Burns are common injuries that almost everybody has experienced at least once in their life. How you should treat your burn depends on the severity of the burn. The severity can range from a minor burn to a life-threatening injury. When treating minor burns, there are several items at home you can use to relieve pain.
What Burns Should You Treat at Home?
Before you go ahead and use home remedies for your burn, you should know the degree of the burn. First and second-degree burns are normally treated with home remedies. Since first and second-degree burns are not a life-threatening emergency, the healing process will occur naturally with proper treatment.
However, you should immediately go to the hospital if the burn is in the third and fourth degrees. Third-degree burns affect all the layers of the skin while fourth-degree burns are the most severe type of burn that damages joints and bones. When this happens, it is highly recommended to call emergency responders immediately.
Common Myths About Treating Burns You Should Avoid
While there are many home remedies to treat burns, some of them might not even work. Some of the remedies that have been passed down by ancestors are not effective. Here are some of the common myths that you should stay away from when treating burns.
One common misconception in treating a burn is to put ice on the affected area. However, this remedy could cause more harm than good. Applying ice can irritate the skin and may cause frostbite.
Though this has been used by many, this home remedy has no scientific proof that it is effective in treating burns. Using butter for burns traps heat which in the skin. It also stops the burn from healing which may lead to serious infections.
Just like butter, applying oil traps the heat in a burned area. It may cause more damage to the burned area. Avoid using coconut oil, olive oil, cooking oils, and any other types of oil to treat burns.
This is one of the most popular false home remedies for burns. Toothpaste irritates the affected burn more than it can heal. Also, applying toothpaste on the burned skin can cause the spread of bacteria in the burned area.
Another popular folk medicine for burns is applying raw egg whites. This is not an effective remedy at all. Egg whites might carry bacterial and could cause an allergic reaction. This makes you more likely to be exposed to infection.
Home Remedies to Treat Mild Burn
It takes about one to two weeks for mild burns to completely heal. In case of a mild burn, here are the following home remedies that you should do:
Clean the burn with cool water and soap
When you get a mild burn, the first thing you should do is to clean the affected area. Run cool tap water over the burned skin. Do this for about 20 minutes to prevent the mild burn from damaging the deeper layers of skin. Make sure to also clean the burn using antibacterial soap.
Using a cool compress
Applying a cool compress made from a wet towel reduces the pain and swelling of the burn. Remember that you should not overdo this as it may irritate the burn.
Reduce exposure to the sun
Burned skin is sensitive to the sun. It is advisable to try your best to avoid exposure in direct sunlight. Wearing loose-fitting clothing to cover the burns also helps.
Avoid popping the blisters
Blisters appear as your skin burns. It is advisable to avoid popping them, as it may lead to more infection. In any case that the blisters break, it is advisable to clean the affected area with antibacterial soap and water. Then, apply an ointment and cover the burn with a bandage.
Apply aloe vera
Aloe vera is also known as a “burn plant”. This is an effective treatment for first to second-degree burns. Aloe vera contains anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that help with burns. This can also heal burns faster. Apply aloe vera gel on the affected area after cleaning the burn.
Typically, first and second degree burns are easily treated with items that you can easily find at home. However, you should be aware that some home remedies might not. In the case of third and fourth-degree burns, you should immediately call for an emergency as these types of burns are life-threatening.