Burns - Editor's Choice

Over the years, Earth Clinic readers have sent us many reports about their treatments for Burns. The editors at Earth Clinic consider the below posts to be some of the most helpful and informative and have named them 'Editor's Choice'. We hope that you will find this useful.


Posted by William (Michigan) on 07/13/2020

Here's a good one if you have any burn from Heat or chemical or road rash:

if you apply dry cornstarch to the burn and leave it for 10 minutes the burn will never hurt again. It won't sting, it won't pang, it won't ache. You will still have a hole in the skin and a sensitive area but no pain after 10 minutes.

It's a miracle. I've used it 50 times, even on third degree burns over my whole back when my shirt caught on fire at the stove and it was polyester and melted to my back.

It also works on chemical burns when I spilled turpentine down the front of me.

Colloidal Silver Gel

Posted by Mama to Many (TN) on 04/08/2020

I burned the tip of my middle finger last night when it went through a potholder hole and touched the oven rack at 375*. I immediately held it under running cool water to remove the heat and make it feel better. Several minutes. Then I applied a drop of lavender essential oil. I topped it off with a dab of colloidal silver gel. This was the best thing I think I have done to help a kitchen burn. I was able to do dishes without any pain last night. Today I can see and feel the charred skin, but I have zero pain and have done nothing else since my initial treatment. Three steps - cool the burn, lavender essential oil, colloidal silver gel. ~Mama to Many~

Egg Whites

Posted by Fdm (Knoxville, Tn) on 05/19/2018

Due to an accident in which I spilled scalding hot water on tender skin on the underside of my wrists and was in terrible pain, I used egg white. Please note that the skin was not broken. First, I ran cool water over my wrists for 30 minutes, which took a lot of the initial heat out. However, unless I kept icy compresses on my wrists the pain was extreme and my wrists were still bright red. Even homeopathic cantharsis did not reduce the pain or redness. I decided to try egg whites, applied with a cotton swab. Pain was reduced to a tolerable level and redness diminished.

I did this several times, rinsing egg white off with cool water and reapplying egg white and allowing time for it to dry. With every application of egg white the pain diminished more and the color finally went to pink instead of red.

At this level of discomfort, I was able to sleep. When I woke the next morning the pain was totally gone. The area still remained somewhat pink, but there was no blistering and I was able to function completely normally. After coming home from work, I applied more egg white and did so again this morning. I'm writing this 48 hours after the injury and am still pain free, but the burn is still pink. There was also some swelling initially, which is gone this morning.

Egg Whites
Posted by Tamstersq (Ft Myers, Fl) on 09/16/2017

I had a crock pot full of hot soup that I was putting in the fridge. Just as I got to the shelf the crock broke in half. Luckily I had an oven mit on my right hand. No so lucky I only had a pot holder in the left hand Well my left hand got toasted I immediately put it in a ice bath for some time. I then applied home grown aloe I applied the aloe for a couple of days. Then hurricane Irma hit I kept

The wounds covered with antibacterial gauze and antibiotic gel and wraps while doing yard work the next 3 days. The pain level was high Then Thursday after Irma hit Ft Myers FL a friend told me about egg whites I thought ok why not. So glad I did, the healing process has been quick. Not totally healed yet but the pain level has gone down greatly and healing seems faster than the antibiotic gel.

I'm a waitress so I have to put bandages on the affected areas They're not pretty. But now using two bandages instead of three. The top of my left hand, three fingers and the bottom of my wrist were affected. I only have to bandage the top of hand now. Love natural cures! Stiil have some time to heal as I believe 3 Rd degree burns were incurred. I thank my friend for the advice. Wish I had known a few days earlier.

Egg Whites
Posted by Jv (San Jose ) on 05/21/2017

Back in the 80's I foolishly opened my truck radiator cap. The fluid burst up hitting the hood and came down on my right arm. Burning me from shoulder to wrist with second degree burns. We found a hose and began rinsing my arm. A friend sent his daughter into a nearby store and had her buy 1/2 dz eggs. As the skin on my arm was literally sliding off he applied the whites and the pain stopped. I applied egg whites for several days afterwards. My arm completely healed without a single scar.

