From kids washing up under a too-hot faucet to an accidental tipping of a coffee cup, burns are a potential hazard in every home. In fact, burns, especially scalds from hot water and liquids, are some of the most common accidents. Although some minor burns aren't cause for concern and can be safely treated at home, other more serious burns require medical care.
Burns are most unpleasant incident in our life. It results in damage of skin, which is the body’s first line of defense against infection by microorganisms. This leads to the body becoming susceptible to infections. The infections can occur in the affected areas as well as in the surrounding areas. It can also affect internal parts as the burnt skin leaves a gaping hole in the defense mechanism of the body. Therefore, it is most important to prevent infections in the aftermath of burn injury.
Burns are often categorized as first-, second-, or third-degree burns, depending on how badly the skin is damaged. Equally important is the cause of burn which may be result of scalds, chemical burn, electrical burn, over exposure of sun or contact with hot objects. Both the type of burn and its cause will determine how the burn is treated. All burns should be treated quickly to reduce the temperature of the burnt area and reduce damage to the skin and underlying tissue.
First degree burns are limited to the top layer of the skin and healing time is about 3 to 6 days. The superficial skin layer over the burn may peel off in 1 or 2 days. Second-degree burns are more serious and involve the skin layers beneath the top layer. These burns produce blisters, severe pain, and redness. The blisters sometimes break open and the area is wet looking with a bright pink to cherry red color. Third-degree burns are the most serious type of burn and involve all the layers of the skin and underlying tissue. The surface appears dry and can look waxy white, leathery, brown, or charred. There may be little or no pain or the area may feel numb at first because of nerve damage. Healing time depends on the severity of the burn. Deep second- and third-degree burns (called full-thickness burns) will likely need to be treated with skin grafts, in which healthy skin is taken from another part of the body and surgically placed over the burn wound to help the area heal.
The aloe vera plant has been used since ancient times for healing infection and burns. The healing properties of this plant are well known. This humble roadside plant can even be a sunburn lotion. Legend has it that the gorgeous Cleopatra’s favorite beauty cream was the aloe vera. The US Navy once stockpiled aloe vera for use against the terrible radiation burns in the event of a nuclear attack. It was used by African hunters to reduce perspiration. Ancient records of Egyptians, Arabs, Africans and Indians show how aloe vera plant was used. The aloe vera plant also finds mention in the New Testament. Ancient Chinese used aloe vera gel for treating eczematous skin conditions. With a high water content of nearly 96%, the aloe vera plant has been hailed as a medicinal plant with many a beneficial property.
Treating sunburn with Aloe vera has been one of the more traditional uses of the plant over the last several thousands years by indigenous cultures, including the American Indians, Central Americans, South Americans, and civilizations like the Incas and Mayans. Aloe vera is, in fact, extremely useful for treating not only sunburns, but burns of any kind. In fact, if there is someone who has suffered a severe burn, and if an aloe vera leaf is squeezed and resulting gel is applied to the burn and smeared it around, that burn will typically reduce its severity by one or more degrees. In other words, if it was a 3rd degree burn, it will become a 2nd degree burn, and if it was 2nd degree burn, it will become a 1st degree burn. One can literally save someone's skin, or even potentially save their life if there are enough aloe vera around and if they are burnt over a large enough portion of their body.
In fact, large section of medical practitioners have suggested that Aloe vera plant should be kept in ambulances and hospitals or even in emergency rooms. This is one of the most powerful healing substances available from nature in terms of first aid treatment. It is extremely low cost, it is well proven over thousands of years of use, and it is simply a good medicine. It is more powerful in terms of stopping burns and healing wounds than anything else known to modern medicine, despite all our technology. This one simple, humble little plant does more than all the medical researchers combined in terms of providing effective first aid for burns.
Aloe vera is also being used as an ingredient of soap. These soaps are also effective in treating minor burns. It is also claimed that aloe gel applied topically could help heal radiation burns. The stabilized aloe gel is typically applied to the affected area of skin three to five times per day. Its natural moisturizing properties help the skin heal as well as cool the burn.
Aloe vera, or commercial products containing aloe, is found in most American households. Its regular usage can decrease the redness and swelling associated with a burn. To date, there are no known adverse reactions or side effects with the topical use of aloe gel. After the burn injury is cleaned and treated as needed, aloe gel can be put on to help protect it and to speed the healing process. The soap containing Aloe vera is quite handy in such cases.
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