Controlling accidents is not really possible, but trying to reduce their effects by treating the scars they leave on our skin helps us alleviate the pain from memories. Heat burns or the thermal burns are caused by an external source of heat. It could be caused by anything hot from a naked flame to open fire from a fireplace or a cracker to a hot molten liquid or a direct contact with a hot utensil.
You can deal with minor heat burns and burn scars by various natural remedies. However, before we tell you the remedies it is important for you to understand how severe your burn mark is and what is the kind of treatment it needs.
Please ensure you take the below mentioned precautions in the case of a fresh burn (first aid):
- A burn can penetrate to all layers of the skin. It is important to cut the source of heating, as soon as possible, from the person subjected to heat.
- Smother flames quickly and help the person to drop and roll. Ensure you pick fabrics or objects that are nonflammable.
- Remove burned or hot clothing from the person immediately. Also, take off tight clothing, jewelry, belts or any other accessories soon.
- If clothing happens to stick to the skin then cut it off or tear it away.
The different types of burns and quick steps you must take to lessen their impact:
First Degree Burns (Superficial Burns): First degree burns, typically, affect the top most layer of the skin. To begin with, the first step should be to cool down the burn and relieve the skin of the pain. Immerse the burned area in cool (not cold) water until it helps in subsiding the pain. You could use a compress too in this case. Protect the burn using a sterile cloth or non adhesive bandages. Avoid the application of ointments or other substances to avoid microbial infections. You could consume a painkiller in case of excessive pain.
If your pain does not subside and / or you notice inflammation, redness, ooziness or irritation on your skin, you may consult a doctor to ensure there are no anomalies related to the burn.
Second Degree Burns (Partial Thickness Burns): Such burns effect the top two layers of the skin. To ease the burn, immerse the burnt area in cool water or use a cold compress over the same. Remember, to not use ice cold water or ice cubes in either of the cases. Such burns usually leave blisters and you must avoid bursting them. This can be painful and leave a mark too. Cover the area with a loose sterile cloth or a bandage.
Lay the person down and help them overcome the shock. If needed, cover the person using a blanket. Consult a doctor to get the severity of the burns checked.
Third Degree Burns (Full Thickness Burns): These are the most severe category of burns and could be the most difficult ones to handle. First and foremost, help the person overcome the shock and try to calm them down. These burns are extremely painful, even on the smallest of the area. Therefore, handle things calmly. Do not expose the burned area to water and / or do not use a compress. Let the burn be exposed to air for as long as possible and remove all sorts of clothing covering the burned area.
Consulting a doctor is a must in these cases and it is advised to seek medical help as quickly as possible. In the case of severe burns, they might also be treated under medical supervision.
Note: Always seek a doctor in case of burns if it is a child, a disabled or a senior citizen. American Burn Association recommends that one should see a doctor immediately after any significant thermal burn that could affect your ears, feet, eyes, hands or genitals. On early diagnosis, you could reduce the chance of effecting either of these body parts and if needed, the doctor may advise you to visit a burn center for further treatment.
To be realistic, it is easy to treat the first degree in second degree burn marks and get rid of them naturally. However, the most challenging burn marks are of the third degree burns, that sometimes, can even last a lifetime, irrespective of the remedies you try. Though, it is not necessary that all marks are here to stay, you definitely can reduce their impact with these remedies.
Having said that, let us jump to the natural remedies and treatments that are perfect for a quick relief and can aid in healing the scars from the very beginning.
Quick Home Remedies To Your Aid In Case Of A Burn
1. Cold Water versus Ice
Never, mind you, never use ice on the burnt area. Ice can restrict the flow of the blood on the burnt skin and damage the tissue further. Instead of using ice, place the burned area under cool running water. This helps in preventing the burn from spreading. This is an ideal treatment for any type of burn
If someone has suffered a major injury, it is recommended that you expose the burned area under cool running water for at least 20 minutes.
2. Use Aloe Vera
Right after the burn, remove any form of clothing or accessories over or around the injured area. Let the skin be cleansed with the cool running water. Next, damp a towel lightly (remember not to press, because the skin may be very delicate and you may end up hurting the person more) over the affected area and gently apply fresh aloe or aloe vera gel on the burn. This will help in reducing inflammation and pain. Also, aloe vera gel will start stimulation the skin cells to repair.
While aloe vera treatment works well on all the types of burns, yet it is highly recommended when someone faces a major injury.
A minty, white toothpaste with cooling properties is what you need for minor accidental burns caused during cooking. Whether you touch anything hot or boiling liquid splatters on your skin, wash the burn and quickly apply this minty paste to the affected skin.
4. Vanilla essence
Who knew this lovely smelling liquid could even heal a burn? Vanilla essence, in fact, is amongst the best home remedies for minor burns. All you have to do is, clean the burned skin. Take a cotton ball and pour the essence onto it. Dab this gently on the burned area and voila, the job is done! Alcohol in the extract would quickly start to evaporate, thus, cooling the area and alleviating the pain.
