How to Treat a Burn

burn-ilo_300Between grills, campfires, and citronella candles, the chances of burning yourself during the summer is quite likely. Fortunately, treating a minor burn is relatively easy.

A first-degree burn—where only the outside layer of skin is burned, but not all the wall through—is typically red, sometimes swelling, and moderately painful, according to the Mayo Clinic. To treat it at home, first run cool water over the area for several minutes, then pat dry with a clean towel.

Next, to ease the initial pain, apply a cold compress (but not an ice cube, which can cause a cold burn on top of a heat burn). You’ll then want to cover the burn with a sterile bandage. If needed, take ibuprofen for the pain, or apply a burn-relief cream like First Degree Burn Cream, ($8,

If the burn has blistered or oozes, or if redness or pain persists for more than a few hours, seek medical help.

Learn more first aid basics.


  1. Brad E Wakeman

    There’s an (essential) oil for that. . . .

    June 4, 2014 at 11:56 pm

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