Burns (including Sunburn)
Few injuries are more frightening or painful than a serious burn. The skin may be burned from heat, steam, scalding liquids, the sun, chemicals, or electricity. Treatment is based on the type of burn, the severity of the burn, the location of the burn, and the source of the burn. Severe burns can destroy all skin layers and damage the underly- ing muscle and fat.
Heat burns can be caused by wet heat, such as scalding hot water, or dry heat, caused by a ﬂame. These burns are classiﬁed by degree. A ﬁrst-degree burn affects only the skin surface and is considered the most minor of all burns. The skin is usu- ally red and slightly swollen. A second-degree burn affects the skin surface and the layer just beneath the skin surface. Blisters and swelling may occur. A third-degree burn, the most serious, results in white or blackened skin layers, is extremely painful, and involves all layers of the skin.
Chemical burns are caused by caustic substances that can be either acidic or alka- line. If the source of the burn is acidic, use water to wash the chemical off the wound. If the source of the burning agent is alkaline, it is vital not to wet the wound because that can cause further burning. Symptoms of chemical burns include redness of the skin, blistering, swelling, and peeling.
Electrical burns are caused by electric shock. It is important to realize that the body is electrically charged and that the heart functions on tiny pulses of electricity. Elec- trical burns have the potential to disrupt the heartbeat and cause cardiac and respira- tory arrest. Be aware that severe electrical burns quite often do not display much damage on the surface layer of skin. The real damage is deeper in the layers underneath.
Consult your doctor about your burn under the following circumstances:
• All electrical burns
• Any burn located on the face, the mouth, the hands, or the genitals
• Any burn that covers more than 10 percent of the body or completely encircles an arm or a leg
• Any burn that blisters or turns the skin white
• Any burn that remains red or oozes longer than twenty-four hours and intensi-
ﬁes in pain
Natural therapies can be very effective in relieving the pain of minor burns and, to some degree, major burns (along with pain medicines). They are even more effec- tive in promoting faster skin healing and may help in the prevention of secondary skin infections.
• Burning sensation and damage of the skin
• Heat, chemicals, or electricity
Drink electrolyte drinks and plenty of water to replace lost ﬂuids.
Citrus fruits, bell peppers, and other brightly colored vegetables and fruits provide bioﬂavonoids that help heal the skin.
Fish such as salmon, nuts like walnuts, and seeds such as ﬂaxseeds provide essen- tial fatty acids that are necessary for tissue repair.
Brussels sprouts, broccoli, potatoes, and many citrus fruits are good sources of vita- min C, which helps heal the skin.
Food to Avoid
Reduce or eliminate sugars, as they interrupt the healing of tissue.
Super Seven Prescriptions—Burns
Super Prescription #1 Homeopathic Cantharis (Cantharis vesicator)
Take a 30C potency four to six times daily for acute burns, including sunburns. This remedy prevents or reduces blistering and burn pain.
Super Prescription #2 Aloe vera
Choose an aloe gel product (80 percent or higher) and apply to the burned area twice daily. Aloe has a soothing effect and may stimulate skin healing.
Super Prescription #3 L-glutamine
Take 500 to 1,000 mg three times daily on an empty stomach or in the intravenous form given by your doctor. L-glutamine is required for tissue healing and to pre- vent secondary infection that often occurs with burns.
Super Prescription #4 Zinc
Take 30 mg twice daily, along with 2 mg of copper. Zinc promotes skin healing.
glutamine is proving to be a valuable supplement for burns. It is cur- rently used orally and in intravenous meth- ods to increase body levels of this healing nutrient. One study of people with burns serious enough to require hospitaliza- tion found that oral glutamine supplemen- tation resulted in a shorter hospital stay.
Super Prescription #5 Calendula (Calendula ofﬁcinalis)
This herb can be used topically in the liquid or gel form to help heal burns. Apply twice daily.
Super Prescription #6 Mixed carotenoids
Take 25,000 IU of a mixed carotenoid complex daily to protect against sunburns. Carotenoids help to absorb the UV rays of the sun.
Super Prescription #7 Antioxidant complex
Take a complex composed of antioxidants such as vitamins E, C, selenium, and others, which will neutralize free radical damage as the result of burns, including sunburns.
Topical creams that contain vitamins C and E, CoQ10, and carotenoids may be help- ful in preventing sunburns. Apply as directed on the container.
Vitamin C promotes skin healing. Take 1,000 mg three times daily. Reduce the dosage if loose stools occur.
Vitamin E is a good antioxidant that helps with tissue healing. Take 400 IU daily. Vitamin E gel, cream, or oil can be applied topically for burn healing.
Propolis is a bee product that speeds healing of a burn and prevents secondary infections. It’s available as a spray, a salve, or a tincture.
Manuka honey, applied to burns, helps to speed healing and prevent infection. This is commonly done in countries such as New Zealand.
Colloidal silver is used topically to prevent secondary skin infections.
Pick the remedy that best matches your symptoms in this section. For acute burns, take a 30C potency four times daily. For chronic burn pain, take a 6x, 12x, 6C, 12C, or 30C potency twice daily for two weeks to see if there are any positive results. After you notice improvement, stop taking the remedy, unless symptoms return. Consul- tation with a homeopathic practitioner is advised.
Apis (Apis melliﬁca) is for burns characterized by stinging, burning pains that feel better from cool applications and worse from warmth. The skin is hot, dry, and puffy and may have small vesicles.
Arsenicum Album is for people with burning skin pain that are worse from cold and better from warm applications. They are restless, anxious, and weak. It is also for severe burns that turn blue or black.
Cantharis (Cantharis vesicator) is for intense scalding burns or sunburns. This rem- edy is used for any burn but particularly for second- or third-degree burns. Cold water gives relief to the pain.
Causticum is indicated for severe burns, especially caustic chemical burns, and for old burns that do not heal. Symptoms are worse from dry, cold drafts and better from warmth or damp weather.
Hypericum (Hypericum perforatum) is a remedy for burns that affect the nerves and cause a sharp, radiating nerve pain.
Phosphorous is a speciﬁc remedy for electrical shocks and burns.
Rhus Toxicodendron is a good choice when the skin has itching, burning vesicles. The person is restless. Symptoms feel better from applying hot water to the burn and feel worse in cold air.
Urtica Urens is a good remedy to use if Cantharis (Cantharis vesicator) is not help- ful. The person experiences scalding, burning pain, and ﬂuid-ﬁlled blisters. It is mainly used for ﬁrst- and second-degree burns.
Electrical acupuncture has been shown to reduce the pain associated with burns. See a qualiﬁed practitioner for treatment.
Other Bodywork Recommendations
Magnet therapy can be effective in reducing pain and stimulating skin healing. Use under the guidance of a knowledgeable practitioner.
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