First degree burns may not be deadly, but they are painful. They can make you feel a scalding heat, a burning sensation, or sensitive skin. A quality day in the sun can turn into misery afterwards, especially if you have fair skin.
It’s easy to burn yourself while having a good time, especially before your skin is used to the sun. Either way, getting sunburnt is bad for your health and can result in more serious issues later on.
Do you wish you didn’t have to buy sunburn lotion? Or perhaps you’re just looking for alternatives to potentially harmful (e.g. carcinogenic) chemicals found in commercial products? Well then, let’s look at some easy home remedy methods for first-degree burns. Before we begin, we need to define our terms.
What is a First-Degree Burn?
First-degree burns (as opposed to second and third degree burns) are the most common. They can cause redness, peeling, and comparatively mild pain to the epidermis – the outer layer of the skin. Most burns of this type can be treated with home remedies in 7 to 10 days. The burn will peel and then shed the damaged skin.
People do not often go to the doctor for first degree burns. However, if the burn is more severe and affects a large sensitive area such as the knee, spine, elbow, foot, shoulder, or ankle, then you should visit your health professional to determine the best treatment.
To remedy a first-degree burn naturally, here are the common methods:
Easy Natural Remedies for First Degree Burns
1. Cool Water
Make certain the water is cool as icy water can damage the burnt area and reduce blood flow. When you get the initial burn, apply cool water or a compress on the area to help. It will reduce swelling and relieve the pain. This is best done within the initial period of getting a burn. When done for 10 to 20 minutes, it will reduce the burn swelling and affects.
2. Aloe Vera
You’ve likely heard of this method. It can soothe the pain, heal burnt tissue, and provide many benefits to your body. A gel that is pure Aloe Vera will work best. Avoid products that include other filler ingredients. You are looking for something with a high percentage of Aloe Vera. If you don’t mind grabbing some at the store or growing a plant, this is one of the best treatments out there.
Honey is an effective way to heal and soothe burns. You can apply it using a gauze bandage or apply it on the burn. It has special antibacterial properties that can help treat against microorganisms. Meaning it will naturally kill any bacteria or infection on the skin.
4. Lavender Essential Oil
Used by some medical professionals, it is recommended for pain relief and reduce scarring tissue. To use, rub it one the burned area or apply with a clean cloth. Or you can also mix it with 2 teaspoons of water to reduce the potency and maintain the supply of the lavender oil.
5. Tea Bags
Tea bags provide tannic acid that can induce healing to the burn – and if you apply them cold, can feel like a dose of pain killer. You can take advantage of the benefits by letting 3 tea bags rest cool and hold them with gauze. The best type of tea is black tea due to the acid properties as mentioned.
6. Egg Whites
This may be an option that may be new to you. Egg whites are readily available at home and easy to use. You take the egg whites from cooked eggs and rub the burn with the egg. When applied, it will relieve the burning sensation. It is best used for several hours without getting the most relief.
7. Apple Cider Vinegar
This common household product can give you the relief you need for the burns. It has antiseptic elements that will prevent infection while cleansing the area at the same time. To use it, you need to mix it with water in an equal ratio, because if you apply it in concentrated form for too long, it may have the opposite effect. Soak a cloth or clean rag with the mixture. Once done, apply it and leave it on your skin.
8. Vitamins C and E
You can also take vitamins to improve the speed of your recovery. Vitamin C helps heal the wounded skin and Vitamin E will protect the skin. Taking these vitamins or food rich sources will help you heal your burn and make you healthier. You can even apply vitamin capsules onto the burnt area. Vitamin E will reduce scarring tissue when applied.
When Cleopatra reportedly bathed in milk, she was onto something when it came to skin care. We’ve been told since childhood that drinking milk has health benefits and for burns it’s no different. If you drink milk, you will consume enzymes that will help reduce pain. But milk also has fat content that can soothe the burnt skin directly.
To apply, take a bowl of milk soaked in a clean cloth and apply to the burnt area for 15 minutes at a time. For the best results, several hours are needed to heal the burn.
Mustard is an unconventional method that works. It can help heal the burn quickly. You rub the mustard on the burnt skin gently. Then leave it for several minutes. It may sting, but once applied it will relieve the burning sensation and hotness.
11. Coconut Oil
A more popular method than mustard, coconut oil has healing properties that will repair the damaged skin. Vitamin E is present in this oil, which promotes collagen (the stuff that keeps you looking young). It will help your burn feel cool while also providing antibacterial and anti-fungal properties to your body.
Coconut oil can be used in different ways. You can apply the coconut oil directly or mix it with other ingredients like lemon juice or lavender oil to increase the affects.
These easy home remedies for first degree burns can help minimize the unfortunate after effects from enjoying your time in the sun and the ‘great outdoors’. Please keep in mind that some methods will work better than others. If you plan to use these on second or third-degree burns, please consult with your physician first.
If possible, remember to apply 10 to 20 minutes of cold water to the burned area, then treat with one of these home remedies. Finally, avoid irritating the burnt areas if you plan to go outside again by ‘covering up’.
Don’t let your great day outside be ruined by a first-degree sunburn.
Angela Colon is a professional writer for angelacolon.com. She has a personal passion for researching and reporting on nutrition and natural health.