Each year, 6-7 million Indians suffer from burn injuries. This high incidence can be attributed to the lack of proper safety measures.
For serious burn injuries, it is mandatory to seek medical help as soon as possible. However, minor burns like sunburns or household burns, can be treated with certain home remedies to minimize pain.
These home remedies include easy-to-follow steps using materials that you will find in your kitchen. However, always remember that these remedies are not a substitute for prescribed treatments by healthcare professionals.
Plantain leaves: A very popular remedy for treating burns, the leaves of the herbaceous Plantain plant are known for their mild anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial actions. All you need to do is smash the leaves properly and apply it directly over the burnt area. Although native to Europe and Asia, these plants can be found in almost all places where there is sufficient water. The main component in these leaves that help to cure burn cases are tannins, mucilage and iridoid glycosides.
Cool water: An important first aid for curing first and second degree burns is by cooling the burnt area under cold running water. This should be done for around 10-15 minutes or until the pain subsides a little. If this is not possible, immerse the burnt area directly in cold water or use a cold compressor. However, remember not to put ice directly after injury. The prime aim of cooling the burn is to reduce the swelling by conducting the heat away from the skin.
Vinegar: An outstanding first-aid burn treatment is by using diluted vinegar on the area. This compound acts as an antiseptic and astringent thus helping to prevent any kind of infection on the burnt area. Before applying, dilute equal parts of vinegar and water. Next, using a clean piece of cloth, cover the injured area with this solution. If you feel the pain becoming stronger again after sometime, replace the cloth with a fresh one.
Honey: In case you don't have access to vinegar, coat a layer of honey over the burnt area. According to studies, dressing burnt areas with honey promotes healing and reduces the pain. This is because honey helps to draw out fluids from the tissues thereby effectively cleaning the wound. Alternately, you can also apply honey using a piece of cloth or a sterile gauge bandage.
Tea bags: A handy treatment for curing minor kitchen burns, tea bags help to draw out heat from the area. Both black and green teas are known for their anti-oxidizing and cooling properties. All you need to do is just dip a tea bag in a bowl of cold water and then apply it directly over the area. This will not only help to soothe the pain but also prevent any kind of infection on the burnt area. A second method involves mixing 3-4 tea bags in 4 cups of boiling water and then adds 2 cups of fresh mint leaves to it. Allow this to cool and then slowly dab this concoction over the area using a swab of cotton.
Lavender oil: Apart from its uses in aromatherapy, lavender oil is also used as a popular home remedy for minor burns. Its main use is to prevent the stinging pain associated with burns and protects the inner layers of the skin around the burnt area from infection.