Burns caused by physical, chemical, electrical, radiation, or other means are unpleasant, painful, and affect skin and tissue depending on the severity of the injury in extent and depth. In this post I share my experience as a real-world testimony of how I effectively treated second-degree burns, which I suffered on my left knee and right foot as I involuntarily fell into thermal waters with a high thermal gradient.
ACCLARATORY: The products and mixture of these, procedures and steps that guide each one of the phases used in the treatment of the second degree burn in reference, are product of the combination of knowledge acquired in workshops on green medicine, reliable oral testimonies of botanical practitioners and Wayúu healers with whom I have shared experiences during the formation and exercise of my profession. It is important to state that the decision to initiate and develop treatment with non-conventional products was my own.
This article does not constitute a guide, procedural prescription or therapeutic recommendation intended to replace or replace the good practices of conventional medicine. Nor is it intended to impose Aloe vera as a panacea, any less to discredit or discourage the use of traditional health treatments.
There are various causes or means by which mild or severe skin and body tissue injuries from burns may occur. Hence, there is a gradual classification of the wound and treatment to follow according to medical evaluation. Broadly speaking, there are three levels of burns:
First-degree burns affect only the outer layer of the skin. They cause pain, redness, and swelling.
Second-degree burns affect both the outer layer and the underlying layer of skin. They cause pain, redness, swelling, and blistering. They are also called partial thickness burns.
Third-degree burns affect the deep layers of the skin. They are also called full thickness burns. They cause whitish, dark, or burned skin. The skin may be numb. [Translated from Spanish into English] Medlineplus, 2018, párr. 2
Now, in my case, I partially suffered second-degree burns to the lower limbs. It was my second unpleasant experience; in this sense, I already knew the first aid and treatment procedure that is received in the emergency room of a health center when you are admitted with burns of this type. In truth, my first experience marked a before and after on what to do in case of burns of this type; the method to perform skin prophylaxis is traumatic and painful for the patient.
Since then, I became interested in mineral products and species that could be used effectively in the treatment of mild to moderate burns, as long as they did not require strict medical attention. On the basis of this knowledge, I act with knowledge of the cause and assume responsibility for self-treatment of the wound.
Aloe vera plant in humic substrate
The main characteristics of this plant stand out for its green and greyish colour throughout the shrub, with imposing thorny and triangular foliage that deforms towards the tips, grouped in the shape of a cluster with a very short stem that is often not appreciated by the basal rosette that makes up its leaves. It is said to be native to India and South Africa; however, its pharmacological, therapeutic and commercial value introduced it in tropical and subtropical regions until it became naturalized. For these reasons they have adapted to different substrates, from arid to moderately nitrified. Venezuela is abundant in many states.
In the last five decades this species has been the object of scientific interest, its main products with pharmacological and therapeutic value are particularly found in its leaves; it should be noted that although derived from foliage, from the chemical perspective are different, it is the acíbar (or Aloe) and gel (gelatinous compound).
[Acíbar] Se uses mainly as a laxative, action conferred by the hydroxyanthraquinone derivatives it contains, mainly the aloins A and B (aloin, barbaloin) and aloerresins A, B and C (glucosylchromones).
[Gel Aloe vera] ...contains mostly water and abundant polysaccharides, such as: glucomannan, glucogalactomannan, galactogluco-arabinomannan and acetylated mannan. Among them, the most important active components are acemanane, a mixture of complex polysaccharides of the beta-(1-4)-mannan O-acetylated type, and aloeride, a polysaccharide of high molecular weight made up of glucose, galactose, mannose and arabinose.
In addition, the aloe gel contains amino acids, glycoproteins, enzymes, hydroxyanthracenic heterosides, chromone and pyrone derivatives, saponins, sterols, organic acids and salts, inorganic salts and vitamins. [Translated from Spanish into English] López, L. 2004, p. 97
There are many properties and pharmacological activity typical of acíbar, among which its indications for the treatment of intestinal problems such as laxative, hemorrhoids, etc. stand out. Another valuable component is the Gel Aloe vera very used in topical application, in the combination of these natural products is that the treatment was widely based.
It possesses multiple properties and above all the direct and immediate action that its chemical components exert when an adequate use is made of them. Studies worldwide and particularly in Venezuela, conducted to obtain anthraquinones from the exudate or juice of Aloe vera (acíbar), to refer to one of these, in 2012 was carried out in the Department of Chemistry. Faculty of Sciences. Universidad de Los Andes a study under this line of research, where anthraquinones was obtained through the crystallization method, which are rich in aloin, which is a cathartic characterized by its pharmacological use in the development of drugs to treat diseases of the digestive and respiratory system, in addition, the remarkable bactericidal and antiviral qualities have provided a decent place as a potent antibiotic with impressive analgesic attributes.
On the other hand, glycoproteins, allantoin and other lightweight molecular compounds, and sugars, polysaccharides and phenolic compounds if synergistically combined to inhibit toxins that attack skin cells and tissues that cause pain.
