What doctors term as first-degree pains due to scorching or scalding might have lesions and blisters. The skin may be red and sore, and have swelling. These may be treated at home.
Second-degree burns are more severe with damage to the skin and tissue below it. Large oozing blisters with swelling and intense pain are caused by such burns.
The most serious are the third-degree burns (also known as full thickness burn). This type of burn damages not only the skin and the tissues but also the nerves, blood vessels, fat, muscles and sometimes bones too. These happen due to fires, electricity, and boiling water or oil. When nerve endings are dead there is not much pain but can result in shock to the system and death also.
These are some simple remedies for first degree burns:
The first and most important thing to do on getting burnt is keeping the injury under running water for at least 15 – 20 minutes. It keeps the pain at bay for a while.
Apply a layer of egg whites to the burn and let it dry, it is said to give some relief.
Soak some tea bags in cold water and place them on the burn, tannic acid found in black tea helps draw heat from a burn. Repeat till the pain stops.
Apply a thick coating of toothpaste – not the gel or liquid – use only the white one.
Cold, whole milk is soothing on a burn. Dip some handkerchiefs or scarves in a bowl of milk and place on the burn. Alternate as the cloth becomes warm and dry – every 15 minutes or so. Gauze bandage can also be used.
Puree some raw onion and apply the paste thickly, many people have found relief doing this.
Yellow mustard – may sound strange – but is found to be very effective. It not only brings down pain but also prevents scarring.
Another popular cure is using honey – smother the burn site with honey, it will definitely relieve pain and prevent blisters. To avoid drips, honey can be mixed with flour to make a paste - this will work in the same way and can be kept covered with a gauze bandage.
Diluted vinegar relieves pain and relaxes skin tissue. Dip clean pieces of cloth or gauze and keep replacing with freshly soaked ones every 15 minutes.
The burnt area can be wrapped with aluminum foil – found in the kitchen. There are many who swear by this remedy. Use the shiny side against the burn and wrap firmly. At times the foil can be wrapped after applying some baking soda or pureed onion paste. Keep on overnight for relief from pain and blisters.
For mouth burns - due to hot chocolate or soup – a salt water rinse every half an hour will bring relief. Keeping ice cubes in the mouth will also help.
Keep hot coffee mugs where children cannot reach them.
Cover all electrical outlets with child safe plugs.
Put a childproof lock on oven doors.
Turn pot handles away from direct heat.
Never apply butter on a burn as it will not only delay healing but cause infection as well.
Most of the accidental and first degree burns heal on their own with the help of some home remedy, but in case you feel the injury needs attention it is best to consult a physician.