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How to Treat a Burn on the Fingers

By Wendy Rose Gould ; Updated July 27, 2017

A burn is always uncomfortable and often painful. This is especially true when the burn is on your hands or fingers, which are used frequently. For minor burns, taking these steps can soothe the pain and promote healing.

Immediately run your burned finger(s) under cool (not cold) water. This will stop the actual burning sensation and will soothe the affected area. Fill a bowl with cool water and rest your hand in it for ongoing relief.

Look for any skin damage. A mild burn is characterized by red skin and sometimes small blisters. You can treat a mild burn at home. However, if you have a severe burn (large blistering, charred skin, peeling skin), seek medical attention immediately.

Apply an over-the-counter, topical burn ointment to your burn. Cover your hands/fingers with a non-sticky bandage. This will minimize the chance for infection. Change your bandages at least once a day.

Take an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, to reduce discomfort.

Drink plenty of water. One of the side effects of burns is dehydration, so make sure to keep yourself hydrated.

Tip

If your hands or fingers become very swollen, numb, tingly, cold or even blue, seek medical attention. Severe swelling may cause blood-flow restriction, which is dangerous.

Warnings

Avoid wearing gloves or shirts that restrict blood flow or irritate the skin. Do not apply butter or an oil-based lotion or ointment to the burn; this will cause further irritation.

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