Friday, November 9, 2012

Natural Remedies for a Burn

Burns are very common. Certain natural remedies can help to heal a burn fast. You may burn your fingers when you’re cooking. First degree burns are generally superficial. They affect only the top layer of the skin (epidermis). This may cause blisters, swelling and redness of the skin. Second degree burns will penetrate to the dermis, the second layer of the skin. Third degree burns will destroy the skin completely and may damage the underlying muscles. It can result in scarring.

Aloe Vera Plant
Source: Wikimedia Commons: Erin Silversmith

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera is an excellent remedy for burns. Just cut a aloe vera leaf with a knife and squeeze the gel to the affected skin. It will reduce the pain and the burning sensation. According to the New York Times, a group of surgeons studied the effects of Aloe Vera on burns. They concluded that aloe vera could make a difference when applied to first degree burns.  However second and third degree burns require medical attention.

How to Treat Burns

The burnt area should be washed with cold water. Don’t use ice, as it may aggravate the problem

Open a capsule of vitamin E and apply the oil on the affected area. Consuming vitamin A and vitamin E can also heal the burn quickly.

Potato Skin

Potato skin can replace bandages in treating burns. Dr. Narayana a plastic surgeon of Jubilee Medical College in Kerala (India) says that potato skin is not sticky and heals the wound fast. It helps to keep the wound moist and can be peeled of easily. Water evaporates from the burn wound quickly, making it dry. Potato peel helps to prevent this. The ability of the potato peel to keep the wound moist, helps to heal the burn wounds faster.


It is advisable to put burn wounds under cold water for about 5 minutes. Then the skin can be covered with sterile bandage. This can help to reduce the pain and irritation. You can also take pain killers like ibuprofen and acetaminophen.

It is necessary to keep the wound as clean as possible to prevent infection. Several OTC creams for burns are available. One of these can be applied to the affected area.

Alternately you can apply an antibiotic cream on the burn wound to prevent infection. You should use a non stick cotton bandage to cover the wound. It is necessary to change the bandage every day. Blisters should not be broken as they prevent infection.

Don’t apply butter, oil or Vaseline on the burn, as the burn requires moisture to heal.


Dilute vinegar can be applied on minor burns. As vinegar is acidic it helps prevent infection. After the application of vinegar, cover the wound with a sterile cloth.

To Treat Burn Scars

Aloe vera gel is quite useful in minimizing scarring due to burn. Apply aloe vera gel on the scar 3-4 times every day.

Papaya is also effective in minimizing the scars. Rub ripe papaya fruit chunk on the affected skin several times a day.

Paste made from Fuller’s earth helps to fade the scars. Add a tbsp of lemon juice and some rose water to make a paste. Apply the paste and wash it off after ten minutes. Repeat the process 3-4 times a day. 

If the burn is serious consult a doctor immediately. It is extremely important to prevent infection.

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