Top 10 Home Remedies For Minor Burns

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Top 10 Home Remedies For Minor Burns
Image – © rob3000 – (under license)

Burns can range from an uncomfortable nuisance to a serious injury. It should be understood first of all that this page is not medical advice and none of this is a substitute for professional medical care.
Home treatment of burns should only be considered in the case of first-degree burns or minor second-degree burns. Minor burns are characterised by redness, localised pain and some swelling. Second-degree burns are signified by blistering and deeper skin damage. Anything beyond a minor burn will have resulted in significant tissue damage, which requires expert medical treatment. Once peeling, wetness, or exposure of tissue is seen, expert medical attention is required. Third-degree burns are considered a serious or even potentially life-threatening condition and require immediate, expert medical attention. Do not break a burn blister as this will increase the risk of infection. [1]
Here is a list of the most highly regarded home remedies for burns:
1. Cool/ cold water – dousing the burn with cold water immediately is the most common and recommended way to treat burns. Cool water takes away the heat from the skin and not only helps to soothe the pain but it also helps to prevent swelling, redness and even blistering. Cold water also helps to numb the pain receptors in the affected area – do not use iced water or ice directly on the skin.
Cold water may also be ‘therapeutically enhanced’ via the inclusion of various decoctions derived from healing herbs and spices to prevent infection and speed up healing. It is important to keep the burn in cold water for at least 10 minutes if possible. If there is no water immediately to hand, a minor burn can be cooled quickly on a cold metallic object, which will conduct the heat away quickly and reduce the effects of the burn.
2. Calendula – calendula (pot marigold) flower extract is used to produce a commonly used cream for the treatment of minor burns. The herb possesses anti-inflammatory properties and is used widely to aid healing of the skin. It is mild and therefore potentially suited to children. [2]
3. Lavender – the essential oil can be used as an after-burn treatment, preferably when the burn has cooled, it not only helps to soothe the pain of a minor burn but it also encourages faster recovery and helps to prevent the possibility of infection. [3]
4. St. John’s Wort – this is an age-old remedy for burns, having been employed by a number of different cultures to help relieve the localised pain associated with minor to moderate burns. [4] To prepare the characteristic red oil, the flowers and buds are steeped in a jar of sunflower oil or olive oil and left in the sun to infuse for 4-6 weeks. [5]
5. Comfrey – comfrey is another well-known soothing and healing burn remedy. It can either be decocted and the ensuing liquor applied as a rinse to the affected area, or otherwise grated and made into a poultice. It is best used as a sort of ‘maintenance remedy’ after the occurrence (especially if employed simultaneously with other remedies). Comfrey contains allantoin (an anti-inflammatory chemical that speeds wound healing) so it is an excellent skin conditioner, with the capacity to enhance cell regeneration and hasten overall recovery. [6]
6. Honey – honey is an age-old burn remedy, having been employed as such by a number of different cultures since time immemorial. Honey can be applied as a post-burn remedy to help recovery, to prevent infection and encourage the healing of damaged areas. Honey can be ‘medicated’ through the addition of herbs or essential oils (the latter being employed only topically, as the inclusion of essential oils render it inedible afterwards) to improve its therapeutic benefits. Honey may be used as a salve, or otherwise diluted and employed as a rinse several times a day for better results. [7]
7. Plantain – plantains have long been employed in many island cultures as a remedy for burns. Oftentimes, the leaves of the plantain are made into a poultice and applied to the affected area to help soothe the nagging discomfort associated with still-healing burns. Plantain, like comfrey, contains allantoin and is perfect if the burn begins to show any sign of swelling or minute blistering. [8]
8. Aloe Vera – aloe vera is a well-known burn remedy which has become quite commonplace in the Western alternative medicine cabinet. When employing fresh aloe vera leaves, you can simply slice or break the leaf crosswise and apply the cooling, mucilaginous juice to the affected area – it’s the perfect plant to grow by your kitchen window. If treating larger burns, extracting the soothing juice of aloe vera with the use of a food processor is best, although you could always opt to purchase aloe vera gel in health food stores and alternative medicine apothecaries. Gels usually come in a squeeze bottle, and can be applied directly on to the burn, both for immediate treatment and post-burn management. Be sure to purchase only pure organic aloe vera gels from stores, as some types can contain additives such as fragrance and preservatives that can affect the recovery of the burn. [9]
9. Bananas – just like plantains, bananas have long been employed by many tribal cultures as a remedy for burns. Banana leaves are best applied as a dressing, their cool waxy surface protects and doesn’t adhere to the wound. After the burn is mostly healed, mashed banana fruit with the addition of honey, milk or yoghurt also helps to nourish the skin and is thought to improve healing. [10]
10. Vinegar – strange though it may seem, vinegar has long been employed as a remedy to help soothe the discomforts associated with burns. Generally employed as a post-burn remedy, it should be diluted at least 1:1 with cold water. When employing vinegar, unfiltered apple cider vinegar (with the mother strain) works best, as it not only helps to hasten healing, but it also prevents infection and improves the overall condition of the skin, preventing scarification, although white vinegar or cane vinegar may also be used in lieu of unfiltered apple cider vinegar. [11]
Treating burns at home need not be difficult, although it must be stressed once again that this page is not medical advice nor a substitute for medical care. Anything beyond minor burns must always be referred to a medical expert for proper treatment and management and should not be treated solely with home remedies.

