To treat minor burns, follow these steps:
- Cool the burn. Run cool (not cold) tap water over the burn for 10 to 15 minutes or until the pain eases. Or apply a clean towel dampened with cool tap water. Don't use ice. Putting ice directly on a burn can cause further damage to the tissue.
- Remove rings or other tight items from the burned area. Try to do this quickly and gently, before the area swells.
- Don't break small blisters (no bigger than your little fingernail). If blisters break, gently clean the area with mild soap and water, apply an antibiotic ointment, and cover it with a nonstick gauze bandage.
- Apply moisturizer or aloe vera lotion or gel. This may soothe the area and prevent dryness as the wound heals.
- If needed, take an over-the-counter pain reliever. Nonprescription products include ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others), naproxen (Aleve) and acetaminophen (Tylenol, others).
- Consider a tetanus shot. Make sure that your tetanus booster is up to date. Doctors recommend people get a tetanus shot at least every 10 years.
Whether your burn was minor or serious, use sunscreen and moisturizer regularly once the wound is healed.
Aug. 01, 2015
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