Tocotrienol, a form of vitamin E, should be put on the burn as soon as possible, and certainly not later than 12 hours afterwards, say scientists at the Ohio State Wexner Medical Centre.
Using computer modelling, they discovered that a burn continues to grow and worsen for several hours afterwards, and the vitamin interrupts that process. If the level of tocotrienol in the skin is increased fivefold, which could be achieved with several applications, the severity of the burn can be reduced by as much as 50 per cent.
They think the vitamin could help with all types of burn, from first degree, where damage is limited to the top layers of skin, to fourth degree, when the damage goes into the ligaments and muscles.
(Source: Ohio State University press release).