Burns and Scalds: How They Happen and Five Ways to Treat Them

The skin is one of the essential organs of the human body, and it is the largest and heaviest organ, weighing about eight pounds. The skin is a barrier between the outside world and the body's internal organs. 

It helps to regulate body temperature, protect against infection, and prevent dehydration.


The skin comprises three main layers: the epidermis, dermis, and subcutaneous. The epidermis is the outermost layer of the skin and is made up of dead skin cells, while the dermis is the middle layer of the skin and collagen and elastin fibers. 

Finally, the subcutaneous layer is the innermost layer of the skin and is made up of fat and connective tissue.

However, its exposed location makes it vulnerable to all sorts of injuries, the most common being burns and scalds.

What Are Burns and Scalds?

A burn is a type of skin injury caused by heat, electricity, chemicals, or radiation. A scald is a type of burn caused by hot liquids or steam.

Burns and scalds can range in severity from first-degree to third-degree. First-degree burns are the most superficial and cause redness and pain, while second-degree burns extend deeper into the skin and cause blistering and swelling. Third-degree burns are the most serious and damage all layers of the skin. 

They can also damage underlying tissues, such as muscles and bones. Third-degree burns are only treatable in the hospital by a medical professional. 

However, if you have first-degree or second-degree burns, there are ways to treat them. 

Here are some of those options.


The moment you get a burn, it's essential to cool the area. This will help to reduce swelling and pain. There are various ways to do this.

The first way is by using cool water. Apply cool water to the area for at least 10 minutes. Do not use ice, as this can further damage the skin. Ice can also cause frostbite, which is a type of burn.

The second way is by using a cool compress. You can soak a clean cloth and place it to the affected area for 10-20 minutes. Repeat this process as needed.

Your last option is to take a cool bath. Add cool water to your bathtub and soak for 10-15 minutes.

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is a plant used to treat burns for centuries. It contains compounds that have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. This makes it an excellent home remedy for first- and second-degree burns.

To use it, break off a piece of the plant and rub the gel directly onto the affected area. Repeat this process 3-4 times per day.

You can also buy some gel at the store. Look for a gel that contains at least 90% aloe vera.


Honey is a sweetener made by bees using nectar from flowers. It's also a natural home remedy for burns. In addition, honey has antibacterial properties and can help to speed up the healing process.

To use honey, apply it directly to the affected area and cover it with a Band-Aid or gauze pad. Repeat this process 3-4 times per day.

You can also make a honey and yogurt compress. Mix 1/2 cup of plain yogurt with two tablespoons of honey and apply to the affected area. Leave on for 20 minutes before rinsing off with cool water.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a type of vegetable oil made from the flesh of coconuts. It's a popular home remedy for burns because it has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.

To use coconut oil, apply it directly to the affected area 3-4 times daily. You can mix one tablespoon coconut oil with one tablespoon of aloe vera gel and apply it to the affected area.

Vitamin E Oil

Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps to protect cells from damage. It's also essential for tissue repair. This makes it a beneficial home remedy for burns.

To use vitamin E oil, break open a capsule and apply the oil directly to the affected area. Repeat this process 3-4 times per day. You can also mix vitamin E oil with aloe vera gel and apply it to the area.

Reducing and Treating Scarring

After treating the burn then, there's a chance that scarring might occur, especially for second-degree burns. Here are your options when that happens.

Skin Serum

The application of an overnight skin serum can help treat any scar that might form from a burn. A good example is the Pixi skintreats overnight glow serum. It has 10% glycolic acid, which can help with skin cell turnover. As a result, it can replenish any burned-off skin with new ones after a week.


There are a variety of scar creams available on the market. These can help to reduce the appearance of scars. One example is silicone gel, which you can apply directly to the skin. Another option is vitamin E cream, which can be applied directly to the skin.


In some cases, surgery might be necessary to remove a scar. This is typically only done for severe scars that don't respond to other treatments. Surgery can be expensive and potentially risky, so it should only be considered a last resort.

If you have a burn, it's important to treat it immediately. 

Following the tips above can reduce the risk of scarring and speed up the healing process.

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