Burns are one of the most common phenomena which have happened to almost all of us. They are damaging to the outer skin or the tissue beneath, due to heating or burning. The causes include touching hot objects like utensils, steam, fire, laser therapies, flammable objects, chemicals, sunlight, radiation, flame of a gas stove, silencer of a two wheeler; etc.
Burns are categorized under three different heads according to the severity, namely: first degree burns, second degree burns and third degree burns.
The first degree burns are the least severe of the 3 types and the area affected is the outer layer of the skin. They cause red colored patch and heals within a week.
The second degree burns are related to the outer layer of the skin and the layer beneath. They can cause swelling, blisters and scarring on the affected area.
The third degree burns are the severe most of the 3 and are burns to the outer layer, all the layers beneath and the tissues as well. They may damage all the layers of the skin and tissues. They may cause shock or death in worst cases.
Burns can sometimes get infected as a result of the damaged skin that protects the body from microorganisms. Home remedies are applicable only to the first degree burns. For the rest, immediate medical attention is required. Third degree burns may require surgery. First aid is a must for all the types of burns.
Home remedies and precautions For Burns:
1) Immediately wash the affected area with water (preferably cold water) to help prevent the flow of heat to the inner organs. This is applicable for all the types of burns.
2) Another first aid measure can be a vinegar compress. Soak a piece of cloth in vinegar and apply on the affected area. Vinegar soothes the area and prevents burning sensation. Change the compress according to the need.
3) Lavender oil is another old remedy. Apply pure lavender oil on the burn. It reduces the pain and inflammation. It prevents scarring as well.
4) Aloe Vera is another wonder remedy for burns. Apply Aloe Vera gel or pure extract on the affected region. It is antiseptic as well as soothing.
5) Applying honey to the burnt area after properly washing it may reduce the burning sensation and aids faster healing.
6) Mash some papaya and apply on the burn. The enzymes help in faster relief and removing dead burnt cells.
7) Break an egg and extract the white portion. Apply it on the burnt area.
8) An onion, cut into half and applied to the affected region also helps reduce the trapped heat.
9) One may soak the burn in cold milk for 15-20 minutes.
10) Burn a piece of cotton wool and add some olive or vegetable oil to it to make a thick paste. Cover the burn with this paste and bandage. Repeat it 3-4 times in a week.
11) Crush some marigold leaves and add a little water to make a paste. Apply it on the wound.
12) Concentrate on vitamins like vitamin C, vitamin B complex and minerals like zinc, copper, selenium.