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How to Care for Minor Burns at Home

By Contributing Writer ; Updated July 27, 2017

A burn can be very uncomfortable. However, some burns can be treated by yourself if they are minor burns. Reading this article will teach you how to care for minor burns at home.

Run cool water over a burn. Cool water is good for more than just drinking. When you have a burn, run cool water (not cold) over the area of the burn or soak it in cool water for about 5 or 10 minutes. When you run cold water over a burn, it helps to reduce pain and swelling by drawing the heat away from the area of skin affected by the burn. If you have questions of require assistance in treating your burn, you should call 911 and seek advice from trained professionals.

Apply antibiotics and take pain relievers if necessary. After treating the burned area with cold water you should either apply Aloe Vera or an antibiotic ointment (either over the counter or prescription if you have it) and cover the burn with clean, dry gauze wrapping. Applying antibiotics and fresh wrapping to the burn after you have treated it with cold water helps to reduce any pain or infection that may come after the burn. If you have unbearable pain after a burn, take Tylenol to help you alleviate the pain.

Be aware of things you shouldn't do after a burn. Some people, after they have been burned, are often in a fit of panic and hurt and do the first thing that comes to mind. Sometimes, doing what comes to mind isn't exactly the best thing to do. You should always treat a burn with cool water first and avoid doing these things directly after a burn: do not burst any blisters that may form (this can cause infection), do not apply antibiotics of mayonnaise directly after a burn (this traps the heat inside the burn) and do not apply ice to a burn at all (this may cause frostbite). Remember, you should never try to treat severe burns on your own; therefore, you have to use your best judgment in deciding whether or not to alert emergency services regarding your burn.


Remember, 2nd or 3rd degree burns cannot be treated on their own because there may be skin damage and these injuries need to be cared for at a hospital.

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