[4] “Quick access : patient informations on conditions, herbs & supplements.” p.138
Pub: Newton, Mass. : IntegrativMedicine, [2003]
Edition/Format: Book : English : 1. ed. 2000, [Nachdr.

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11 thoughts on “Top 10 Home Remedies For Minor Burns

  1. You should add onion to your list. My brother in law was a doctor in the navy and he used onion to treat burns. I do it every time and it works on first and second degree burns like a charm. I keep onions in the fridge for this purpose. Take an onion slice the root end off and rub the juice on the burn. It takes the heat out of the burn and helps allevuate the pain and can stop any blistering. Best done as soon as your burned. I just had a run in with bacon grease popping and I sat with an onion on it for about 30 minutes and the heat and pain were gone within an hour. I smelled like an onion for several days but it was with it. Still have some redness but not pain or blistering

  2. Also, Mustard works really well on burns, especially if you put it on right off the bat, so long as there’s no open wound involved, then it stings like nothing else. I had a burn over both hands from 200 degree water, plopped my hands into a big jar of mustard for ten odd minutes, half an hour later, the only way you could tell I’d been burned was because my hands shook a little. No red, no blisters.

  3. I gotta say, olive oil! thousands year old remedy. I have never seen anything working faster than that. i’m sure everyone have it handy in the kitchen. easy and fast 🙂

  4. A potato peel placed on the first or second degree burn with the meaty side of potato on the burn area, then wrap with a gauze, will take the heat of the burn out and heal it without much scarring. Must be kept wrapped like this until healed. (replace the potato peel each time the wrap is changed.) This worked for me when I was little and burned myself while ironing.

  5. When I was working as a cook, my fellow cook tossed a pair of tongs back towards the fryer basket after using them to take out some fries for an order, and they missed and plopped into the hot grease. Just on instinct, she grabbed into the hot oil to retrieve the tongs. She instantly froze. I almost stopped breathing. Then, I grabbed her arm, threw the lid off the tub that held flour (for battering stuff) and sunk her whole hand into it and screamed for the waitresses to call 9-1-1. I held her hand under the flour til the paramedics got there. When we got to the hospital and Dr. had examined her, he came out and told me that doing what I did saved her hand from her fingers literally melting and becoming webbed. He said the flour stopped it from burning through all the other layers of skin.

  6. Egg whites. My ex was a chef and how would get oil burns all the time. The egg white help cool the skin and the collagen helps it rebuild. Either dunk what you burned into a bowl of it, or (gently) rub it on. Wipe off after several applications and then continue to apply. Do this until you no longer feel heat. Worked wonders on a boiling water burn I got on my stomach. Really helps with preventing blisters and minimizing scaring

  7. I have to add Oil Of Oregano (diluted) it is the very BEST on burns! I put my hand on a hotplate (silly I know:) and had a second degree burn on my hand with blisters. I had my hand in cold water for hours but the pain just kept getting worse, then I remembered that oil of oregano was good for burns and I put a mixture of oil of oregano and olive oil on (50/50) and within 10 minutes ALL the pain was gone and it healed up really fast!! I also use it for minor burns I get when cooking, It is a life saver, I don’t use anything else!! 🙂

  8. I had a bad hot veg. oil burn from frying donuts! it splashed up on my wrist. it got a couple of blisters that even came up, and it stung really bad. my brother heard that putting yellow mustard on it helps. I tried it and it worked instantly! NO PAIN WAS FELT! anymore!

  9. Our family have used an old folk remedy for the last 150 years. We’ve taken this forward, making it into an official product because of the phenomenal results we had after an accident where I’ve sustained 3rd degree burns to 35% of my body. I absolutely believe that nature provides us with everything we need to stay healthy and heal from accidents.

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