Burns refer to damage to the skin caused by the heat of a fire.

Symptoms and Types
In first degree burns, the skin reddens, but only the top layer of the skin (epidermis) is affected. The skin may peel away in several days and usually heals quickly.

In second degree burns, blisters are created due to damage to the deeper layer of the skin. Second degree burns usually heal without scarring.

In third degree burns, the full thickness of the skin is damaged by the heat or fire, causing the affected area to appear charred or white. Tissues below (bones and muscles) the burn areas may also be exposed. Third degree burns requires the attention of a burn specialist in order to be properly treated.

Aromatherapy: Lavender, geranium, and camphor essential oils are all excellent for helping to heal burns. To prevent blistering, apply two to three drops of lavender oil. (The discovery of the healing properties of lavender oil on burns was actually the basis for research into and development of the field of aromatherapy by French chemist René-Maurice Gattefossé.)

Ayurveda: Apply the paste made of fresh aloe vera gel or plain ghee and coconut oil to the affected areas.

Diet: Eat a high-protein diet for second and third degree burns to help repair damaged tissue. Also, increase your intake of fluids and high-zinc foods, such as pumpkin seeds and oysters.

Herbs: In cases of first degree burns, apply a poultice, salve, or juice of plantain to the burn. Cool aloe vera gel can also be applied. For sunburn cool aloe vera gel applied liberally to the burnt area may be helpful. If badly burned, a salve made with St. John`s wort and calendula flowers may be helpful.

Homeopathy: For first degree burns Calendula, Hypericum, Arnica (for shock), Urtica Urens, and Belladonnacan be helpful. Arnica (for shock), Cantharis, and Belladonna are excellent homeopathic remedies for second degree burns. Although third degree burns require the immediate attention of a physician, they can also benefit from the use of Urtica urens, and Rhus tox.

Nutritional Supplementation: Spray the burned area with vitamin C solution. Vitamin E can also have a dramatic effect on burns of all kinds, as can applying a 100% solution of dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) to minimize scarring and prevent loss of skin. To further speed healing times, supplement with free-form amino acids, vitamin A, vitamin B complex, vitamin C with bioflavonoids, vitamin E, pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) and zinc.

Topical Treatment: Ice and vinegar applied to the affected areas can speed healing. Another helpful topical treatment is to apply the gel from a freshly cut aloe vera leaf.

Silver bandages (colloidal silver applied to bandage) applied to first degree burns is also helpful.

What to do immediately: If you suffer from burns, immediately run cold water over the affected area. If possible and practical, run cold water over the area for as long as possible (hours if necessary); cover. This will also help prevent blisters.

In cases of second degree burns, place a mixture of baking soda, olive oil, zinc ointment, and pure vitamin E to promote healing and prevent scarring. Take care not to break blisters, and elevate the affected area higher than the heart, if possible, to alleviate swelling. To remove substances melted on skin such as plastic or tar, use ice-cold water.

Copper and zinc are lost through wound seepage. Loss of these minerals may significantly increase the need for supplementation during burns.

*Severe burns require immediate professional attention.

Alternative Professional Care: If your symptoms persist despite the above measures, seek the help of a qualified health professional. The following professional care therapies have all been shown to be useful for treating and relieving the symptoms of burns: Cell Therapy, Guided Imagery, Light Therapy, Magnetic Field Therapy, Naturopathic Medicine, Orthomolecular Medicine, Oxygen Therapy (especially Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy), and Traditional Chinese Medicine.