You touched a hot pan, slipped when opening the oven, or spilled boiling water and now your skin is red and throbbing. When sustaining a burn, it is important to react properly. If you’ve burned yourself, be sure to take these steps to react quickly and seek proper treatment.
- Gauge The Severity: Before you do anything else, assess how serious your burn is. Burns can either be first, second, or third degree. These degrees of severity indicate the depth of the burn. While first degree burns can be treated at home, second and third degree require treatment by a medical clinician or emergency room doctor.
- Clean It Off: To treat a burn at home, gently wash the burn with cool water and soap. If you have any blisters, be sure not to pop them. Damaging the skin like this could lead to infection or more severe scarring.
- Soothe It: Once you clean the skin, apply burn ointment to the skin. Petroleum jelly or aloe vera are usually effective in soothing a burn. Be sure to cover the area with a bandage or gauze and medical tape to keep the area from getting infected.
- Reduce The Pain: Take an over the counter pain reducer or anti-inflammatory medication to keep the pain in check. Follow the instructions carefully and be sure not to take too many tablets at once. If you are treating a child who has suffered a burn, be sure to call their doctor before giving them any medicine.
- Seek Medical Attention: If you are feeling unsure about how to treat a burn or think that your burn is more severe, go to a walk in clinic as soon as possible. A physician will be able to analyze the burnt area and prescribe the best possible treatment.
Remember: Timing is everything when treating a burn. Be sure to stay calm and react as quickly as possible, seeking the appropriate treatment for your specific degree of burn. Also, know when to treat a burn on your own and when to visit an emergency room doctor or urgent care center. About 85% of urgent care clinics are open seven days per week, so they are generally a better option than your primary care physician when reacting to a burn.