1. Cool Burn
- Hold burned skin under cool (not cold) running water or immerse in cool water until pain subsides.
- Use compresses if running water isn’t available.
2. Protect Burn
- Cover with sterile, non-adhesive bandage or clean cloth.
- Do not apply butter, oil, lotions, or creams (especially if they contain fragrance). Apply a petroleum-based ointment two to three times per day.
Be extra careful when making open wood fires. Never use petroleum/gasoline or any flammable substance to get the fire started. Always ensure that children are supervised wherever an open fire is present. Lastly, be sure that the fire is 100% extinguished and that the coals are cooled down before taking your eyes of your kids! Stepping onto a lump of blazing coal is a huge culprit for serious burning wounds.
3. Treat Pain
- Give over-the-counter pain reliever such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), or naproxen (Aleve).
4. When to See a Doctor
Seek medical help if:
- You see signs of infection, like increased pain, redness, swelling, fever, or oozing.
- The person needs tetanus or booster shot, depending on date of last injection. Tetanus booster should be given every 10 years.
- The burn blister is larger than two inches or oozes.
- Redness and pain last more than a few hours.
- The pain gets worse.
- The hands, feet, face, or genitals are burned.
5. Follow Up
- The doctor will examine the burn and may prescribe antibiotics and pain medication.