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How to Treat a Mild Burn

By Kari Livingston ; Updated July 27, 2017

Burns are one of the most common household injuries. Severe burns should be treated by a doctor, but mild burns can be treated at home.

Run cool tap water over the burn for at least 5 minutes. Do not use very cold water or ice. If the burned area is on the hand or foot, fill a bowl with cool water and allow the burn to soak.

Dry the burn gently by patting, not rubbing. Apply aloe vera gel or a soothing burn gel to the area. Burn Jel is a product made especially for burns that contains lidocaine to reduce pain.

Apply a clean, loose dressing to keep the burn covered during the healing process. Do not wrap the burn tightly.

Take ibuprofen or acetaminophen to reduce pain and swelling.

Call your doctor if you notice any severe redness or streaking.


Do not apply butter or any type of thick ointment to a burn. If the burn doesn't heal within a week, see your doctor. If the burn blisters or covers a large skin area, apply cool compresses and call your doctor before starting any treatment.

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