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How to Treat a Floor Burn

By Jim Murkot Sr. ; Updated July 27, 2017

Floor or rug burns can be painful but rarely are problematic. Frequently caused by slips, slides and falls, they occur most often with children. Floor burns can cover a relatively large area of the skin. Cleaning, treating and dressing the injury from the outset can often prevent a trip to the doctor's office later.

  1. Wash your hands. Proper hygiene can go a long way in preventing infection.

  2. Clean the burn. Rinse the skin under gently-flowing tap water. Ensure that any carpet fibers or other debris from the floor are completely removed from the wound. Gently pat dry with a sterile gauze pad.

  3. Inspect the burn for any signs of more serious trauma. Falls can and do result in broken bones or serious skin tears that could necessitate a trip to the doctor's office or emergency room.

  4. Apply an appropriate antibiotic ointment to the wound bed. These ointments are available over-the-counter from most pharmacies, and they will help to prevent infection and promote healing. Follow the manufacturer's recommendations when applying.

  5. Dress the burn. An appropriately sized dressing should be selected. Large areas will need large gauze bandages. Smaller sized burns may only need an elastic bandage. Whatever covering is used, be careful to cover the entire burn surface. Bandages serve to keep the wound clean and provide protection.

  6. The dressing should be changed at least once a day. Should the wound begin to look infected or have an odor or discharge, see a doctor.

  7. Tip

    An up-to-date tetanus immunization is recommended.

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