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Home remedies for burns: 11 surprising treatments that work

Home remedies for burns: 11 surprising treatments that work
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If you burn yourself in the kitchen or on the barbecue, or even if you’ve stayed out in the sun too long and your skin has turned the colour of a tomato, these household items can provide quick relief, says Dr Pamela Hops.

Use aloe vera instead of ice

Use aloe vera instead of ice
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Ice can restrict blood flow to the skin and further damage tissue, says Dr Pamela Hops, author of Kitchen Cabinet Cures. Here’s how to treat a burn instead: immediately place the burnt area under cool running water, which helps the injury from spreading, and keep it there for at least 20 minutes if possible. What else works? Aloe – probably the most well-known home remedy for burns – will stop pain and inflammation, reduce swelling and stimulate skin growth and repair. But if you don’t have any on hand, treating a burn with any of these other options should offer relief.

Mint toothpaste

Mint toothpaste
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Here’s how to treat a burn if you accidentally touch something hot without a potholder, or get splattered by something that’s boiling: Keep a tube of white, minty toothpaste in the kitchen as a home remedy to relieve a minor burn. First, run the scalded area under cool water, then gently pat it dry with a paper towel and cover with a layer of the toothpaste, says Dr Hops.

Vanilla

Vanilla
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For minor burns, Dr Hops says to reach for vanilla extract. Use a cotton swab to gently dab vanilla onto the burnt skin. The evaporation of the alcohol in vanilla extract will cool the burn, alleviating pain.

Tea bags

Tea bags
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Black tea contains tannic acid, which draws heat from burns to help make them less painful. Here’s how to treat a burn with it: place two or three cool, wet black tea bags on the burn, using gauze to hold the bags in place.

This is what happens to your body when you drink tea every day.

Vinegar

Vinegar
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White vinegar contains acetic acid, a component of aspirin that can help relieve the pain, itching and inflammation of a burn. It is also an antiseptic and astringent, so it will help keep your burn from becoming infected, according to Dr Hops. Vinegar also draws heat from the burn, helping to dull pain naturally. Soak paper towels in diluted vinegar to create a soothing compress or use cotton swabs to gently dab the burn with vinegar.

And check out the amazing benefits that come from drinking apple cider vinegar.

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Honey

Honey
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A famous sore throat remedy, honey is a natural antibiotic, which helps to prevent your burn from becoming infected. It has a natural pH balance that is inhospitable to bacteria, so once applied topically, it can also kill any existing bacteria or infection lingering on the skin. Honey will also cool the burn, relieve pain, and help the skin to heal.

Honey has many healing qualities, especially Manuka honey.

Milk

Milk
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The fat and protein content in dairy milk soothes burns and promotes healing, Dr Hops explains in her book Kitchen Cabinet Cures. Soak the burn in milk for 15 minutes for quick relief. Full-fat, whole-milk yoghurt can also help cool and hydrate parched skin.

Rolled oats

Rolled oats
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With its skin-soothing properties to reduce inflammation, oats might be the most useful solution for how to treat a burn that is healing and you’re tempted to scratch it. Add a cup of oats to bath water and soak for 20 minutes to soothe a large burn. For smaller irritations, add some oats to a small bowl of water and soak the affected area. Air dry your skin so a thin layer of oats remains, further reducing itching. For added relief, toss some baking soda into the bathwater. Bicarbonate of soda helps soothe skin inflammation.

Oats have long been regarded as a healthy food. Now scientific research has confirmed this to be the case.

Coconut oil

Coconut oil
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Coconut oil is an excellent source of skin-healing vitamin E, and it also contains fatty acids that are anti-fungal and anti-bacterial, which help keep burns from becoming infected. If a scald has left a nasty mark on your skin, one home remedy for burns is adding lemon juice to the coconut oil before massaging it into the mark. The acidic properties of lemon juice will help lighten the scar while the coconut oil helps it heal, says Dr Hops.

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– The Reader’s Digest team