Effective Natural Remedies for Burns

Jun 17, 2017

Natural Remedies for Burns

It is best to know how to deal with a burn before you have one. Having natural remedies in mind to treat burns will allow you to address a burn immediately. Home treatment for burns includes simple remedies like honey, baking soda, and aloe in addition to unexpected solutions like egg whites and aluminum foil.

Kitchen burns from hot appliances, pots, steam and hot liquids are very common. Burns can also come from fire, overexposure to the sun, chemicals, and even foods like raw hot peppers that have come in contact with the skin.

1. Cool the Burn

Cooling the burn is the first priority in treating the burn. Cool (not cold) running water will help to remove the heat from the body. Even after the source of the burn is no longer in contact with the skin, the body retains heat and will continue to damage the skin. Cooling the burn removes the heat to minimize the damage to the skin.

Cool running water will also help to clean the burn. Keeping the burn clean will help to prevent infection. If further cleaning is needed hydrogen peroxide can be used to clean the burn. It is best to pour hydrogen peroxide onto the burn rather than put hydrogen onto a cloth or cotton ball to clean the burn. Wiping a burn can further damage the skin.

2. Comfort the Burn

There are many excellent ways to bring comfort and healing to a burn.

Honey

Honey has been used for healing for thousands of years. Studies today confirm that honey is excellent for wound healing, including burns. Honey reduces inflammation and edema in burns. It helps to debride wounds and provides nutrients for the new skin cells that begin to form. Honey reduces pain and is less likely to cause dressings to stick to wounds. Honey reduces the risks of scarring from more serious burns. Honey is also antibacterial and excellent for preventing infection, especially when the burn involves broken skin.1 You will find more information about using honey for wounds on this page.

Aluminum Foil

Odd as it may sound, aluminum foil is a common and effective treatment for mild burns. It's also the most popular burn remedy on Earth Clinic! A simple “aluminum foil bandage” often makes it possible to continue on with your day without pain from your burn.

Egg Whites

Egg whites, fresh from the refrigerator, can help to cool the burn and also provide nutrients to a burn.

Baking Soda 

A baking soda paste is burn treatment that is often easily available and prepared. While the paste may need to be reapplied often, the relief it brings is worth it.

Essential Oils

Lavender essential oil is commonly used to relieve the pain of first degree burns. Peppermint essential oil is also used on burns for its cooling effect. While lavender oil is often used straight on the skin, peppermint is too strong for many. A couple of drops of peppermint oil can be added to a tablespoon of aloe gel or coconut oil and applied topically. Aloe and coconut oil are two other remedies for burns.

Aloe

Aloe is soothing and healing to burns. You can use aloe fresh, straight from the plant. Many keep an aloe plant on the kitchen windowsill for this purpose. Aloe juice or gel work well to relieve pain and heal burns also.

3. Nourish the Burn

If you have a burn your body will need to work to heal the burn. Give your body excellent resources for this process.

Honey and egg whites, used topically for burns provide nourishment right at the needed site. Plenty of whole foods, complete proteins, fruits and vegetables are great to internally nourish your body. Vitamin C and gelatin are also excellent supplements to use to promote skin healing.

Honey is also one of the best treatments for a burn that is at risk for infection or appears to be getting infected.

What NOT to do for a Burn

Do not apply butter to a burn. Butter is a home remedy that dates back many years, but is actually quite ineffective for soothing or healing burns.

Do not apply heat to a burn. While this is sometimes suggested as a folk remedy, you need to REMOVE heat from a burn, not add heat to a burn.

Do not use bleach on a burn. Bleach is a caustic substance and contact with the skin, especially damaged skin should always be avoided.

If your have a burn that is covered with clothing, cool the burn BEFORE removing the clothing. For example, if you burn your arm and have on long sleeves, just put your clothed arm under cool running water. The earlier you begin cooling the burn the better. Removing the clothing before cooling the burn can cause you to remove skin with the clothing if the burn is severe.

In the event of a severe burn, especially in the case of a child or the elderly, get immediate medical help. With severe burns there is risk of shock and dehydration.

Continue reading to see how our readers have used natural remedies to treat their burns. Do you have a home treatment for a burn? Please send us some feedback!

Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4158441/



Alcohol  

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Posted by Angela (Nyc, New York) on 07/19/2015
5 out of 5 stars

So I was cooking soup on the stove, and I accidentally touched the burner and that was the most exrutiating pain in my entire life!!! I tried ice but as soon as I took my finger off of it I burned again so I tried alcohol and it really worked so it didn't burn anymore!!!!! ;))))))


Posted by Jenna (Phoenix, Arizona) on 04/19/2012
5 out of 5 stars

As a healthcare provider I have learned what works and doesn't, don't use butter! I burned myself on a iron skillet nothing has burned me worse before. All I had around was hand sanitizer which was a high percentage of alcohol. Reccomended 100%.

Replied by Charlena
Brent, Al
06/15/2012
5 out of 5 stars

Hot grease splattered on my hand.. The pain was awful. After keeping it in cold water about 2 hours I searched and found these remedies. Tried alcohol first... Wow! Alot of relief with alcohol but the pain kept returing in one small area so I tried the foil method. I was not impressed with it at all. Moved on to the toothpaste. Its been 15-20 mins, I have rinsed it off now and am pain free! Absolutely amazing! Alcohol and toothpaste win!

Replied by Mikbethnz
Auckland, New Zealand
10/17/2012
5 out of 5 stars

I used hand sanitizer which is all I had in the cupboards and it soothed the burns on my fingers instantly. The pain returned within minutes so I applied more hand sanitizer (small drops) and each time the pain lessened! The pain was minimised to the point where I didn't even notice it! It was gone within an HOUR!! I returned to playing the piano without pain yay! Thank you Earth Clinic!

Replied by Kdo090578
Houston, Tx, Usa
02/26/2013
5 out of 5 stars

I used hand sanitizer on a burn from a curling iron and now a couple of hours later after constant reapplying the burn is pretty much gone. The burning sensation was also relieved immediately from each application.

Replied by Senamon
Jacksonville, Il
09/02/2013
1 out of 5 stars

I burnt my finger bad earlier, and I remember a friend telling me that if you have a burn that you can rub on your ears, it will take the sting out, I have tried hand sanitiizer all day but the burn comes back, I rubbed my finger on my ear and the burning has subsided. Apparantly, there is a substance our bodies produce that comes out of our ears that remedies burns...

Replied by Karen
California
02/15/2015
5 out of 5 stars

I tried what Charlena said and wow it worked great. I burned it on hot oil, too, so the rubbing alcohol immediately helped with the pain, then put white arm and hammer baking soda toothpaste on it and that reduced the pain from a 10 down to about a 1 now. Good luck everyone. :)

Replied by Someone
Somewhereville
10/11/2016
5 out of 5 stars

Yes rubbing alcohol. It worked for me.


Posted by Kallie (Berlin, Germany) on 01/16/2011

i was baking cookies and when I went to go get them out I burnt myself on the rack in the oven and I jumped and ran over to the sink to put cold water on it and then I went to the computer found this website and herd that alcohol works so I took an alcoholic pad swiped the burn and imidialely it stoped hurting. it really works.

Replied by Clarinetgirl55
Mt. Sterling, Kentucky/united States
10/11/2011
5 out of 5 stars

I burnt my pinky finger and ring finger really bad this morning while straightening my hair. I put alcohol on my fingers and the bubble that had formed on my pinky automatically started to go down and my fingers stopped hurting!

Replied by Carri
Wales, United Kingdom, Wales
11/24/2011

I was in work when one of the pieces of the griddle flew off and I instinctively caught it. And burnt the tips of my fingers and palms. My boss administered first aid and applied a burn patch which just made it worse, so I took that home and carried a cold can of red bull around for the rest of my shift. I came home and have just came on here to look for a rememdy. I applied alcohol but it only subsided for about 3 minutes. After summing the guts up I have wrapped my fingers in foil and already the pain is a lot less than it was. Still hurting but a lot less. It is very daunting wrapping your fingers up when you know it's going to hurt but I put my hand under the tap and wrapped one finger at a time.

Replied by Symone
Port Huron, Michigan, United States Of America
12/03/2011

My left fingers BURN so bad because I made hot fudge in the microwave and I made a mistake and spilled it. Right now I have a bunch of ice cubes and a big bowl of water for my hand. It has been hurting for hours now : what should I do?

