Most people experience a burn to some degree at one time or another. Whether the burn is a result of too much time in the sun, carelessness in the kitchen, hot liquids or boiling water, chemical burns, or a major accident, this article will explain how to relieve your pain and symptoms from burns and scalds. We will identify the different types of burns and illustrate several home remedies for relief.
If you are using home remedies for burns, call a doctor right if your symptoms worsen or the pain increases. Seek immediate medical attention if your treatments for burn relief at home lead to difficulty breathing or if you notice signs of infection.
1. Aloe Vera
What can you put on a burn? Aloe vera is known for its soothing properties, so it's the first thing to consider.
Along with its soothing properties, aloe vera can work wonders as far as keeping your burn cool. For the most part, it will not hurt when you apply it. Rather, you will feel a tingly sense of relief.
You can use fresh aloe leaves to extract the gooey juice, or you can purchase aloe vera at any pharmacy. When you do use aloe vera, you need to keep in mind that this will only work on moderate to mild burns. WIth much harsher burns, aloe vera may not have such a calming effect.
What to do:
- Apply aloe vera to your skin once the wound is clean and it has cooled down.
- Make sure you remove all soapsuds before you use aloe vera.
- Use fresh aloe leaves to extract juice direct from the plant.
- You can also buy aloe creams or gels over-the-counter at your local pharmacy or grocery store.
- Check the ingredients and purchase the one containing the highest amount of aloe.
- Gently apply the aloe vera to your wound 2 or 3 times per day, then cover it with gauze or a bandage.
2. Egg Whites
This is a great solution because egg whites prevent the skin from continuing to burn after the heat source is removed.
What to do:
- Crack one or two eggs and remove the yolks.
- Separate the egg whites into a bowl.
- After you clean and cool down the burn, apply the whites to your wound with a soft, clean pastry brush.
- Allow the egg whites to dry and repeat the process several times over the next couple hours.
3. Baking Soda
Baking soda is another popular ingredient you can find in your kitchen. Don't hesitate to use it when you want to treat a burn.
The best way to apply baking soda to a burn is by turning it into a paste. You can then slather this paste on to your burn to find some temporary relief.
What to do:
- Pour some baking soda into a bowl and add water.
- Mix the water and baking soda to create a paste, then liberally apply the paste to your wound for immediate pain relief.
- You can put a bandage on after a few applications to keep the paste on the burn.
4. Aluminum Foil
Although aluminum foil is not natural, it is a common product found in your home that can treat minor burns. However, it will not promote healing; it will only minimize initial pain symptoms.
Much like many remedies on our list, aluminum foil will help to soothe your skin and calm it down after a burn. While it may sound a bit unconventional, it actually can work wonders.
What to do:
- After you run your burn under water, gently pad it dry with a soft towel.
- Wrap the shiny side of the aluminum foil around your burn area.
- Once wrapped, the pain will intensify. Keep the foil wrapped around your burn for 30 to 60 minutes.
- After time passes, the pain will lessen significantly or completely go away.
5. Vinegar Honey Teabags
Tannic acids draw heat away from your burn to lessen the severity of your pain. This is why it's a good idea to use this home remedy.
Along with that, honey is well known for its anti-inflammatory and healing properties.
What to do:
- Place a few tea bags in cold water, then remove the bags and put them directly on your burn.
- Wrap gauze around the tea bags to keep them held in place.
- Replace the tea bags every couple hours.
6. Lavender Essential Oil
In addition to being used for burn home remedies, hospitals also use lavender essential oils to treat patients. Lavender essential oil promotes healing and relieves pain on burn wounds. Moreover, lavender has natural healing properties that are both painkilling and can be used as antibiotic ointment.
There are many ways you can use lavender to help cool down the sting of a burn. You can purchase lavender as an essential oil or a cream. If you use anything other than pure lavender oil, you will want to make sure that the creme or spray actually has lavender oil in it, not just the artificial scent of it.
What to do:
- Pour the oil onto a clean cloth or gauze and apply it directly to your wound.
- Replace the gauze or cloth every few hours.
- Use therapeutic grade lavender oil for burn treatment.
7. Mint Toothpaste
You can use toothpaste to relieve pain from a minor burn. Keep a tube of mint toothpaste in your kitchen to use when you burn yourself while cooking.
It is important that you use mint toothpaste (it is typically the white form) and not another type like gel toothpaste. Mint toothpaste will typically have the chemical components that you want that will promote healing.
Also, white mint toothpaste will typically dry a lot better on your skin than gel toothpaste would.
What to do:
- Before you apply toothpaste, run the burn under cool water and gently pat the area dry.
- Spread a thin layer of mint toothpaste to the burn to help relieve the pain.
- Toothpaste will only help soothe your discomfort; it will not help heal your wound.
Vanilla is another product that should be kept in your kitchen to treat minor burns. Pour liquid vanilla extract over a burn to alleviate pain. It will also help minimize tenderness, blisters, and scarring.
