Burns on the arms might not seem as serious as those that occur on the face or neck, but they can lead to significant scarring or disfigurement, which can be especially troubling when they appear on conspicuous areas like the arms. Certain home remedies may make good companions to medical treatment provided by your doctor. But talk to your doctor before you use any home remedies. Further, always seek medical treatment after a second-, third-, or fourth-degree burn.
Home Remedies for Burns on the Arms
The best thing to do to help a burn on the arm is running it under cool water for 15 to 20 minutes. Do not attempt to remove any clothing or jewelry that is stuck to the burn. Once you have irrigated the burn, wrap it loosely in gauze.
Once your doctor has treated your burn (or if you have a minor, first-degree burn), you may want to consider the following remedies:
- Aloe vera gel, either from a fresh plant, or a purchased organic preparation without additives
- Petroleum jelly
- Calendula tincture
- Raw or Manuka honey
- Over-the-counter medicines such as ibuprofen, aspirin, naproxen, or acetaminophen
- Vitamins and minerals to speed up the healing process
Note: Before using any home remedies on your burns, it is best to check with your doctor. Some common home remedies are harmful, and can increase the pain, severity, or potential for infection.
Do not put any of the following on your burn:
- Ice or Ice Water: Can damage the burned tissue or send the victim into shock.
- Oil or Butter: Can hold in the heat, worsening the burn. It can also cause infection.
- Egg Whites: Can introduce salmonella into the wound.
- Toothpaste: Can affect tissue or cause infection.
- Raw or Frozen Meat: Can cause infection.
- Ointment: Do not use ointment unless your doctor recommends it. Ointment can cause an allergic reaction.
Some burns itch during the healing process. Never scratch your burns. Read through our blog about relieving an itchy burn.
How can I make the burns on my arm less noticeable?
In many cases, yes. Depending on the severity of the injury, burns on the arms can take a few weeks to a year or two to heal. After healing, you might also see scarring or pigment changes.
There are three main options to make the burn scars or pigment changes on arms less noticeable:
Many people choose to use cosmetics to cover the burn scars on their arms, particularly for special occasions. It is best to avoid using ordinary drugstore cosmetics on your burn scars, as the scar tissue will be more sensitive to irritation than the rest of your skin.
Specialty cosmetics are available to help burn survivors cover up any scars. Do a patch test before using any cosmetic product on your burn scars, to make sure you do not have an allergy or sensitivity to any of the ingredients. Apply a small amount of the cosmetic on your uninjured skin, on a different part of your body. If you have not had an adverse reaction after 24 hours, you are unlikely to have a problem with the product.
If you had serious burns on your arms or burns that required skin grafts, you might have to wear compression garments to protect the skin and prevent scarring.
Even if you are wearing compression garments, you may wish to wear a layer of silk or soft fabric over the burn scars and protect the tender scar tissue from rougher fabrics.
As you transition to wearing your regular clothes again, you might want to use a special tape to cover rough seams on the inside of your clothing. This will keep the seams from irritating the burn scars on your arms. If the burn scars are on your lower arms or hands, you might be able to cover them by wearing gloves when appropriate.
Burn victims can also choose to cover their burn scars with tattoos. There are two options available:
- Typical tattooing: Body art to cover or transform any scars
- Paramedical micropigmentation: Burn victims often end up with certain patches of skin that are much lighter than others, paramedical micropigmentation can soften or camouflage scars by mimicking the victim’s skin tone
Be sure to ask your doctor whether your skin has healed enough before you get your tattoo.
If you have arm burns that resulted from another person’s negligence or intentional actions, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact our lawyer referral specialists for assistance in locating a lawyer who can help you: 844-549-8774.