How to Relieve a Burn: Home Remedies & First Aid

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A burn can result from various sources, such as dry heat from hot objects or wet heat like boiling water or steam.

Depending on the burn’s severity, you may be able to treat it at home to prevent scarring and complications.

In this guide, we’ll explore how to relieve a burn and offer insights into first-degree burns, symptoms, and treatment options.

Discover the best home remedies and first aid for treating burns effectively. Learn how to prevent scarring and promote fast healing.

Understanding first-degree burn

First-degree burns are common and affect only the skin’s surface layer.

These burns often occur due to accidents with hot objects like curling irons, hair straighteners, or cooking utensils.

Even sunburns fall into this category.

Symptoms include redness, pain, tenderness, and slight swelling.

Treating superficial burns

To minimize skin damage, swift action is crucial when treating burns.

Here’s what you should do:

  • Stop the cause of the accident.
  • Remove clothing and jewelry near the burn.
  • Cool the burn with cold or lukewarm water to soothe the area.
  • Run the affected limb under a faucet for approximately 20 minutes.
  • Apply wet, cold compresses for pain relief.

What NOT to do when you burn yourself

Avoid these common misconceptions that can worsen the burn and pain:

  • Using ice or ice water
  • Applying ointments or topical antibiotics
  • Using butter or toothpaste

These substances may damage the tissue and increase the risk of infection.

Managing aftereffects of burns

After cooling the burn, warm the person with a blanket but avoid covering the burned area to prevent hypothermia.

If blisters form, do not touch or puncture them; let them heal naturally and cover with a bandage.

Minimize sun exposure to reduce scarring.

Shallow burns typically heal within a week.

The depth of burn injury

The diagnosis of a burn is based on an assessment in degrees.


  • First-degree burn: The burn is minor and the damage is superficial.
    Symptoms are redness, altered sensation, and pain.


  • 2nd degree burns: There are two kinds of second-degree burns: superficial and deep.
    Each is very painful and forms blisters.
    Its treatment is identical to the first degree but if blisters appear or the skin is severely damaged, topical antibiotic treatment should be initiated.
    The wound should remain covered and should not dry out so as not to slow healing.
    A second-degree burn heals in 4 to 6 weeks.


  • Third-degree burn: the burn affects all layers of the epidermis, capillaries, and nerves of the affected area.
    It doesn’t hurt as much as a superficial burn and the skin takes on a white leathery appearance.
    Its treatment is surgical.
    A skin graft should be considered to repair the area.

    Healing is very slow, measured in months and years, and requires constant care.


  • 4th degree burns: this is an extreme burn.
    Skin and subcutaneous tissue are destroyed with further damage to muscles and bones, sometimes even organs.
    The prognosis is often life-threatening.

burn how to avoid scar

How to relieve a burn: Home remedies

While first-degree burns often heal on their own, you can apply petroleum jelly to prevent the area from drying out.

Be cautious with home remedies, and consider these options:


Aloe Vera

Aloe vera (ad) has anti-inflammatory properties which may help to de-swelling the burnt area.

In addition, its antibacterial action helps prevent infection.


– Apple cider vinegar

The vinegar contains acetic acid which gives it anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.

Mix apple cider vinegar and water in equal parts and apply this solution to the burn twice a day.

Since the vinegar is volatile, allow the liquid to evaporate.


– Baking soda

By restoring the skin’s PH and preventing infection, baking soda helps with wound healing.

Mix a teaspoon of baking soda with half a teaspoon of water to create a paste.

Apply it to the burn and leave it on for 15 minutes before rinsing off with lukewarm water.



Like aloe vera, honey has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

Apply it to the wound to soothe the pain while protecting the skin from infections.

Honey – and especially manuka honey (ad) – is a natural treatment widely used in hospitals to accelerate tissue regeneration.

Essential oil and burns

– Lavender oil

In general, essential oils are not indicated for treating burns.

However, some hospitals recommend the use of lavender essential oil.

Indeed, this oil is analgesic and its compounds help in healing.


– Tea Tree essential oil

Like lavender oil, tea tree can help treat a burn.

Tea tree essential oil has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

Consider diluting essential oils in vegetable oil like olive oil to avoid irritation.

Treating burn scars

After several days under an occlusive dressing, consider these products to aid healing without scarring:


  • Silicone scar gel

Silicone gel (ad) is ideal for treating scars.

Its action is to reduce redness, flatten the burn to make it even, and relieve itching associated with scarring.


  • Zinc serum

The Ordinary zinc serum (ad) is a formula of niacinamide, one of the forms of vitamin B3, and zinc.

Vitamin B3 helps strengthen the skin’s immunity and maintain hydration when zinc repairs damaged skin and promote collagen production.


  • Retinol serum

The Ordinary retinol serum (ad) is also indicated not to keep an obvious burn mark.

Retinol is a potent form of vitamin A that improves cell turnover while attacking skin blemishes.

While exceptionally effective in treating all kinds of scars, consider that retinol tends to irritate the skin when applied without affecting its action.

If you find it too irritating, minimize and space the apps.

Note that there are several strengths (0.2, 0.5, 1%) in this brand.

How to relieve a burn?

Effective burn treatment can be administered at home for superficial burns.

Swift action, proper first aid, and the use of appropriate home remedies can aid healing and minimize scarring.

Always seek medical attention for severe burns or complications.

Related: 12 Effective Sunburn Natural Remedies

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Natural health is paramount to me, natural remedies have always been part of my life. Whatever the problem, I make sure to find natural solutions that can often be associated with traditional medicine. Everything I write here allows me to share them with you.

The content of this article is not intended to replace medical advice or any treatment.
Keep in mind that you should contact your doctor or any qualified healthcare professional to determine if you can add a supplement to your treatment or change your diet.

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