From sunburns to scalds, burns are one of the most common accidents we encounter at home – and they often send people into a panic. Unlike minor cuts, even a small burn can be acutely painful in the first moments, and applying a bandage won’t help. Rather, treating burns take a little more know-how, and doing the wrong thing can risk making the situation much worse by locking in the heat.
Prepare yourself and your family to treat home burns by stocking your first aid kit with these three simple treatments. Each offers much needed relief in the moments after receiving a burn, soothing the pain and expediting healing.
Know Your Burns
Before treating any burns at home, it’s important that you be able to differentiate between types of burns. Burns are classified as first, second, or third-degree depending on severity, but treatment also depends on the location and size of the burn.
First-degree burns include minor injuries like sunburns, as well as many small kitchen burns. They’re red and painful, but don’t typically blister. These can generally be treated at home. Second-degree burns are thicker and will typically blister. They can take much longer to heal, and larger ones may require medical intervention. Finally, third-degree burns damage all the layers of skin, but shockingly they may not hurt. That’s because the nerves are damaged, and the skin is typically white or even charred. These burns require emergency medical attention.
Support Healing With Spignet
Also known as wild sarsaparilla, spignet is a deeply rooted shrub, and those roots have many medicinal properties, including treating burns. If you have access to spignet root, you can apply it directly to the skin to treat burns, or make a poultice from it. Spignet’s main value is in its antibacterial properties; burns are an ideal point of entry for infection, but using spignet can minimize that risk.
Because burns are so vulnerable to infection, using the right antibacterial agent is vital, but what about soothing burn pain? As noted, even minor burns can be acutely painful, so cooling and soothing treatments can be highly beneficial. OTC products like Aero Burn can prevent blistering and infection, while also reducing the pain from burns, making them an indispensable part of your first aid kit.
Add Some Aloe
Aloe vera is one of the most common home treatments for burns because of the plant’s anti-inflammatory properties, and it’s been proven to improve first- and second-degree burn healing by promoting circulation and preventing infection. For optimal performance, your best bet is to grow your own aloe and apply fresh aloe gel directly from the plant. If you don’t have your own plant, though, store bought aloe vera gel containing a high percentage of the plant and minimal additives will work.
Beware Bad Advice
There’s a lot of bad advice out there when it comes to treating burns, most of it stemming from various folk remedies. For example, many websites recommend applying honey to burns. Superficially, this makes sense since honey is well-known for its antibacterial properties. With deeper burns, though, honey can actually increase the likelihood of infection and, if applied too soon, it can lock in the heat and make the burn worse. The same is true of butter. Many grandmothers swear by butter for burns and will apply it immediately, but a better option would be to gently run cool water over your skin or blot it gently with a cool, damp towel.
Burns are painful and the healing process can be long and uncomfortable, particularly if the burn has blistered, but with proper care you can ease the pain and facilitate the healing process. Just be sure to treat the skin gently and consult your doctor if you have any concerns, or if the burn is large or in a sensitive area. You’ll be on the road to healing soon.