What To Do If You Burn Yourself

Initial Reaction: Assessing the Severity

First-Degree Burns

Characterized by redness and minor inflammation of the skin. Usually only affects the outer layer of skin.

Second-Degree Burns

These burns affect the outer layer and underlying layer of skin, causing redness, blistering, and severe pain.

Third-Degree Burns

These are the most severe and require immediate medical attention. They affect deeper tissues and may result in white or charred skin.

Immediate Responses: Cooling the Burn

Cold Water Rinse

Run cold water over the burn for several minutes to cool down the area and reduce pain.

Ice Packs

While ice can offer a momentary relief, it should not be directly applied to the burn to avoid further skin damage.

After Cooling: First Aid Measures

Burn Cream or Gel

Application of a specialized burn cream can help in relieving pain. However, be cautious of the ingredients if you have allergies.

Dressing the Burn

Use a sterile bandage or clean cloth to wrap the affected area loosely. Avoid using adhesive bandages directly on the burn.

Seeking Medical Help

When to See a Doctor

Second-degree burns that cover a large area or all third-degree burns require immediate medical attention.

Pharmacological Options

Pain relievers like ibuprofen can be taken to alleviate pain, but consult a healthcare provider for advice tailored to your condition.

Ongoing Care: What Not to Do

Avoid Popping Blisters

Popping blisters can lead to infection. Let them heal naturally.

Avoid Applying Household Items

Items like butter or toothpaste are not suitable for treating burns and can worsen the condition.

Home Remedies: What Works and What Doesn’t

Aloe Vera

Generally considered effective for minor burns, but consult healthcare providers for more severe cases.


Some people recommend applying honey to burns. However, medical-grade honey is preferable to household varieties.

Long-term Implications and Care


Even after healing, burns can leave scars. Medical treatment options like silicone gel sheets can reduce scarring.

Physical Therapy

In the case of severe burns, physical therapy may be necessary to maintain range of motion in affected areas.

Safety and Prevention

Smoke Alarms

Ensure your home is equipped with functioning smoke alarms to quickly detect fire hazards.

Fire Extinguishers

Keep an easily accessible fire extinguisher in your home and know how to use it.

Psychological Aftercare

Emotional Trauma

Severe burns can lead to emotional distress. Support groups and psychological care are important components of recovery.

Support Networks

Family, friends, and medical teams play an integral role in emotional recovery.

Key Takeaways: Be Prepared and Informed

Knowledge Is Key

Understanding the basic first aid measures for burns can greatly improve outcomes.

Prevention Is Better Than Cure

Taking precautions to prevent burns is equally crucial. Make sure you are well-versed in general fire safety protocols.

While burns can be a painful and distressing experience, knowing the correct immediate actions and follow-up care can make a significant difference in recovery. Always consult healthcare providers for accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

First Aid Certification

Back to blog