Burns And Scalds

Sources: An Epitome Of Homeopathic Healing Art

No matter what the nature and extent of the burn may be, the very best

of all medicines of which I have any knowledge, is _Soap_. If the parts

affected, are immediately immersed or enveloped in Soft Soap, the pain

will be greatly lessened, and the inflammation that would otherwise

follow, will be essentially modified, if not entirely prevented. It acts

like magic; no one who has never tried it can have any idea of its

potency for the relief of pain, together with the prevention of bad

consequences following severe burning. Under the influence of the _Soap_

applications, burns and scalds will often be rendered comparatively

insignificant injuries. Instead of endangering the life of the sufferer

from the excessive pain, or the ulceration, or gangrene and sloughing

that would follow if the pain in the first instance does not destroy

life, the pain ceases, or becomes bearable in a short time, and either

little or no suppuration or sloughing takes place, or the sore assumes

the appearance of healthy suppuration, and heals kindly--avoiding those

unsightly deformities that so commonly follow severe burning. If

practicable, the soap, as before suggested, should be applied

immediately after the burn, the sooner the better. The part may be put

into soft soap, or cloths saturated with it can be wrapped around or

covered over the affected surface, to any desirable extent. The parts

should not be exposed to the air for a single moment, when possible to

prevent it. During the first two or three days, dressings need not be

removed, unless they cause irritation after the first severe pain has

subsided. They should be kept all of the time moist, and as far as

practicable, in a condition to be impervious to the air.

When it is necessary to remove them, let the affected surface be

immersed in strong soap suds, at a temperature of about 75 or 80 deg., and

the dressing removed while it is under water, and others applied while

in the same situation. In ordinary cases, however, even of extensive

burns, after the fever consequent upon it has subsided, and the part is

tolerably free from pain and smarting, the dressings may be removed in

the air, but others should be in readiness and applied as speedily as

possible. The soap dressings are to be continued from the beginning

until the inflammation has subsided and the sore has lost all symptoms

that distinguish it from an ordinary healthy suppurating sore.

After the first few days, or in case of a slight burn at the beginning,

an excellent mode of applying the soap, is to make a strong thick

"_Lather_" with soft water and good soap, such as Castile, or any other

good hard soap, as a barber would for shaving, and apply that to the

affected part with a soft shaving brush; apply it as carefully as

possible, so as to cover every part of the surface, and go over it

several times, letting the former coat dry a little before applying

another, forming a thick crust impervious to the air. In small burns,

and even in pretty extensive and severe ones, this is the best mode of

application, and the only one necessary.

In many cases of very severe and dangerous burns, under the influence of

this application, the inflammation subsides, and after a week or more,

the crust of lather comes off, exposing the surface smooth and well.

Although it is important to apply the _soap_ early, and the case does

much better if that has been done, still I have found it the best remedy

even as late as the second or third day. In such a case, the _lather_

application is the best.

For the fever and general nervous disturbance, _Aconite_ and _Bell._

should be given alternately, as often as every half hour, and the

_Aconite_ should be given in appreciable doses; it acts powerfully as an

anodyne. The soap treatment, or at least, the mode of applying it was

first suggested to me by Dr. J. TIFFT, of Norwalk, Ohio, some six or

seven years ago, since which time I have had opportunities of testing

its virtues in all forms of burns and scalds, some of which were of the

severest and most dangerous character, and I am quite sure in several

cases, no other remedy or process known to the medical profession, could

have relieved and restored as this did.

The application of finely pulverized common salt, triturated with an

equal part of superfine flour, acts very beneficially on burns. It seems

to have the specific effect to "extract the heat," literally putting out

the fire. It is particularly useful for deep burns where the surface is

abraded. Some may suppose this would be severe and cause too much pain

when applied to a raw surface, but so far from that being the case, it

is a most soothing application. It often so changes the condition of

even the severest burns, in a short time, as to render them of no more

importance and no more dangerous than ordinary abrasions to the same

extent, by causes unconnected with heat. _Urtica urens_ is directed for

burns, and is useful, but the _Urtica dioica_ is better. For


That follow freezing or chilling the feet, causing most distressing

uneasiness and itching of the feet and toes, take these remedies, _Rhus_

and _Apis_, the former at night and the latter in the morning. In bad

cases, they should be used once in six hours. Applications of _Oil of

Arnica_ to the affected parts at night, warming them before a fire, will

serve greatly to palliate the sufferings, and frequently effect a

perfect cure. The _Urtica Dioica_ will relieve recent cases,

immediately, and is one of the best remedies for the chronic affection.

It should be taken at the 2d dilution, and the tincture applied to the

affected part every night.