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DIY Treatments For Skin Injuries

DIY Treatments For Skin Injuries

Norshilah Kamaruddin
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The skin, the body’s first line of defence, is the largest organ in the body and, although susceptible to injury, has amazing powers of regeneration. Prompt action at the time of injury is the key to rapid healing and minimising the risk of scarring. There are also various follow-up steps that will help the skin to heal more quickly.

 

Here are several common skin injuries and treatment that can be administered on your own.

 

CUTS AND OPEN WOUNDS

 

Knowing how to treat a cut or wound correctly can help to avoid infection and ensure scar-free healing.

 

You need to :

  • Clean it. Wash the area of the burn under running water. Pat it dry with a sterile dressing or other clean, tint-free material.
  • Cover it. Clean the surrounding skin with soapy water. Dry and then cover the cut with a plaster or sterile dressing or use 3M Steri-Strips™ to close the edges of the wound. (Important note : A large or deep cut that cannot be easily closed in this way may need to be stitched in hospital.)
  • Apply pressure. If bleeding is severe, apply direct pressure to the wound with a clean cloth, pad or even your fingers until a sterile dressing is available.
  • Keep the dressing firmly in place to control bleeding and seek immediate medical aaention.
  • Elevate the affected area above the heart, if possible, while waiting for help.

 

BURNS AND SCALDING

 

A painful burn or scald needs fast, appropriate first- aid treatment. Please DO NOT put ice directly on a heat injury, no matter how tempting it may be as doing so would create additional cold burns.

 

It can also cause the victim’s body to cool to a level that is dangerous for other organs.

 

What you should do instead :

 

  • Cool the burn immediately by running cool water onto the area for at least 10 minutes or until the pain is relieved.
  • Carefully remove any jewellery, fashion accessories, watch or clothing from around the burn provided it is not sticking to the skin.
  • Raise the affected limb to reduce swelling.
  • Cover the area of the burn with a clean, non-fluffy, preferably sterile dressing.
  • Avoid using adhesive dressings and be careful not to burst any blisters.

 

Other than the above, try aloe vera gel, or lavender, helichrysum, sea buckthorn or carrot root essential oils.

 

An infusion of lady’s mantle or St John’s wort (especiatly for burns) can be gently applied as a cool compress to the affected area.

 

Besides this, Calendula (marigold) ointment is renowned for its healing properties and can be used for a wide range of minor skin injuries.

 

Note that if the burn is deep or larger than a postage stamp, it is important to seek urgent medical attention.

 

MINOR SUNBURN

 

Take a cool (not cold) shower, then apply pure aloe vera gel, which is instantly cooling. Soak a towel in strong, tepid tea and apply as a compress.

 

Alternativety, aromatherapists suggest a compress dampened by water with a few drops of lavender oil added.

 

DRESS A WOUND WITH HONEY

 

Scientific research shows that some types of honey, particularly manuka honey contain antimicrobial factors that can kill a range of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, including MRSA (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus).

 

SCARS

 

If you are unsure about surgery or other treatments, cosmetic camouflage, which uses make-up to hide scarring and correct colour mismatches, can be effective.

 

Besides this, rosehip seed oil is reputed to encourage healing of scars and stretch marks. Alternatively try diluted clary sage oil (do note, not to be used during pregnancy!) or neroli oil, or undiluted lavender oil.

 

SUN PROTECTION TIPS

 

You can sooth inflamed skin caused by sunburn by applying witch hazel as a liquid or gel, or calendula or aloe vera gels.

 

Another option is to apply a cool compress soaked in an infusion of dried calendula flowers, or apply neat lavender essential oil or sea buckthorn essential oil diluted in a carrier oil.

 

Contrary to popular belief, the application of yogurt is NOT an effective remedy for sunburn. You need to seek medical attention for severe (with blistering) or extensive sunburn.

 

Follow these simple guidelines to protect your skin from the intense heat of the sun:

 

  • Stay in the shade as much as possible between 11am and 3pm
  • Aim to cover up with t-shirt, hat and sunglasses.
  • Never use a sunbed.
  • Use sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) of 30 or above.
  • Check skin for new abnormalities that don’t go away after 4 to 6 weeksor existing ones that are getting bigger. Seek your doctor as soon as possible if you notice the mentioned changes.
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Norshilah Kamaruddin
Norshilah Kamaruddin

A regular contributor to YesMyWellness.com, Norshilah who graduated from from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (MSc of Clinical Psychology), is a seasoned counselor working with individuals, group and family therapy for children, adolescents, and adults on an inpatient and outpatient basis. A devoted parent of 3 bubbly kids, Norshilah loves to collect, try out and share life hacks (only those that really works!) and occasionally works on her little garden, growing traditional herbs like Misai Kucing, Pegaga, Cekur, Daun Kesum, Lengkuas, Lemongrass and many others.

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