Skin burns differ in nature and are categories based on the extent of skin damage (i.e. superficial or deep affecting the bones) and on the percentage of the body surface that is involved.
Based on these parameters, skin burns are classified as first degree (when only the superficial layer of skin is involved), second degree (when deeper layers of skin are involved) and third degree (when the burn affects the underlying tissue namely bones and muscles).
Third degree burns are very severe forms of burns and can’t be managed at home. However, home remedies and diet may be useful in the management of burns especially of the first and second degree.
However a careful evaluation of the patient is always mandated to rule out the possibility of nerve damage in all the cases. Dietary measures and corrections can help in treating the condition promptly and effectively.
Diet For Burns Treatment
Though diet can hasten the process of healing of the skin, especially after the burn, the first thing that needs to be done following a burn is to pour cold water on the affected part to reduce the temperature of the affected area. Chilled water needs to be poured for about ten to fifteen minutes in order to reduce the possibility of nerve damage.Pouring water may be beneficial even in burns that are caused due to chemicals or exposure to radiation.
Following the pouring of water, local application of honey or Aloe Vera is recommended. Honey is a natural anti-bacterial and also helps in soothing the skin while Aloe Vera helps the skin remain cool and hydrated after the burn.
Food For Healing Burns
Intake of certain foods and supplements tend to hasten the process of healing, especially after the burns:
- Increase the intake of Vitamin C and Vitamin A. Include foods like carrots, capsicum, citrus fruits like lemon, oranges, papaya, etc along with vegetables like broccoli and spinach. Vitamin C helps enhance immunity and prevents the occurrence of secondary infection while Vitamin A hastens the healing of the wound and reinstates normal skin texture. Animal sources like liver and lean meat are also good sources of Vitamin A, though overconsumption may result in vitamin A toxicity.
- Vitamin E and B complex Vitamins also help in hastening recovery. Vitamin E is considered very beneficial to improve skin health, while B complex vitamins help in management of nerve and tissue damage associated with the burn. Increase the intake of wheat germ, Brussels sprouts, broccoli and eggs for Vitamin E, while diary foods, chicken, fish, etc are good sources of Vitamin B complex.
- Often skin burns are associated with loss of micronutrients like Zinc, selenium and copper and hence supplements or diet rich in these foods can be very beneficial.
High Protein Diet for Burns
Patients with burns are often recommended a high protein diet along with a high carbohydrate diet. Proteins comprise of the building blocks of the body and adequate supply of proteins is required to hasten the healing process.
Increase the intake of eggs, legumes, pulses, lean meat, fish, etc in your diet to ensure a good supply of proteins.