...Due to its mucilage content, aloe gel has moisturizing and emollient properties, useful not only in therapeutics, but also in cosmetics. The healing activity of aloe gel has been confirmed in numerous studies. The active compounds responsible for the rapid improvement and healing of wounds... [Translated from Spanish into English] Op. cit. 2004, p. 97
The wide range of healing properties according to their chemical and biological composition, make this substance penetrate the skin layers and tissue to contribute to the treatment and regeneration of the affected area.
Origin and cause of the injuries suffered
I was in the company of friends and loved ones enjoying the benefits of the majestic hydrobiological body called Las Aguas Calientes, ecosystem that surrounds the populous town of El Pilar, capital of the municipality of Benítez, Sucre state (Venezuela); having collected interesting data on flora, fauna and some conditions of the premontane biotope of the area, we were preparing to withdraw from the fumaroles where emerges from the depths of the rock, water vapor with a mixture of gas and sulfur.
Abrupt rocky escarpment
These are localized fissures that come from the subsoil to the surface, expelling water from the aquifers through a geothermal process in which factors such as temperature, pressure, gases, mineral drag, friction and others intervene to conduct boiling fluids capable of suspending themselves from the earth's crust and forming water currents that descend their temperature downstream.
Described the environmental conditions of this place, one can have an idea of the high temperatures; therefore, object of an insecure act I fall to the water when jumping a rock. My quick reaction and help from @emiliocabrera, made it possible that it will take between 2 and 3 seconds to get the lower limbs out of the hot water. That time was enough to cause second-degree burn.
In general, the immediate symptomatology was:
- Intense pain
- Appearance of moisture in the lesions
After applying first aid and washing the affected parts with plenty of cold water and blue soap (common) and then pouring enough aloe vera juice (Aloe vera), I presented:
- Immediate reduction of pain by 75% (when applying the natural fluid Aloe vera ),
- Light burning
- Absence of sweating and dizziness, redness of the skin,
- Small and large blisters,
- Fever (three hours after the accident).
Assistance with burn specialist
Motivated by the last symptoms, I was attended by a nurse with extensive experience in burns (relative of the family where I was visiting). She carefully reviewed the wounds on the left knee and right foot; she tells me clearly that I deserve medical attention and therefore hospitalization. Much more stable, I tell you that I am aware of the severity of the injuries because I had previously experienced second-degree burns and the traumatic treatment had me investigate alternative methods based on natural products and minerals that were both effective and less painful.
He tells me that he knows the healing properties of Aloe vera; however, he alerts me to how harmful it is because of its high iodine (I53) content. I explain about the process of distillation of this element to obtain a crystal completely innocuous and ready to use as a main compound in the treatment of this type of burns. According to the circumstances, it performs a deeper cure, removing residues, impurities and dead tissue. Procedure that I would repeat the following three days, then return to my residence in the state of Monagas.
𝑺𝒕𝒂𝒈𝒆𝒔 𝒐𝒇 𝒊𝒏𝒋𝒖𝒓𝒚 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒕𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒕𝒎𝒆𝒏𝒕
To have a clear appreciation of the affectation, documentary evidence is presented from the occurrence of the accident to the present, this temporal relationship of the lesions allows us to better infer the effectiveness of Aloe vera in the treatment of this type of burns.
At first glance a small moistened peel can hardly be seen; however, the burning and pain were intense, so I experienced general weakness and sudden dizziness.
𝑭𝒊𝒓𝒔𝒕 𝒂𝒊𝒅 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒘𝒐𝒖𝒏𝒅 𝒔𝒕𝒂𝒃𝒊𝒍𝒊𝒛𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏
The affected areas were cleaned with abundant cold water and blue soap base; simultaneously there was the need to apply juice of Aloe vera to decrease pain and burning, which was effectively reduced by 75% in less than two minutes. An analgesic procedure was repeated several times to relieve discomfort.
𝑫𝒖𝒓𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒇𝒊𝒓𝒔𝒕 𝟕𝟐 𝒉𝒐𝒖𝒓𝒔
The image on the left shows the magnitude of the wound. The pain and burning subsided when aloe juice was applied directly to the affected area.
The aloe vera fluid (iodine-free) applied every 3 hours on the affected areas, moisturizes and reduces in its maximum expression the intense pain and burning. The high content of salicylic acid and other analgesic components present in the mucilage, are manifested energetically to alleviate the ailments.
𝑫𝒖𝒓𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒇𝒊𝒓𝒔𝒕 𝟏𝟓 𝒅𝒂𝒚𝒔
The lesion shows signs of improvement with localized irritation in the area where there is damage to the dermis. So far the cleaning is done with plenty of cold water (sometimes ice was used), blue soap base and high-level disinfectant (Gerdex), maintaining hygiene measures to prevent foci of contamination.