Replied by Rebekah
Sherwood, Oregon, Us
12/14/2011

Water usually only gets rid of the pain for a few minutes. I have found that if it's cold outside and you go out it takes the pain of the burn away. Once I burnt my ear straightening my hair and it hurt so bad and I didn't know what to do so I left it. Soon after that it stopped hurting. I know it sounds dumb but it really works! I also heard tea helps- anybody know what tea?

Replied by Trinity
Pelham, Canada
10/13/2012

I was baking cookies when my cooking glove fell off and the pan burned my hand. I put it under cold water and after about 10 seconds and put a alcohol swab on it- the pain was instanly gone.


Posted by Josh (Joilet) on 02/19/2007
5 out of 5 stars

put a little alcohol in your burns and it will go away. It will burn for a moment but it will get much better. I tried it and it worked.

Replied by Denise
Bridgewater, Canada
08/27/2008
5 out of 5 stars

I burned myself on tim hortans green tea, i went to the hospial and got bandages on it than a teaspoon of alcohol on my burns, it works! baking soda didnt work for me though. but my burn was big all around my leg, wait for your tea to cool off completely, dont even take the bag out, i was wearing shorts!!! be careful after all the cup does say hot!!!


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Posted by Stella (Cleveland, Ohio) on 04/20/2008
5 out of 5 stars

Dear All -- If you don't already own an Aloe Vera plant then please go buy one! My husband had a bad accident over the weekend, he was lighting a gas smoker grill and it blew up, burnt his whole arm and hand it was pretty severe, he was in a lot of pain. We looked on earth clinic and tried the ACV & ice water, unfortunately it didn't relieve the pain enough, he tried the store bought stuff and nothing worked at all. Mind you he was hoping to not have to go the emergency room since we don't have medical insurance. Finally a friend brought over an Aloe Vera plant and squeezed the juice of a leaf on to his arm, it Immediately soothed the pain. He has been applying it 3X a day the pain has stayed away, the redness is almost gone and there is minimal blistering that is healing Fast. We already went to the health food store to buy our plant I myself have also been using it on my face and hands and it is wonderful!! Thank God for the Awesome Gifts of Nature that he has given us.


Aloe Vera and Egg Whites  

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Posted by Montene (Wichita Falls, Texas) on 11/20/2008
5 out of 5 stars

YEA, YEA!!!! Egg Whites & Aloe Vera

Today while trying to soften some glue I heated it in the microwave. When I picked it up it had melted a hole in the side of bottle. Hot, hot glue went all in the palm of my right hand. Tried the cold water thing but it didn't help. Got computer going and found out about egg whites and aloe vera. Layed a piece of gauze over burned area and with a large eye dropper alternated egg white and aloe vera. Kept the gauze wet all the time but still must have taken over an hour for all the pain to stop. That has been 4 hours ago ....... the palm is red but there are no blisters and is only sensitive in the worst part of burn. This is first time I have heard of this remedy and thankfully it has worked.

Replied by J
Toronto, On
02/23/2012

I saw you comment, the egg white provides a barrier when dry, the gauze on top of the wound scared me a bit ( will stick to the wound ) and real aloe is a great repairer, running under cold water is to relieve pain but mostly to negate or stop the continuance of the actual burn , like putting a fire out, egg whites are only good for 1st and very small area 2nd degree burns... And wash the outside of the egg first as well as make sure they are within the fresh date code... salmonella is what we want to stay away from when applying to a wound.


Aloe Vera and Vanilla  

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Posted by Jenny (Austin, TX) on 07/25/2006
5 out of 5 stars

when i was little and got badly sunburned my dad would always mix pure aloe with some vanilla extract, and it always makes the pain stop and keeps me from peeling.


Apple Cider Vinegar  

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Posted by Tea Dropper (Prince George, BC, Canada) on 07/17/2013
5 out of 5 stars

Hi, So my sister and I just tried this apple cider vinegar from b____. We had it sitting in the back of our cupboard and one day we decided, what the heck, mine as well try it out! She had a really bad burn on her leg, so we thought we would try it on externally. Within a day, her burn was minimal compared to what we are sure it would have been!

