Thermal (Heat or Fire) Burns (cont.)
Self-Care at Home
The most important first step is to stop the burning process.
- Put out any fire or flames (the common advice is to 'stop, drop, and roll' to put out flames on your clothing). Remove hot or burned clothing, if possible, or stop contact with the hot steam, liquid, or a hot object.
- Cool the injured area with water (not ice) within 30 seconds. This may limit the extent and severity of the burn. Run your burned hand or finger, for example, immediately under cool tap water for several minutes.
Control the pain.
- Apply a cool wet compress for pain relief. Do not use ice. This may worsen the injury to the skin.
- Other common remedies, such as butter or mayonnaise have not been proven to work; and may increase the chance of infection.
- You may also use acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil) for pain as directed on the bottle.
Begin the healing process.
- For small burns and burns that are superficial in nature, you may use a triple antibiotic ointment. This will aid in healing and limit the chance of infection.
- Do not remove blisters at home, especially those on the palms of the hands or on the soles of the feet.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/30/2014
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