5. White Vinegar
White vinegar contains a component – acetic acid. This component is helpful in relieving pain, inflammation, and itching of a burn. Also, it is a strong astringent and antiseptic that helps in preventing the burn from becoming infected. To apply vinegar on the burn, gently dab cotton swabs or paper towels soaked in the liquid on the affected area.
Now that you have treated the injury, it is time to ensure you prevent scarring caused due to thermal burns. Below are the best essential oils that you should use to treat the thermal burn scars.
Essential oils for thermal burn scars
1. Coconut Oil
Though not really an essential oil, but this wondrous herbal fluid is an excellent source of Vitamin – E. This vitamin is the reason behind skin healing. Moreover, the oil of coconut contains antifungal and antibacterial fatty acids. These fatty acids help in fighting microbial infections that could infect your burn.
To use the coconut oil on your burned skin, just take a few drops in your palms and rub it topically on the affected skin, twice a day until the mark reduces and starts to fade away.
Coconut oil is ideal for all types of burn scars. However, if you have a hot liquid or a steam scald, mix a few drops of fresh lemon juice to the oil before the topical application.
2. Lavender Oil
This magical and holistic oil has an amazing tale behind its popularity. A French chemist, René-Maurice Gattefossé, burnt his hand severely in a lab accident. He happened to plunge the injured hand into a vat kept right next to him containing lavender oil. Not only did the oil ease the pain, but it also helped in healing the burn quickly.
If you happen to have lavender oil at your disposal at the time of the accident, then quickly pour a tablespoon of the oil in 2 ounces of water. Use a misting bottle, to spray the blend all over the burned area for relief. In the case of major burns, pour the essential oil of lavender directly on a clean cloth and apply it to the affected area. Repeat this every few hours. The oil should work like magic and heal the burn with no scarring at all. For minor burns, one could also resolve to using tea tree oil with water.
3. Peppermint Oil
Peppermint oil carries a lot of menthol in it. This menthol gives the essential oil of peppermint its cooling properties. After having washed the burned area with cool running water, apply the peppermint essential oil gently on the burned skin. You can also mix the oil with aloe vera gel or fresh aloe extract to apply on the injured skin. Alternatively, make a burn spray using peppermint oil and water and mist it over the burned area.
4. Calendula Oil
A great ally and a must have in your home remedies list is the essential oil of calendula. The powerful oil helps in cutting down the puffiness and redness of a burn, is anti-inflammatory and aids in alleviating the pain. The calendula oil expedites the healing process and encourages the growth of fresh skin tissue over the affected area. You can apply either the oil or the natural extract of Calendula oil over your burned area.
5. Helichrysum Oil
We all resolve to the first aid measures and seek medical help when an accident like these occur. While the doctor tries their best to help you heal the skin and recover from the burn, using this oil can aid you in more than one ways too. Firstly, the oil helps in preventing the skin from scarring. Though it takes a while for the skin to rejuvenate, yet constant application and early usage will ensure the scars can be prevented. Next, the oil possesses anti-inflammatory properties and cuts down the pain.
Essential Oil Recipes For Various Types Of Burn Scars
This is a wondrous recipe for skin recovery from the burn. Here’s what you will need:
- 2 – 3 drops of peppermint essential oil
- 25 – 30 drops of lavender essential oil
10 drops of helichrysum essential oil
- 3 – 5 drops of tea tree essential oil
- 3 – 4 tablespoons of coconut or olive oil
- A spray bottle
Blend all the essential oils together in a carrier oil and stir the mixture well. Next, add a few ounces of water, as required by the mixture and pour the blend into the spray bottle. Mist the blend over the burned area every few hours on a daily basis. This will help in preventing microbial infection and reduce itching.
You can also choose to apply the mixture directly on the recovering skin too. Make sure the oils are diluted well in carrier oils before topical application.
A few considerations:
- Always seek medical help if your burns are not the first degree / simple burns. Use your best judgment to apply home remedies in such cases.
- Pregnant and nursing women and children should not use essential oil without prior permission from a medical practitioner.
- Before applying any of the above mentioned essential oils to the burnt skin, always ensure you do a small patch test. This is to ensure the oil does not cause any allergic reaction to the injured.
- Always dilute any essential oil before its topical application on the affected area. You could use water or coconut oil or olive oil to do so. We recommend coconut and olive oil only for they have exhibited healing properties in case of burns.
- Never use vegetable based oil or products containing fat over the burned area.
- One can also get burnt by chemicals or electricity. In such cases, visiting a doctor is extremely important even if the impact of the burn is not high. Chemicals might enter the skin cells can cause further damage.
- Electrical burns can sometimes result in irregular heartbeats. We advise you see to a medical practitioner immediately.
We hope you find this piece of information useful. If you do, we urge you to share it as much as possible. A quick read through the article could prepare you to help someone in need. You might also know how to provide first aid at the right time.
No one wants to get burnt, it might just happen. Do not let a small accident overpower your life. Take care!