Published 05.08.15

Treating Burns

Even when all the proper safety measures are followed, burn injuries may still occur. Learn more on tips to follow if you experience a minor burn injury.
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First, stop the burn so that the injury doesn’t worsen. Smother the flames with water or a blanket. If your clothing is on fire, put the flames out using the stop, drop and roll method. Do not run- this will not smother the flames and the burn will likely worsen. Immediately seek medical attention for severe burns.

Next, assess the injury. Remove any clothing or jewelry at the site of the burn. If clothing is stuck to the burn, cut around the burn to remove the loose fabric but do not remove the stuck fabric. Look for other injuries that may have occurred during the burn, such as bruises or scrapes from reacting to the burn or attempting to put the fire out.

If the burn is severe enough to warrant evaluation from a doctor, cover the burn with a clean, dry cloth to reduce the risk of infection. Do not treat the burn with ointments or lotions, as it will make it difficult for the doctor to properly assess the burn. Do not ice the burn, as it could damage skin tissue.

To treat minor burns at home:

  • Cool the burn by running it under cool water or using a damp cloth
  • Loosely cover the burn using sterile gauze
  • Take frequent cool showers or baths
  • Apply soothing aloe vera lotions
  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever


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