So anyone who decides to spill hot tea all over their legs, apple cider vinegar poured onto a damp cloth and placed over top of the burn helps majorly!

sincerely,
Tea Dropper.


Posted by Felicia (Ellensburg, WA) on 03/09/2009
5 out of 5 stars

I once saw years ago a mention in an article that ACV was good for burns. I remember my mother putting it on me when I was young and dumb and got a sunburn. But I don't remember it ever doing much. Strangely though several years ago I got a fairly bad burn on several of my finger tips taking chicken out of the oven. At the time all I could think was that I had to get some ACV, don't ask me why but I did, especially since my experience so far wasn't good. But I got it out (not even the good natural, unfiltered kind) and I soaked my three fingers in ACV for about 45 minutes which was about how long it took for the fingers to quit throbbing. Instead of getting blisters all that happened was about a week after the incident a small patch of dry skin appeared on the finger where I received the worst of the burn. So the skin was still damaged and I still lost it, but there was no blister or lingering pain or tenderness. Same exact thing happened when my young son burned the palm of his hand on a light bulb. When he did it he immediately said through his tears, "Oh, no, not the stinky stuff, Mom!" I had him soak it for about 45 minutes and he experienced the same result I did, just a small patch of dry dead skin about a week after the incident. I now know that ACV isn't very good for sunburns because you would need a vat of the stuff to soak in, but for everything else burn related, I swear by Apple Cider Vinegar. It works miracles!


Posted by Tan Koon Peng (Singapore) on 06/27/2008
5 out of 5 stars

If you are burned by fire immediately pour ACV over the wound, there will be no pain or scar. Try it and be amazed.

Replied by Cured
Niceville, Fl
11/24/2009
1 out of 5 stars

Warning

Warning - I have recently began using ACV for just about everything from cleaning the house to hygene/health. A few weeks ago I got a blister from trying to pull start a leaf blower. The skin was already gone from the blister/burn. I think I waited a day or two and it started healing somewhat on its own. I then applied ACV full strength (grocery store brand) to the burn a few times. I quit cause it seemed to make it worse. Maybe my result would have been better had I don't it immediatly or there was a no no with the exposed skin. Who knows so I probably won't try it for that again but just about anything else it has worked amazingly.

Replied by Tried It
Plano, Tx
07/23/2011

it's possible the ACVdoesn't work well for those with sensitive skin. I personally have had great success with ACV on burns and so has my eldest daughter. My youngest has many allergies and sensitive skin (eczema, etc. ) and she does not experience the same results. It seems to make her worse. So, I stick to good old aloe for her. Not quite as great as the ACV for me, but pretty good nonetheless.


Baking Soda, Black Tea Bag  

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Posted by Jasmine (Chicago, IL) on 05/25/2008
5 out of 5 stars

I saw that many had mentioned that baking soda when mixed into a paste (using water) relieves and sometimes eliminates burns. This is true, however, in my own experimentation, I no longer retain burns if I have baking soda on hand.

Apply the paste thickly over the burned area. The thicker the better. I leave it on until it dries, then rinse it off with water and reapply. Continue doing this until you have no pain. This completely takes the pain and redness out of 1st and 2nd degree burns. You won't even know you were burned! The first time you apply it, it will relieve the pain, but it may return. I've never had to apply it more than 4 times but trust me, taking the time to do this remedy will save you blistering, pain, and irritation later on!

There is one other remedy for burns. I once burned my hand on a very hot light bulb. My skin turned white on one site of the burn, indicating a 3rd degree condition. I didn't have any feeling in the area, the skin was completely dead. The other parts were red and sore, indicating a 2nd degree burn. A day past and I had no relief. The burn started looking worse. I tried honey, it only made me sticky but the heat was still there.

I knew that tea was an astingent, so I took a normal lipton black tea bag and dunked it in hot water twice, then I allowed the bag to cool. I placed the wet bag over the burn and wrapped my hand to keep it in place. I fell asleep for 2 hours and when I woke up the burn no longer hurt and was beginning to heal! I changed bags and rewrapped it for a few hours. My skin turned temporarily a little orange/brown but the burn gave me no problems afterward, healed perfectly and didn't scar at all.

