Skin Burn Treatment - First Aid for Burns
Treat all Skin Burns as soon as possible to help reduce pain and promote healing.
A First Aid Kit containing Burn Supplies should be available at all times.
Most minor burns will heal on their own, and home treatment is usually all that is needed to relieve your symptoms and promote healing. But if you suspect you may have a more severe injury, use first-aid measures while you arrange for an evaluation by your doctor.
Burns are often categorized as first-, second-, or third-degree, depending on how badly the skin is damaged. Each of the injuries above can cause any of these three types of burns. But both the type of burn and its cause will determine how the burn is treated.
All burns should be treated quickly to reduce the temperature of the burned area and reduce damage to the skin and underlying tissue. Speedy treatment is the best First Aid for Burns.
Degrees of Burns
First-degree burns, the mildest of the three, are limited to the top layer of skin:
Apply aloe gel or cream to the affected area. This may be done a few times during the day.
Give your child acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain.
If the area affected is small (the size of a quarter or smaller), keep it clean. You can protect it with a sterile gauze pad or bandage for the next 24 hours Healing time is about 3 to 6 days; the superficial skin layer over the burn may peel off in 1 or 2 days.
Second-degree burns are more serious and involve the skin layers beneath the top layer:These burns produce blisters, severe pain, and redness. The blisters sometimes break open and the area is wet looking with a bright pink to cherry red color.
Follow the instructions for first-degree burns.
Remove all jewelry and clothing from around the burn, except for clothing that's stuck to the skin. If you're having difficulty removing clothing, you may need to cut it off or wait until medical assistance arrives.
Do not break any blisters.
Apply cool water over the area for at least 3-5 minutes, then cover the area with a clean white cloth or sheet until help arrives.
Healing time varies depending on the severity of the burn. It can take up to 3 weeks or more.
Third-degree burns are the most serious type of burn and involve all the layers of the skin and underlying tissue:The surface appears dry and can look waxy white, leathery, brown, or charred. There may be little or no pain or the area may feel numb at first because of nerve damage.
Healing time depends on the severity of the burn. Deep second- and third-degree burns will likely need to be treated with skin grafts.