Minor burns: How to provide first aid care

2 June 2017
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2 June 2017, Comments: 0

Minor burns can be managed at home. It is vital that you know how to properly care for minor burns to prevent unwanted complications especially infection.

When dealing with burns, the main objective is to stop the burning process. You can readily care for a burn with the following measures:

  • Cool down the affected area by placing it under cool running water or applying a cold compress over it. Apply a cool clean cloth between the compress and the skin for at least 5 minutes or until the pain subsides. If the area is still painful, continue the process to lower the pain.
  • Apply an burn cream or aloe vera gel which helps with the healing process and provides pain relief. Aloe vera also has anti-inflammatory properties as well as prevents the formation of blisters and scarring.


    Cool down the affected area by placing it under cool running water or applying a cold compress over it.

  • Wrap the burn using a dry sterile non-adhesive dressing to protect the burn from friction or pressure. Make sure that it is changed daily.

Minor burns with reddened skin without any blisters can be treated at home with emphasis on pain relief. The blisters usually form after a few days. In case minor burns have broken skin, it is at risk for tetanus. A tetanus shot is required if the skin is damaged and the individual has not received a tetanus booster within the last 5 years.

Important considerations to bear in mind

The skin remains burning even if the affected region has already been detached from the source. By cooling the region, it reduces the skin temperature and reduces the burning process to prevent further damage.

In case the affected area is larger than the outstretched hand or the abdomen of the individual, call for emergency assistance for further care.

The burned area might still be sensitive to sunlight for up to 12 months. Once it has healed, it is vital to apply sunscreen on the area. In most cases of minor burns, it takes 3-6 days to fully heal.

More Information / Disclaimer

The information posted on this page on minor burns is for learning purposes only. Learn to recognize and manage this type of burn by taking a standard first aid course with – First Aid.

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