𝑨𝒇𝒕𝒆𝒓 𝟑𝟎 𝒅𝒂𝒚𝒔
The compound based on sodium bicarbonate and Aloe vera showed effectiveness against toxins and other impurities, by generating surface layers of dead cells that would be easily removed during daily cures. On the other hand, a gradual reduction of permanent burning and pain was noted.
𝑨𝒇𝒕𝒆𝒓 𝟔𝟎 𝒅𝒂𝒚𝒔
During this period Aloe vera gel (previously refrigerated) was used on the right foot, an area where there was a lot of pain, particularly at night.
The image on the left shows partial healing and improvement with the application of a compound based on bicarbonate and Aloe vera. While in the other image, with more than 60 days of treatment, a total healing and signs of pigmentation in the affected area. Recovery of the dermis with the restoration of tissue, the epidermis begins to form again.
𝑨𝒇𝒕𝒆𝒓 𝟏𝟎𝟎 𝒅𝒂𝒚𝒔
Scarring is evident and the skin begins to regenerate. From this moment on, Aloe vera fluid (without iodine) is applied every 6 hours at an average temperature of 10 ºC.
𝑨𝒇𝒕𝒆𝒓 𝟏𝟖𝟎 𝒅𝒂𝒚𝒔
The knee injury healed 100%, while the foot healed in its entirety and is 98% rehabilitated. I wear shoes normally and I don't feel any discomfort. The pigmentation and skin tone is significant and gradually the improvement is noticed.
Despite the severity of the burn, the left knee shows hardly any signs of injury.
The present considerations are the product of my experience as a patient with second-degree burns, therefore, in my opinion and according to the reactions and effects manifested during treatment:
The intense muscular somatic pain that in a sharp way expanded to the nerve endings of the lesion and was manifested during and after the cure in the first 30 days, did not diminish when giving me the following doses:
2 tablets of Motrin 800 mg
3 bilingual tablets of Notolac 30 mg
Dipyrone 500 mg
However, after the cure, the pain subsided when I placed refrigerated Aloe vera gel (between 10 ºC and 12 ºC) where the pain was located. In the same way, when the cure was finished, the same thing happened if I placed cold compresses impregnated with Aloe vera fluid.
On the other hand, when supplying me orally doses of 5 ml, 10 ml, 20 ml and 40 ml of Aloe vera fluid (previously de-iodized) before or after the cure, I did not experience a decrease in pain until after 20 minutes, the latter occurred when I ingested the doses of 20 ml and 40 ml. During the first 60 days I maintained strict rest in bed, being gradually the desinflamación of the inferior limbs, specially of the right foot.
Of all the beneficial properties of the Aloe vera described and experienced during this unwanted experience, in order of importance highlights the impressive analgesic power of this plant species, secondly, its anti-inflammatory effectiveness, then its bactericidal and antiviral qualities. Although all of them are relevant, the analgesic attribute stands out for the rapid action exerted by the different layers of skin and tissue to remove pain in a really surprising proportion.
I end with what was said in the preamble of this post, this article is not a guide, procedural prescription or therapeutic recommendation that seeks to replace or replace the good practices of conventional medicine.
The procedures and methods used here are based on the experience and documentary review of the author.
In the event of an accidental situation such as this, go to the nearest health center for specialized assistance.
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Equipo de Salud Parroquia Jesús Obrero. Aprendamos a curarnos con plantas. Ed. Tarea. 1986; 34
El Nuevo Herald (2015). 8 propiedades imperdibles del aloe vera. enlace
Guevara DJ , Valencia E, Guevara GJ. Acción "in vitro" de frutas y plantas sobre bacterias enteropatógenas. Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos. Anales de la Facultad de Medicina 1995;56(2):36-8.
López, Luengo. (2004). Aloe vera, actividad farmacológica, indicaciones y reacciones adversas. Ámbito Farmacéutico Fitoterapia. enlace
Madrid J. Separación de aloína en pasta de zábila. Trabajo de ascenso no publicado. Instituto Universitario de Tecnología Alonso Gamero. Coro, estado Falcón; 1996.
Prato M, Ávila R, Donquis C, Medina E y Reyes R. Antraquinonas en Aloe vera barbadensis de zonas semiáridas de Falcón, Venezuela, como inhibidores de la corrosión. Revista Multiciencias. 2008; 8, 2: 148-154.
SAAVEDRA, Oswaldo et al. Obtención de Antraquinona contenida en el exudado de Aloe Vera (L.) Burm. f. (Zábila). INHRR [online]. 2012, vol.43, n.1 enlace
- Image 1. was taken with sansung J2 prime cellular equipment, 8 megapixel camera: @emiliocabrera.
- With the exception of the first image courtesy of @emiliocabrera, the rest of the photographic material is our own and was taken with Alcatel pop +4 cellular equipment. Documentary evidence taken according to the register and control of days presented.
- Adobe photoshop cs6 2018
- Wondershare Filmora
Thank you for your time in reading and commenting... This post corresponds to a translation of the original article
by the author @ulisesfl17