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Homemade Remedies for Minor Burns and Sunburn

Herbal Remedy for Minor Burns
Mix together 2 tbsp each of marshmallow and comfrey root. Set over low heat in a saucepan with 1 cup olive oil and 1 cup wine for 30 minutes. Cool and strain. Marshmallow and comfrey are reputed to have excellent skin healing properties.

Raw Aloe Vera
Break off a leaf of the plant and squeeze juice from the inside of the leaf onto the burn area. It will be thick and jelly-like, and it smells bad, but aloe vera provides a great healing aid to the skin.

Tea Bags
Tannic acid can help draw the heat from a burn. Drop 2-3 tea bags in a bath - put under the spout while the water is running to get the most out of the tea bags. Add a decoction of comfrey root for more pain relief.

Another method is to make a decoction using 3-4 tea bags (see How to make and use herb preparations), 2 cups of fresh mint leaves and 4 cups water. Strain liquid into a jar and allow to cool. To use, dab the mixture on sunburned skin with a cotton ball or washcloth.

You can also make a poultice out of 2-3 tea bags and place over the burned area. Or, simply place wet tea bags directly on the burn and cover with a piece of gauze to hold them in place.

Oatmeal Bath for Itch Relief
Crumble 1 cup of uncooked oatmeal into a bath of lukewarm water as the bath is filling. Soak 15-20 minutes and gently pat the burned area dry so that a thin coating of the oatmeal remains on your skin. (Be careful getting in and out of the tub, the oatmeal will make the bathtub very slippery.) This remedy is good for the itching that comes from a healing burn or sunburn.

Quicky Sunburn Lotions

  1. Mix 2 tbsp vinegar in 1/2 cup water and dab on burned area, or
  2. Mix equal parts of vinegar and olive or vegetable oil and dab on burned area
IMPORTANT!
There are 3 levels of burn severity, depending on how deep it is, how much of the body it covers, and the age and health of the victim:

First-degree burns are superficial. The skin becomes slightly red and swollen. Sunburns often fall into this category.

Second-degree burns penetrate the first layer of skin and damage the second layer. Skin is red, mottled and blistered and pain is much more intense than a sunburn.

Third-degree burns penetrate and damage all layers of skin. Usually the result is charred, black areas, or dry, white areas. These burns are always serious and subject to infection, so don't attempt to treat with home remedies. Treat as described below, and get yourself to a doctor.

For immediate treatment of serious burns, wet down and remove any smoldering clothing. Pour cold water over tar, wax or grease, but don't try to remove it from the skin. If the burn seems to be 1st or 2nd degree, immerse the area in ice water or apply a cool wet dressing for no longer than 10 minutes. For 3rd degree burns, immerse in water only if it's still burning. Apply a loose, dry, sterile dressing to all third and second degree burns. Don't put anything else on the burns, and take the victim to the emergency room.

Resources:

Reader's Digest Problem Solver's Dictionary
Reader's Digest Back to Basics

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