Egg Whites
Posted by Mama To Many (Tn) on 04/10/2017

I had the opportunity to test out a natural burn remedy. I was pulling a very hot dish out of the oven with a damp rag because it was handy. I know better. The heat went through that damp towel fast and a burned my hand. I was in a hurry (thus the foolish potholder alternative) and didn't want to go get the healing salve or lavender. I just kept cooking. I had a raw onion sitting thought that might help. I rubbed it on the burn. Nope.

Next I was cracking eggs and I recalled reading about egg whites for burns here at Earth Clinic. I quickly wiped some of the white onto the burn and carried on. I let it dry.

Sure enough, it stopped the pain! I don't know the chemistry behind it but it worked.

~Mama to Many~

Lavender Oil

Posted by Pasqualina ( Minnesota) on 04/23/2016

Lavender Oil is the fastest of all pain relief methods of all the applications I have tried from this site so far! It also stopped the development of the blister, and promoted extremely fast healing.

After picking up a searing hot metal frypan from a 350 degree oven, I knew I had a severe burn forming on my fingers and palm of hand. Extremely painful!

I immediately applied lavender oil that I had nearby, and the pain subsided almost instantly. I reapplied it again in a few minutes when I could feel a very small amount of pain starting up. I applied it again in about 20 minutes when I was heading out to the door for a meeting but no pain at that time. No need for bandages, although I was concerned earlier that I would be in too much pain to drive a car. But nothing.

The burns never developed into blistering, but the next day there only a few light reddish flat areas like a burned area would look weeks out after the skin had peeled. Only 1 spot peeled in a matter of a day or two, and it was completely healed underneath.

I applied the lavender a couple of times in the next day just for good healing. But I don't know if that was necessary.

I know this works and is not psychosomatic because it was tried on my toddler grandson who burnt his fingers and nothing could instantly stop his howls without truly working. Instant quiet and no burns.

Gattefossé, a French scientist, discovered and recorded his success with lavender essential oil after using it for a severe personal burn in the lab. This remedy led to his interest in how essential oils work.

Other EARTH CLINIC remedies tried that work:

I also have used egg whites remedy from this site which also works very nicely. I had a huge burn the size of a silver dollar and depth of blister about 1/3" on my inner lower arm. The egg white removed the pain although I had to keep applying it and healed it within 24 hours: The blister was gone before the next day (dehydration of the fluid?) and there was no scarring. Beautiful remedy.

The mushrooms remedy which are recommended on this site also works for pain and healing, but it smells of mushroom and is messy under the bandages. The healing process is fairly rapid within a couple of days, however, I found the skin color to be quite dark in the healing process and to be more rigid and maybe more susceptible to being broken. I used to keep raw mushrooms in the freezer.


Posted by Deirdre (Atlanta) on 11/23/2015

Here's an update to my 2nd degree burn recovery saga (see the aluminum foil section for my first post on aluminum foil)

I went to Whole Foods and purchased a small jar of Manuka honey from New Zealand. This do-it-yourself method of slathering a thick layer manuka honey all over the burn and then bandaging it up didn't work too well because the worst part of my burn is on the bony, curved side of my forearm and the honey didn't stay adhered to it. Exasperated a day later, I went to the pharmacy and bought a box of large manuka honey bandages.

It's now been 14 days since I started on the manuka honey bandages and the part where the large burn blister exploded is slowly closing. I strongly suggest people with a second degree burn invest in these bandages IMMEDIATELY because they are manufactured to stay in place and not drip all over the place! I wish I had done this right from the beginning as I believe the burn would have healed far more quickly. I bought a size that wrapped around my entire forearm.

I have been keeping the bandage on for 2 days at a time and then replacing it. The honey bandages stay moist enough so that you don't rip off new cells when you peel it off, which was my problem from the beginning (ie, the non stick bandages did indeed stick and caused excruciating pain when I removed them).

Soon I will start working the next phase of the healing process and will start applying Castor Oil packs. Hope this helps someone.

