It is best to know how to deal with a burn before you have one. Having natural remedies in mind to treat burns will allow you to address a burn immediately. Home treatment for burns includes simple remedies like honey, baking soda, and aloe in addition to unexpected solutions like egg whites and aluminum foil.
Kitchen burns from hot appliances, pots, steam and hot liquids are very common. Burns can also come from fire, overexposure to the sun, chemicals, and even foods like raw hot peppers that have come in contact with the skin.
1. Cool the Burn
Cooling the burn is the first priority in treating the burn. Cool (not cold) running water will help to remove the heat from the body. Even after the source of the burn is no longer in contact with the skin, the body retains heat and will continue to damage the skin. Cooling the burn removes the heat to minimize the damage to the skin.
Cool running water will also help to clean the burn. Keeping the burn clean will help to prevent infection. If further cleaning is needed hydrogen peroxide can be used to clean the burn. It is best to pour hydrogen peroxide onto the burn rather than put hydrogen onto a cloth or cotton ball to clean the burn. Wiping a burn can further damage the skin.
2. Comfort the Burn
There are many excellent ways to bring comfort and healing to a burn.
Honey has been used for healing for thousands of years. Studies today confirm that honey is excellent for wound healing, including burns. Honey reduces inflammation and edema in burns. It helps to debride wounds and provides nutrients for the new skin cells that begin to form. Honey reduces pain and is less likely to cause dressings to stick to wounds. Honey reduces the risks of scarring from more serious burns. Honey is also antibacterial and excellent for preventing infection, especially when the burn involves broken skin.1 You will find more information about using honey for wounds on this page.
Odd as it may sound, aluminum foil is a common and effective treatment for mild burns. It’s also the most popular burn remedy on Earth Clinic! A simple “aluminum foil bandage” often makes it possible to continue on with your day without pain from your burn.
Egg whites, fresh from the refrigerator, can help to cool the burn and also provide nutrients to a burn.
A baking soda paste is burn treatment that is often easily available and prepared. While the paste may need to be reapplied often, the relief it brings is worth it.
Lavender essential oil is commonly used to relieve the pain of first degree burns. Peppermint essential oil is also used on burns for its cooling effect. While lavender oil is often used straight on the skin, peppermint is too strong for many. A couple of drops of peppermint oil can be added to a tablespoon of aloe gel or coconut oil and applied topically. Aloe and coconut oil are two other remedies for burns.
Aloe is soothing and healing to burns. You can use aloe fresh, straight from the plant. Many keep an aloe plant on the kitchen windowsill for this purpose. Aloe juice or gel work well to relieve pain and heal burns also.
3. Nourish the Burn
If you have a burn your body will need to work to heal the burn. Give your body excellent resources for this process.
Honey and egg whites, used topically for burns provide nourishment right at the needed site. Plenty of whole foods, complete proteins, fruits and vegetables are great to internally nourish your body. Vitamin C and gelatin are also excellent supplements to use to promote skin healing.
Honey is also one of the best treatments for a burn that is at risk for infection or appears to be getting infected.
What NOT to do for a Burn
Do not apply butter to a burn. Butter is a home remedy that dates back many years, but is actually quite ineffective for soothing or healing burns.
Do not apply heat to a burn. While this is sometimes suggested as a folk remedy, you need to REMOVE heat from a burn, not add heat to a burn.
Do not use bleach on a burn. Bleach is a caustic substance and contact with the skin, especially damaged skin should always be avoided.
If your have a burn that is covered with clothing, cool the burn BEFORE removing the clothing. For example, if you burn your arm and have on long sleeves, just put your clothed arm under cool running water. The earlier you begin cooling the burn the better. Removing the clothing before cooling the burn can cause you to remove skin with the clothing if the burn is severe.
In the event of a severe burn, especially in the case of a child or the elderly, get immediate medical help. With severe burns there is risk of shock and dehydration.
Continue reading to see how our readers have used natural remedies to treat their burns. Make sure to read up on our most popular home remedy for burns, aluminum foil! Do you have a home treatment for a burn? Please send us some feedback!