Replied by London
Sandusky , Ohio
08/08/2010
5 out of 5 stars

My mother burned her fingers and part of her hand really severely on the stove. I would say it was 3rd degree, it looked pretty bad. We did the egg white remedy, but mainly, what helped keep the pain levels tolerable was keeping a tea bag in there for a good 3 hours, (she took a nap) and we also alternated between the tea bags and baking soda paste mixed with egg whites. By the end of the day, the burn was almost gone. It was incredible, you could barely see it, and the pain was 100% gone! My mom is skeptical of these cures, but she was impressed!!


Butter  

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Posted by Waxedfinger (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania/ Usa) on 04/13/2011
5 out of 5 stars

one remedie my friend gave me tonight- burn my finger really bad, I couldnt even sleep. Finally I got up and emailed him, asking him a good remedy. Him and his sister said butter! Just rub some butter on your burn, boom, its gone. it works amazingly.


Cinnamon  

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Posted by Mizvee (Wallingford, Ct, Usa) on 11/26/2011
5 out of 5 stars

Try cinnamon on your next burn. I keep it in my car, back/sports pack, work & kitchen. Any burn; iron, gas/electric/wood stove, insect or jellyfish sting, motorcycle muffler or abrasion can be remedied using this native healing product. Our family has been using for generations for it's anispetic/healing capability. May be applied as often as needed. Doesn't stain clothing or furniture. Promotes healing via it's phytochemical compounds to reduce pain, counteract bacteria and disinfect wounds without blistering and little to no scarring. I've had 3rd degree burns from a clothes iron (inner arm) and from motorcycle pipes (leg calf) and have no scarring. Use it on my grandkids at the beach when they encounter jelly fish. Simply shake on, the pain is immediately gone. If pain returns (as with 2nd & 3rd degree burns) simply shake on more. Blistering will be minimal & will not run (aka 'leak'). Scabbing will look slightly darker than normal, but will come off without leaving any disfigurment to the skin surface. On major injuries, I use until fully scabbed. (And it smells good too! )


Coconut Oil  

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Posted by Leesa (El Cerrito, Ca, Usa) on 11/05/2012
5 out of 5 stars

I burned the top of my had while putting wood in the fireplace. My hand sat on the metal screen frame for a couple seconds. I knew it was going to be a very bad burn. I instantly started putting Coconut Oil on it. I put enough on so it looked wet. I did not rub it in. I wanted it to soak up the oil. The most important part of this is keeping it covered in CO. It was unbelievable that the hot, aching burning feeling from a new burn disappeared almost immediately. I burned myself a couple of hours before bed time. When I woke there was no blister! This was so surprising because this was a nasty burn. I continued to put CO on it every chance I go. I think CO is a miracle for so many things that I keep it in my kitchen, bathroom and a tiny jar in my purse :). After two days it became brown and scabbed. It never swelled. In a few more days the scab started to flake off and you cannot even see a burn! This is why I am writing! I have used it before for burns and it was great, but I wanted to write because this was a very bad burn that normally would have blistered and scarred. I use Virgin, Organic Coconut Oil.

Hope this helps someone. I get great advice myself and have used many treatments with success-THANKS!


Coconut Oil, Tea Tree Oil  

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Posted by Tammy (Wichita, Ks) on 11/03/2013
5 out of 5 stars

Last evening while cooking dinner I received a steam burn on my palm, wrist and forearm. Hurt like crazy of course. I immediately put an ice pack on it but it still turned deep red and formed a few blisters. After the ice pack, I had a jar of vitamin e cream with tea tree oil in it. I slathered that on - very gently because it was so painful. I had been reading on this site about Extra Virgin Coconut Oi' and all of its wonders and decided to slather some of that on as well. Arm still was painful and red when I went to bed about 4 hours after the burn occured, so right before bed, I applied more coconut oil. I woke up at 3:30am and NO PAIN. In the morning I checked my arm and you really couldn't tell a burn had ever occured. Not sure if it was the tea tree oil, the coconut oil or the combination, but if I get burned again, I'm going to mix a few drops of tea tree oil in some EVCO and apply it.



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