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Nick’s Tip: Soothe That Burn

by Nick Vitrano

It's Independence Week here in NE WI - well, everywhere in the United States - and a couple things are certain: we are free of British control, and we will celebrate with irrationally risky behavior. From the grill to the fireworks, the 4 th of July brings out the "Danger is my middle name" in all of us. So today, we're going to examine a few natural, home remedies for burns.

Let's begin with this...these tips will work for minor burns. If your in the 2 nd degree and beyond type of deals, you're going to want to seek professional help. And look at it this way, I guarantee you won't be alone in the E.R.

Cleaning:

  • Vinegar and water mixture. Vinegar is a natural antiseptic and an astringent. It's great for cleansing a minor burn and helping to prevent infection. Just mix equal parts and apply.

Soothing the Burn:

  • Tea. Tea is fantastic at soothing a burn. The secret is the tannic acid. How ironic, right? Acid helps soothe the burn. Crazy. Anyway, rinsing or soaking with brewed tea is great...placing a wet, cool tea bag directly on the burn is even better.
  • Got milk? Soak the burn in a bowl of milk, or, if the area is not easily submerged, soak a rag or some gauze in milk and apply. A frozen milk cube is great for this purpose, as well.
  • Speaking of ice cubes...there you go, though cool water is better for a burn, as ice can discourage blood flow to the burn.
  • Banana peels. Slap a banana peel on the burn and feel the relief almost instantly.
  • Honey is great for soothing the burn, and some argue that it also aids in the healing process, especially raw honey.
  • Yogurt. Milk works, so naturally so too would yogurt, right? And yogurt tends to stick a little better than its liquid partner of the dairy world.
  • Sliced onion or sliced potato. Place the slice on the burn and say goodbye to the burn (for a little while anyway).
  • Aloe. Duh. I know.

Something to keep in mind when it comes to applying yogurt and honey and some of these methods - it's generally best to allow the burn to "settle" a little before applying select remedies. That is to say, hold off on smearing yogurt all over a fresh burn. Start with cool compresses and then graduate, after 20-30 minutes, to some other methods listed herein.

Have a safe 4 th , everybody.