Minor burns are those that damage only the top layers of the skin, making the area red and painful. They are often referred to as first-degree burns or superficial burns. They can be caused by contact with hot fluids or objects, steam, or sun exposure.
Minor burns can develop painful blisters if not treated timely. Many natural remedies can promote healing and minimize pain. Minor burns tend to heal within a few days or up to three weeks.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for minor burns.
1. Cold Water
Stop a burn from spreading by running cold water over the burn area for several minutes within seconds of being burned.
You can also place a cold compress over the affected area. Repeat the remedy every few hours to relieve the discomfort. Do not use ice as it can restrict blood flow, which can eventually cause damage to the delicate tissues.
2. Raw Potato
Raw potato can treat minor skin burns due to its anti-irritating and soothing properties. It will alleviate the pain and reduce the chance of having blisters.
- Simply cut a slice of raw potato and rub it on the burn, making sure the juice from the potato is releasing over the area.
- Another option is to grate a raw potato and apply it on the affected area for about 15 minutes.
For best results, use either of these remedies soon after the burn occurs.
3. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera has astringent and tissue-healing properties that can help in healing burns.
- Cut a small piece of the aloe vera leaf and apply the fresh gel directly on the burn.
- You could also mix one teaspoon each of aloe vera gel and turmeric and then apply.
If you do not have an aloe vera plant, you can apply a cream that has aloe vera as an ingredient.
4. Coconut Oil and Lemon Juice
Coconut oil and lemon juice both can help treat a minor burn when it has cooled and dried. Coconut oil is rich in Vitamin E and fatty acids such as lauric acid, myristic acid and caprylic acid that offer anti-fungal, antioxidant and anti-bacterial benefits. Lemon juice has acidic properties that naturally lighten the scars.
Take coconut oil and add a little lemon juice to it. Mix it properly and apply it on the affected area to facilitate healing.
Honey can effectively disinfect wounds and help heal burns, thanks to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It also reduces the chances of developing hypertrophic scars.
- Spread honey on a gauze bandage and put it directly on the burn.
- Change the bandage three to four times a day.
6. Black Tea Bags
The tannic acid in black tea can help draw heat out of a burn and thus reduce pain.
- Steep three tea bags in a pitcher filled with warm water for a few minutes. Allow the solution to cool and then soak a clean cloth in it and place it on the affected area. Re-apply as needed.
- You can also put cold, wet tea bags directly on the burn.
The astringent and antiseptic properties in vinegar can be very helpful in treating minor burns and preventing infection.
- Dilute white vinegar or apple cider vinegar in an equal amount of water. Use the solution to rinse the burned area.
- Later, cover the injured area with a cloth soaked in diluted vinegar. Replace the cloth with a fresh one every two to three hours.
8. Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender essential oil has both antiseptic and painkilling properties. The oil will also reduce the risk of scarring.
- Add five drops of lavender oil to two cups of water. Soak a clean cloth in it and use it as a compress several times. You can also apply lavender oil directly but using essential oils without diluting them is usually not recommended.
- Another option is to mix a few drops of lavender essential oil in two teaspoons of honey apply it on the affected area few times a day.
9. Plantain Leaves
Plantain leaves is a popular remedy for treating burns. Plantain leaves are rich in anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.
- Crush some fresh plantain leaves to make a paste.
- Spread it on the affected area and cover with a cotton cloth.
- Reapply a fresh poultice when the plantain dries out.
10. Onion Juice
Onion juice has components like sulfur compounds and quercetin that can relieve pain, help heal the burn and reduce the chance of blistering.
- Cut a fresh onion and apply the juice onto the burn. Only use freshly cut onions, as after a few minutes onions lose their medicinal properties.
- Repeat the process several times a day.
- You can also apply some white toothpaste or a regular non-mentholated shaving cream on the affected area.
- Avoid applying oil, butter, petroleum jelly, or egg whites to a burn as it may trap the heat instead of drawing it out. Raw egg whites may also contain bacteria.
- It is believed that applying ice can bring relief but it is usually not recommended as it tends to slow the healing process.
- If the wound develops blisters then don’t break the blisters as it may increase the risk of infection.
- Do not use adhesive dressings on the wound.
- Protect the burn from friction.
- Avoid re-injuring or tanning the affected area.
These remedies are only for minor and first-degree burns. For serious burns, you must see a doctor for medical treatment. The same is suggested for electrical burns, or if a minor burn covers larger areas of the skin or gets infected.