A burn is a type of skin injury caused by heat, electricity, chemicals, light, radiation or friction. Mostly, only epidermal and dermal layers of the skin are affected by the burns and not the deeper tissues, such as muscle, bone, and blood vessels, which are injured only in rare cases. Burns can result in disfiguring and disabling scars and so they need to be managed properly. Burns are painful. Shock, infection, multiple organ dysfunction syndrome, electrolyte imbalance and respiratory distress can make a burn complicated. Large burns can result in death, but due to modern treatments, the prognosis of such burns, especially in children and young adults has significantly improved.

Symptoms of Burns

Symptoms of minor burns:

•         Local burn pain

•         Reddening skin

•         Skin blistering

•         Skin peeling

Symptoms of severe burns:

•         Burn pain

•         Open wounds

•         Skin loss

•         Fluid loss

Causes of Burns

  • Contact with fire
  • Inflammable liquid or gas burn.
  • Electricity burn
  • Chemical burns.
  • Sunburns
  • Therapeutic burns (as in operation, laser etc).
  • Burns due to contact of skin with extreme hot materials, like frying pan, oven's grill, etc
  • Radiation
  • Scalds from steam, hot bath water, tipped-over coffee cups, cooking fluids, and so on

Home Remedies for Burns

  • Diet plays a very important role in the healing process. To speed up the recovery, burns patients must consume a high protein and calorie diet. Skin burn causes a loss of substantial percentage of micronutrients, such as copper, selenium, and zinc. This slows the healing process and also increases the risk of infection.
  • The immediate remedy for burns would be to apply ice on the affected area. You can also dip the affected body part in chilled water, for about 15 to 20 minutes.
  • The most popular and effective way to cure burns is to apply honey on the affected area and cover it with a bandage.
  • Yogurt also acts efficiently in treating burns. Apply a generous amount of yogurt on the burn and keep it for about 15 minutes, before rinsing off. It would cool down the burnt area and provide relief.
  • In case you have burnt the tip of your finger, tightly grip your ear lobe. It might sound funny, but you would feel no pain.
  • One of the effectual treatments of burns would be to cut a piece of onion and keep it over the burnt area. It would provide instant relief.
  • Immerse the burnt portion in a bowl of whole milk for about 15-20 minutes. It would provide relief and cure the burn.
  • Egg whites also prove beneficial in curing or treating burns. Beat the egg white lightly and apply on the affected area.
  • Apply the papaya pulp on the affected area. The enzymes present in it would heal the wound and help remove dead cells as well.
  • You can also apply diluted vinegar on the burn. It would be very effective in healing the burns. 
  • Lavender oil also is helpful in treating burns. Dab the affected area with lavender oil. If the burn is severe, apply the oil 3-4 times in a day.
  • Aloe Vera also treats burns effectively. Cut some fresh aloe Vera leaves and place them on the burnt area.
  • After the burn gets healed, break a capsule of vitamin E and pour the liquid on the affected area. It would prevent formation of a scar.
  • Interestingly if you apply some dish washing detergent on the burnt area helps ease the pain.   

Burns Treatment and Advice

  • Soak the burn in cool water for 15 minutes.
  • Apply cool cloth to the burn for a few minutes each day.
  • Apply some cream to the burn and cover it with a dressing or bandage.
  • Apply topical antibiotic to the burn to prevent infection if necessary.
  • If necessary, take over-the-counter pain medication to control pain.
  • If burn pain, redness, swelling persists or if there are signs of infection see a physician.

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