Aluminum Foil

Posted by Dustin (New York) on 09/30/2015

My suggestion is to put the burn on cool running water for 30+ minutes and then wrap it in Aluminum Foil and place it on an ice pack until the ice pack gets warm. Then continue to leave the Aluminum Foil on it for a 5-6 hours.

Here is my story:


I touched a scorching hot pan with my thumb. I ran it under cool water for about an hour and a half, while under the water it felt fine, there was a little discomfort but no pain. But when I removed my thumb from the water within 10 seconds it was back to the most unbearable excruciating pain, even hours later. I grabbed a cloth with cool water and using that I could be away from the water for 2-3 minutes at a time and during that time I did a little googling.

The first couple of sites all had the same suggestions of expensive creams that I didn't have laying around, Alo which I also had none of. They also suggested rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer with high alcohol content, I tried this and it only relieved the pain until it all evaporated (~1 minute). I also tried to tooth paste which had the same effect as alcohol, about 1 minute of relief then the pain resumed. Those sites also mentioned the Aluminum Foil suggestion which I though was a joke and no one seemed to speak too highly of it just a few mentions so it must be a joke right?

Then I came to this site, and of course all the same suggestions were made but people seemed to speak fairly highly of the Aluminum Foil. I thought what they heck it can't make it any worse.

I cooled my hand the best I could with cool water, quickly dried it off and wrapped it in Aluminum Foil. For the first minute nothing appeared to happen, and it was starting to hurt again. I was just about to take the foil off and stick my hand into the running water again when the pain slowly started to get better, so I decided to leave it on for a minute longer.

Slowly over the next few minutes it got better and better until it felt about the same pain level as leaving it under the water. I then decided to touch my thumb with the Aluminum foil around it against an ice pack. That was 100% instant pain relief. Sometimes the pack got too cold and it would begin to get uncomfortable so id remove the pack for a 30 seconds or so and then put my thumb back on it. I continued this pattern for an hour or so until I fell asleep. During the night I woke up from the fire sirens (I live next to a fire station) and I noticed that the ice pack was completely warm but I had no pain. I tossed the ice pack aside and just left the foil on and went back to sleep.

This morning I woke up and felt almost no pain. I unwrapped the foil and found that it was there was a small patch of leathery white (dead) skin but it was painless. I am assuming over the next few days that skin will just naturally peal off and everything will be fine. I currently feel no pain except when I forget and grab something with that thumb. I currently am leaving the foil on not as a pain reliever but just as a reminder not to grab anything.


While my Bachelors is in Computer Science I also have an Associates in Physics so I will now do my best to "GUESS" why this works. I have done 0 experiments or studies or measuring of any kind so this is purely a hypothesis, that may be 100% wrong but here is what I think causes the pain relief...

In physics there is no such thing as "cold" only different amounts of heat, cold is just low heat. Heat likes to travel from an area of high heat to areas of low heat. This is restricted by the thermal conductivity of the mediums (material between the high heat and the low heat). Thermal conductivity refers to a materials ability to transfer heat quickly. Something like water has a high thermal conductivity. So when it is hot it feels very hot because the heat is very quickly and easily transferred to your skin and when it is cold it feels very cold because the heat is very quickly and easily transferred from your skin to the water.

The first half an hour of running water will remove all the heat from the burn caused by the burn. Then after that even your own body's heat is enough to cause pain on the burn. The Aluminum foil acts as a radiator wrapped around your finger removing your own bodies heat from that finger and releasing it into the air. Also if you use an ice pack that also sucks the heat from the foil quickly allowing the foil to then remove the heat from your finger quickly.

When I feel Aluminum Foil not attached to my body it feels cool to the touch. This is because it is removing the heat from my fingers. Then as I wrap it around my finger it becomes warm when I touch it with other fingers, it actually feels almost the same temperature as my skin, this is because most of the heat my finger (wrapped inside the foil) is being transferred to the foil and the foil now does not have the ability to absorb any more heat from the finger I am "touching" it with.