In addition to helping your skin heal, vanilla extract is known for its soothing aroma that will help calm you down after a burn. As with any oil or extract, you want to be sure you are using pure vanilla extract and not anything artificial.
What to do:
- Instead of pouring vanilla directly onto your skin, you can pour some on a soft, clean cloth, and dab the cloth over the burn. The extract will give your wound a cooling sensation in addition to helping with recovery.
Use milk to treat minor or first-degree burns. See more about first-degree burns later in the article.
What to do:
- Pour cold milk into a bowl.
- Next, take a clean cloth and soak it in the milk.
- Dab the cloth over your burn or completely cover the burn in the wet cloth.
- Repeat this process every hour or two to eliminate pain symptoms.
- Instead of using a milk-soaked cloth, you can pour milk directly over your wound, or let your wound soak in a bowl of milk. For practicality purposes, the cloth method uses less milk and is not as wasteful.
- For large burns, it may not be practical stick your entire leg in a bowl or bucket of milk.
Oatmeal does not heal burns, but it can relieve the itchy sensation when a burn is healing. The last thing you want to do is scratch a burn wound before it heals. Scratching can prolong the recovery process, lead to infection, and cause scarring.
What to do:
- For large burns, fill your bathtub with lukewarm water and add raw oatmeal.
- Soak in the tub for 20 minutes and air-dry, so the oatmeal residue stays on your skin.
11. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil helps produce collagen and regenerate skin tissues. The antiseptic properties it has accelerate healing of minor burns. Moreover, it also has a cooling effect that relieves pain, fights infection, prevents scars, and keeps your skin moisturized.
When applying coconut oil, you can use pure fractionated coconut oil, or a coconut oil based cream or moisturizer. The best time to apply the oil or cream on to your burn is right before bed time as this will give your skin the chance to soak it all in.
What to do:
- Apply coconut oil directly to your wound after you gently wash and dry your skin with cool water.
Immediate Treatment for Burns
Before you learn how to heal a burn, the first thing you need to do is stop the burn. If a fire caused the burn, make sure you smoother the fire, and it is completely out. For electrical burns, make sure you completely separate yourself from the electrical source.
Check yourself for injuries, and remove all clothing or jewelry that is covering your wounds. Do not remove clothing if it gets stuck or melted into your skin.
Prepare for Evaluation by Doctor
To avoid long-term damage and infections, see a doctor to evaluate your burns before you try a home remedy for burns. What do you put on a burn before you visit the doctor? Use a clean, dry cloth to cover the burn area.
Do not put any ointment or medication on the burn. Your doctor needs to see the wound, as it is to properly assess the damage and provide recommendations for burn relief. A medical professional will tell you what’s good for a burn.
Types of Burns
Over time, minor burns will most likely heal without burn treatment. Home remedies for burns will speed up the healing process for minor burns, relieve pain and other symptoms. Sunburn is an example of a minor burn.
Skin peeling is normal during the healing process of sunburn, and there is not much you can do to prevent that. You can use lotions to help relieve the itch from a minor burn.
Third degree, fourth-degree burns, and burns on your face are examples of major burns. Severe burns will cause your skin to scar when it heals.
You can get surgery to repair scarred skin from a major burn. You should pursue immediate emergency treatment for fourth-degree burns on your hands, face, buttocks, feet, groin, as well as other areas of your body. Dial 9-1-1 for help.
First Degree Burns
What to put on burns that are minor? These are also known as superficial burns, and should not require the need for medical attention. Some treatments for superficial burns include applying a cool, damp cloth to the burned skin. You can also take a cold bath or shower or pour cold water or running water on the burn to relieve pain from a minor burn. Use soothing lotions to relieve pain and swelling. Lotions containing aloe vera or 0.5% hydrocortisone work best if you need to know how to soothe a burn. First-degree burns lead to red skin and do not cause blisters.
Second Degree Burns
What can I put on a burn? Second-degree burns are also known as partial thickness burns. If you burn yourself, soak the affected area in cool water for 5 or 10 minutes right away. For second degree burns, take ibuprofen pills like Advil, or acetaminophen such as Tylenol with a glass of water to minimize your pain and reduce blistering.
Second-degree burns are more painful than minor burns. Consult with your doctor before taking medication if you are pregnant. Do not give children ibuprofen and acetaminophen pills; instead, just choose one of the two options. Second-degree burns thicken your skin and cause blisters.
Third Degree Burns
Third-degree burns are more severe than minor burns and can result in a burn blister, burned skin, or burn wound. Your skin will get thick in the wound area and create a leathery, white exterior. Third-degree burns damage all layers of your skin and are considered a serious burn injury. Ironically, severe burns cause less pain than minor burns due to the damage to your nerves.
Hopefully, these home remedies have helped you figure out what to put on a burn.