One of the hazards of using an electric iron to smooth wrinkles out of your clothing is the risk of burning yourself. Most iron burns are minor and the treatments for them focus on pain relief and preventing infection and further damage to burned skin.
A hot iron can burn your skin if you touch it. The severity of the burn depends on where the iron comes in contact with you and how long it touches your skin. A momentary touch on the edge of your hand may cause a minor burn that leaves a red mark and pain that quickly fades. But the flat side of the iron falling against the more delicate skin on the inside of your arm can cause a more severe burn. Treatments for iron burns are taken in stages.
Immediately treating an iron burn can reduce the severity of the burn and improve your chances of escaping without infection or a scar. If you have a minor burn and your skin is unbroken, put the burned area in a cool-water bath or lay a cool, wet towel on your skin to relieve the pain. Do not apply ice to your skin, as that can cause more tissue damage. Do not apply butter to a burn.
After you have applied cooling relief to your iron burn and the pain has receded, the next stage of treatment is to protect the burn. Not only can pressure and friction on an iron burn cause pain, it can also cause more damage to your skin tissue and impede healing. Keep the burn covered with sterile gauze. If blisters develop, do not break them as this leaves them vulnerable to infection. When the burn has healed, cover it with sunscreen when you will be outside to help protect the new skin.
Iron burns can be painful. Protect the burn from rubbing or pressure to help prevent pain, and take over-the-counter pain relievers such as aspirin or acetaminophen as needed. Most minor burns do not require stronger pain management.
Major iron burns are less common, but that is of little comfort if you experience one. Have someone drive you to urgent care or contact emergency services. In the interim, keep the burned area elevated and free from pressure or friction. Do not bathe the affected skin in water or apply any type of medication or ointment.