In hindsight, next time I may make a more elaborate Aluminum Foil "glove" with many thin strips of foil forming "fins" like a radiator (or heatsink, google it to see what a heatsink looks like). This will expel the heat from the foil into the air more easily. Air needs to be able to pass through the fins so don't wrap it in cloth or anything, better yet put it in front of a fan.

Good luck and I hope you feel better.

Aluminum Foil
Posted by Rache (Fl, US) on 03/30/2015

I grabbed a pan handle with my bare hand after taking it out of the 300 degree oven. I put it down quickly, but my fingertips and palm were already red and starting to swell. After running cool water over my hand for 10 minutes, my fingertips had begun to blister with ugly little bubbles over my fingerprints. I slathered raw organic honey on the burns, let it sit for 10 minutes, rinsed it off, then did the same with organic virgin coconut oil. The burn looked less red but the blisters were still there. I saw all the positive reviews of aluminum foil. It sounded stupid, but I decided to try it. I've had a foil "glove" on for about two hours. The pain has been very mild and lessening. I peeked under the foil a few minutes ago and the blisters are gone! This is awesome! I've experienced kitchen burns before and they ALWAYS looked and felt worse as the hours passed. I can't believe this has worked so quickly to help the burns look and feel better. I showed my husband and he could barely tell where the burns were. The burns are still tender and sting if I grip something, but no biggie. I'm keeping the glove on!


Posted by Sandy (San Francisco, California, Usa) on 01/22/2012

It took my husband literally YEARS to convince me of this, but it really works like magic for burns: As soon as possible after you burn yourself, pee on it. As in, go to the toilet and hold your burnt hand in your urine stream. The sooner you do this, the less tissue damage.

My husband is an avid fisherman and he'd been telling me that all fishermen know this trick, but I confess I thought it was just a fish story. Then one day, after years of rejecting this suggestion, I was cooking for a dinner party; we were expecting several guests within an hour. In a distracted hurry, I opened the oven and reached in and took hold of both sides of the pan with my bare hands (ouch!! ). I watched as my hands began to blister, and realized I'd soon have third-degree burns on most of the surfaces of both palms, and further food preparation seemed out of the question. This was an emergency, and my usual slow-healing approaches with aloe, honey, etc. Would be inadequate to save my dinner party. SO, long story short (too late! ) I ran to the bathroom and peed on my hands. When the warm liquid hit the burns, it HURT even more, but only for maybe three seconds. Then, the pain began rapidly subsiding. I held my hands up and watched in amazement as the blisters went down. Within five minutes, all the pain was gone and all that was left of the burns was a little pinkness. I washed my hands and went back to my cooking as if nothing had happened!

I understand why no one talks about this even on the Internet, because it's a gross-out to think a person (especially a COOK) would urinate on their hands. BUT, soap and water cleans up the residue after the medicine has done its magic. If you're like me, you'll be revolted at this suggestion, and ignore it... Until maybe someday when you're faced with a serious burn and a situation in which you NEED to heal immediately. The best thing about this absolutely effective burn cure is that you'll always have the remedy with you.

Vitamin E

Posted by Shiningstar (Gainesville, Fl) on 09/07/2009

My husband had 3rd degree burns and went to the hospital burn unit. His face had nose, ears, facial skin and neck burned. Also hand and back. ER spent 5 hrs pulling sand out of his face which caused him to swell up so bad he almost died from that.

As soon as we got on the burn unit, my health food store lady came up and brought me Vit E. I bit the end off of 100 capsules and put them on him.

Drs said he would not be able to shave (if he lived) for a yr and hand would not work unless 5 yrs of Physical Therapy. After 4 days of them torturing him I took him home wrapped in a sheet. Continued Vit E, Vit C and lots of others and he was back to work soon. But he did look so bad (to others) that people stopped to ask if we needed an ambulance. He went back to the hospital and they refused to believe that he had even been there.

The hospital administrator kept up with him for years as he had no pain and no scars and healed perfectly. I discovered that other countries use Vit E and other things that WORK but our hospital system is about money. We settled with the insurance company for 1,200.00 for vits and the hospital bill.They said they had never settled a claim like his for less than 5 M.