Burns are injuries to tissues that result from heat, electricity, radiation or chemicals. There are over 2 million people each year requiring treatment from burns. When tissues are burned fluid leaks into the burned area causing swelling and pain. If the damage is severe the area can no longer protect itself and infection can happen.
Burns are classified into three degrees. A first degree burn is shallow and usually red, painful and swollen. A second degree burn goes into the dermis and usually has blisters and is effecting a deeper layer of tissues. A third degree burn goes into the fat layer and is usually not painful because the nerve endings have been destroyed. The area does not blanch when touched and can be red, black or white.
Minor burns can be treated at home if the burn does not cover more than 15% of the body. Second degree burns can also be treated if the area is very local. If not, getting medical care is necessary. All third degree burns will require professional care. Do not hesitate to get the person to a hospital.
Some simple first aid for first degree burns is to clean the area with soap and water and run the wounded area under very warm water. This is homeopathic. If the wound is small and second degree, it is important to clean the wounded area and keep the area bandaged to prevent infection from weeping open skin or blisters that open. If the area has burned clothing attached it must be cleaned with sterile instruments during debredement and bandaged with a sterile dressing. After a burn infection is very possible.
There are many homeopathic remedies available to assist in healing of burns. The following are some rubrics from the Complete 2013 Repertory that are applicable for burns.
- skin; BURNS (114) : 2aca-m., acet-ac., 4ACON., agar., aloe, 2alth., alum., alumn., anac., ant-c., 3Apis, arist-cl., arn., 4ARS., asaf., 3Astac., 3Bar-c., 3Bell., both-l., 3Bry., cadm-s., calc., calc-f., calc-p., 3Calc-s., 4CALEN., camph., 4CANTH., 3Carb-ac., 4CARB-V., 3Carbn-s., 4CAUST., cham., chin., chir-f., 3Cic., cosm., crot-h., cycl., des-ac., 3Echi., eucal., euph., ferr., gaul., grin., 4HAM., hed., 3Hep., hoit., hyos., 3Hyper., 3Ign., ignis, 2iris, jab., 4KALI-BI., kali-c., kali-chl., kali-m., 3Kreos., 4LACH., 2lam., 2lappa, lsd, mag-c., 3Mag-m., 3Merc., 2merl., mom-b., morg., 4NAT-C., 3Nux-v., op., par., paraf., passi., petr., phos., 3Pic-ac., 3Plan., 2plan-l., plat., plb., 2pop., posit., 3Puls., 3Rad-br., ran-b., 3Rhus-t., 2ros-d., ruta, sabad., sap-sod., sapo., 3Sec., semp., sep., sieg., 3Sil., 3Sol-n., 2sol-t., spira., 2squil., 4STRAM., 3Sul-ac., 3Sulph., 3Ter., thuj., tub., 2tus-fa., 4URT-U., verat., x-ray
- skin; BURNS; vapor, from hot (12) : ars., bell., calen., 3Canth., carbn-s., euph., ham., jab., kali-bi., plan., rhus-t., ter.
- skin; BURNS; water, from hot (20) : acet-ac., 3Apis, 3Ars., bell., calen., 4CANTH., 3Carb-ac., carbn-s., caust., euph., ham., jab., kali-bi., kreos., plan., 3Rhus-t., 2sol-t., 3Sulph., ter., 3Urt-u.
- skin; BURNS; x-ray exposure, after (6) : cadm-s., calc-f., caust., phos., 3Rad-br., x-ray
- skin; BURNS; fail to heal, or ill effects (5) : 3Ars., 3Canth., 3Carb-ac., 3Caust., 3Nat-c.
- skin; BURNS; fourth degree (7) : ars., carb-v., caust., cycl., lach., sapo., sec.
- skin; BURNS; third degree (4) : ars., canth., cycl., kreos.
- skin; BURNS; ulcerated (5) : ars., 3Carb-ac., carb-v., cycl., lach.
generalities; BURNS; after (19) : agar., alum., 2ant-c., 4ARS., asaf., 2calc., 3Carb-ac., 3Carb-v., caust., 2cycl., euph., 3Kreos., 2lach., 2mag-c., merc., 2rhus-t., ruta, 2sec., sep.
- generalities; SUN; agg.; sunburn (48) : 3Acon., 3Agar., 3Ant-c., 3Astac., 4BELL., bov., bry., bufo, cadm-s., 3Camph., 3Canth., carc., chlorpr., 3Clem., cortiso., cyt-l., epig., euphr., germ., gink., hist., hydrog., 3Hyos., 2hyper., ignis, kali-c., lach., 3Lyc., mangi., morg., 3Mur-ac., 3Nat-c., 2nelum., op., pitu-a., 4PULS., rob., 2ros-d., sel., 3Sol, 3Sulph., tam., tax., toxop-p., tub., uv-lux., 3Valer., verat.
Remedies that are useful when used topically are Calendula, Hypericum and Utica Urens. When burns are minor and the skin is not broken these remedies used in the mother tincture or in potency in a salve or cream can be quite soothing. In addition to local application these remedies are also wonderful in potency and taken internally. There a few leading remedies that when taken in the 30C or 200C potencies can be very helpful in promoting healing and relieving pain. Here is a partial list of the most beneficial remedies;
- Arsenicum Album – Great restlessness. Severe burns that threaten gangrene. Great anxiety and exhaustion. Burns from hot water, steam and chemicals.
- Calendula – Apply locally to minor burns in cream or salve. The remedy can also be in potency in water and applied to the affected area in a soaked dressing.
- Cantharis – Probably one of the best burn remedies for first and second degree burns. Burns with blistering and great pain. When administered quickly can help prevent blisters forming in a second degree burn. A dilution of Cantharis 30C in water and applied locally with a soaked dressing can also help with pain and healing.
- Carbolic Acid – When the burn ulcerates and has an odorous, offensive discharge. Third degree burns.
- Causticum – Useful in the after effects of burns and scalds. Tongue scald. Caustic burns. Helps relieve the pain of burns.
- Rhus Toxicodendron – Useful in first and second degree burns. Great itching.
- Secale – Most useful in severe burns with gangrene. The parts are blue and cold. Lack of sensation, no pain.
- Urtica Urens – Pains of first degree burns with much stinging. Sunburn, scalds with burning and itching.
This is only a partial list of remedies useful in burns. Never ignore a burn and always seek medical attention if the burn is severe. The most common potency for burn treatment will be the 30C and the 200C. These can be given quite often if the pains are acute. The sooner you can begin treatment the better. Continue treatment for the duration of healing. Once the immediate effects of the burn is passed the remedy can administered less frequently until healing is complete. Remember that the remedy is for the whole person. If there is any unusual behaviors or sensations the person is reporting, always find a remedy to fit the case before you. Homeopathy can be the best way to help a person heal in addition to good quality first aid and wound care.