Marj’s Home Remedies Part 2: Burns

Island Epicure


Of course, your best bet is to avoid burns in the first place. I keep hot pads in the kitchen drawer next to the stove, and know from experience to use them.
Burns, first degree: Red and painful
Douse the heat. My remedy is to swing to the sink, run tepid (not cold ) water over the hand that brushed the hot rack above the cookies while pulling their rack from the oven. I aim to remove the worst of the heat without shocking my nervous system.
2. Dry hand. Apply aloe vera lotion or gel.
3. Apply package of frozen peas to the burned area. It will mold to your hand. When one side heats up, reverse the package and apply the still-cold side. Apply more aloe vera.
4. Still uncomfortable?  Take out another package of frozen food that comes in bits, blueberries for instance. Restore the peas to the freezer if still partially frozen. If totally thawed, put them on the menu for the next meal. When you do that put a pat of butter on the peas. Don’t put butter or anything greasy on the burn. It just holds the heat in!
When you should consult a doctor or consulting nurse:
Second degree burn, or any burn that blisters, is bigger than a silver dollar, or is severe enough that you can’t tell whether to call it a first degree or second degree burn.
For chemical or electrical burns. (Don’t touch victim until power is turned off.)
If a contact burn covers more than 10 percent of the sufferers body.
If a burn doesn’t heal within 10 days or two weeks. Actually, with frequent applications of coolness and aloe vera lotion, most of the burns I’ve got while cooking have healed in three days. Once I spilled a whole kettle of just-off-the-boil soup on a bare foot. The resulting blister took a month to go away. I called a doctor who said to bring it in an he’d take the lid off the blister “so it would not get infected.” That sounded counter-effective to me, so I didn’t. The blister gradually resorbed. The body knows what it’s doing.
Another time I had a smaller blister on the top of one foot. A doctor took the lid off it, and the resulting ulcer took three months to heal.
If clothing sticks to the burn, see a doctor. I’ve never had that happen so I can’t advise you.
If the burned area shows any sign of infection, like a blister filled with greenish or brownish fluid, see a doctor.  A blister with clear fluid is okay; it’s the body’s attempt to protect the area. As it heals, the blister will shrink and go away. If it springs a leak, I’d cover it with a sterile dressing. Keep it dry.
For a burn severe enough to seek professional medical care, don’t put any lotion, antiseptic, or spray on it. Just gently wrap the area with a sterile dressing and take it to a doctor.
Sunburn:  Take a tepid shower. Or soak 15 minutes  in a cool bath. Sooth pain or itching by putting baking soda into the bathwater.  Pat, do not rub, dry. If it’s on your back, get someone else to gently— patting, not rubbing— go over it again and again with soft, cool, used tea bag. The tannin in the tea will take the heat out and begin the cooling.  Sleep on your stomach for a few nights.