Home remedies to heal burns and scalds

If you've got an unsightly burn mark or scald occupying space on your skin, follow these simple remedies to lessen their burn.

Home remedies to heal burns and scalds

Burns are the result of direct contact with a hot object, fire or electrical current. Although scalds are produced by hot fluids or steam, treatment should be the same as for burns.

There are major distinctions between first, second and third-degree burns. Only first-degree burns and scalds should be treated by home remedies. Otherwise, see a doctor immediately. First-degree burns are characterized by reddened, painful skin, but the injury can be treated effectively with natural remedies (assuming you don't have an open wound).

When to see a doctor

More serious burns (blisters start forming with second-degree burns), large burns (larger than a silver dollar on an adult) and burns on children or individuals older than 60 require immediate medical attention. Second and third degree burns that cause blistering and tissue damage are very serious; they have a high risk of becoming infected by germs that enter the body through the damaged skin.

Home remedies for burns and scalds

Make a simple compress by dabbing a little St. John's wort oil (from a pharmacy) onto a linen cloth folded several times and place this with the oily side on your skin for at least 30 minutes. Hold in place with a gauze bandage.

  • Put five to eight drops of tea tree or lavender oil onto a gauze bandage, apply to the burn and let it work for several hours.
  • Apply pot marigold salve to the burn. It can be a blessing to damaged skin.
  • Cool the burn by applying salves containing aloe vera which encourages skin regeneration.
  • Take vitamin C to build and maintain healthy new skin. Fresh sauer kraut — a traditional German burn remedy rich in vitamin C — can be applied directly to your burn.
  • Rinse white cabbage leaves and remove the central vein. Roll the leaves with a rolling pin until soft, place them onto your burned skin and secure with a gauze bandage. Change the bandage after several hours (replace twice a day).
  • For healing without scars, pour half a litre (six cups) of water over 15 millilitres (one tablespoon) of flaxseeds. Boil until scum forms on the surface, then strain and let cool. Soak a linen cloth in the broth, wring it out, and apply to the injury.
  • Cool the burn by applying a milk compress for 15 minutes.

You can't heed every home remedy from your grandmother's time. Some of them can actually be harmful. For example, never treat burns and scalds with butter, which can be a breeding ground for bacteria. Also, under no circumstances should you pierce or pop burn blisters — there's a danger of infection.

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