©2007 Publications International, Ltd. Burns can be caused by chemicals, steam, fire or even the sun. They're always serious business, and fortunately some minor burns can be treated at home.

Burns are serious business. Yet first degree burns can be easily treated. In this article, you will learn about safe and effective home remedies for minor burns.

Putting Out the Fire

The home is one hot place. Just look at all those things heating up in your kitchen: the stove, the oven, the toaster, the microwave, and the waffle iron. Add to that electrical currents and harsh cleaning chemicals, and you have plenty of ways to get toasted.

Doctors classify burns by degree. First-degree burns affect the outer layer of skin, called the epidermis. These burns cause pain and redness but no blistering. Most household burns and sunburns are first degree and most often, they can be treated at home.

Second-degree burns go deeper, involving the epidermis and the dermis, the underlying skin layer. Fluid leaks from damaged blood vessels and causes blistering. The burns are very painful but usually aren't serious unless they are large or become infected. Some second-degree burns can be treated at home; however, if the burn is large or involves the face, hands, feet, or genitals, seek medical attention.

The most serious of all are third-degree burns, which require immediate medical attention. Deep and damaging, this burn involves the outer and inner layers of skin and leaves a path of destruction. Hair, nerves, blood vessels, glands, fat, and even muscle and bone can be damaged. The burn appears white or black and is generally painless since nerves have been destroyed. Third-degree burns often result in death, especially when they cover large areas of the body.

Blistering or infected burns, third-degree burns, or chemical and electrical burns require medical attention. For minor household burns, we've got a few home remedies that can treat and help alleviate the symptoms in the next section.

  • To see all of our home remedies and the conditions they treat, go to our main Home Remedies page.
  • While serious burns need to be seen by a doctor, you can treat minor burns at home using plants that you may have in your garden. Learn how in Herbal Remedies for Burns.
  • Learn all about a significant cause of burns -- fire -- in How Fire Works.
  • Put out that fire with an efffective fire extinguisher.  Understand this essential appliance in How Fire Extinguishers Work.

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.