cool running water or apply a cool, wet compress for about five minutes. The running water should help to calm down any pain. As much as it may seem like a good idea, do not use cold water or ice. (2)

2. Top Foods to Heal Burns

If you’re wondering how to heal a burn fast, don’t forget to focus on your diet! These are some of the top things you’ll want to be consuming to promote healing.

Water: Drink plenty of water or electrolyte drinks like coconut water to help replenish lost fluids. Citrus fruits: Include fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C, which promotes collagen production and skin healing. (3) Wild-caught fish: Include sources of omega-3 fats to reduce inflammation and help with tissue repair. (4) Zinc: Zinc plays a major role in regulating every phase of the wound healing process. (5) To increase your intake of zinc-rich foods, you can add grass-fed beef, pumpkin seeds and spinach to your diet. Clean, lean protein: Protein is necessary to rebuild tissue. Aim for at least four to five ounces of high protein foods per meal daily.

3. Foods that Slow Healing (What to Avoid)

While it’s important to consume anti-inflammatory foods, it’s also equally important to steer clear of inflammatory foods. These include:

Sugar: Sugar promotes inflammation in the body and is counterproductive to healing. (6) Trans and hydrogenated oils: Processed foods contain hydrogenated oils, which promote inflammation and decrease the ability of your body to heal. (7) Processed foods: Processed foods may contain chemicals, dyes and other questionable additives that may slow healing.

4. Aloe Vera

How to treat razor burn at home is not exactly the same as how to treat a burn at home, but aloe vera gel is definitely a natural remedy these two skin concerns have in common. Aloe vera, with its calming and cooling properties, has a long history of use for burns. In fact, many decades ago in 1959, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the use of aloe vera ointment as an over-the-counter medication for healing burns on the skin. (8)

Look for an aloe vera gel that is at least 99 percent pure. You can apply the gel two times daily to promote healing.

6. Vitamin E

Experiencing a burn causes oxidative stress to the body and can deplete vitamin E, especially if it’s a really serious burn. (9) While study results haven’t been super impressive, one of the most popular uses of vitamin E is the treatment of burns, scars and wounds. (10)

You can load up on vitamin E-rich foods, take a supplement (typically 400 IU daily) or use a topical vitamin E.

7. Zinc

Zinc is critical for enzymatic reactions for healing as I mentioned earlier. Taking a zinc supplement can help to boost levels if you don’t think you’re getting enough in your diet.

8. L-glutamine

L-glutamine is an amino acid required for tissue healing and to prevent infections related to burns. According to a scientific article titled “Nutrition and Chronic Wounds,” published in 2014, “There is evidence in situations of trauma, burns, and sepsis that glutamine supplementation improves gut function, decreases septic complications, and improves insulin sensitivity, suggesting the presence of the amino acid in insufficient quantities.” (11)

9. Antioxidant Supplements

Burns can cause an inflammatory response in the body that leads to the release of free radicals. (12) Antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium and flavonoids and other antioxidants can help to the reduce the free radicals caused by burns.